Face to Face With the Stigma

Two issues here: one – a lack of family intervention, and two – the stigma of the schizophrenic diagnosis.

I’ve been struggling lately with the lack of support demonstrated by my family during my illness. I’m not certain if my family was in denial or if they were simply unaware of how debilitating this illness is, but I am heartbroken that they didn’t intervene at all. More than a year and half went by before I began to feel any real relief of symptoms, thanks to medication. Were it not for that and my own drive to survive, I would not be functional today. I may not be here at all.

I went from a high-functioning normal 37 year old with no prior problems to a homeless woman, living on my mother’s sofa refusing to shower for three weeks. My family now says they knew it was schizophrenia because they were able to research it on the internet based on my self-reported symptoms, and yet at the same time my mother refuses to admit now that I have this diagnosis. She continues to call what happened “a nervous breakdown” and is very concerned with appearances.

2 thoughts on “Face to Face With the Stigma

  1. Forgive me for prying. Is it possible that your mother is afraid that your symptoms will be continuous instead of momentary “nervous breakdown”?

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    • Well, from a host of things, I think my mother feels mental illness is a character flaw and can be cured by simply thinking better. She’s become very harsh and critical of all of us kids.

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