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Anyone Can Experience Schizophrenia

Trapped in a world of delusions and alternate realities, our behavior is often bizarre and misunderstood by observers. If people understood this illness, they would be more understanding of the sometimes strange behavior behind it. If they understood that schizophrenia can afflict anyone, even them, they would be more sympathetic towards it.

Given that nearly one of every hundred people become schizophrenic, anyone stands a chance of experiencing it. I have this disease despite there being no history of severe mental illness in my family, only furthering my case that this disease can happen to anyone. This is not a far off illness, but something that once relatively healthy people can experience.

It’s Ironic That I Have Schizophrenia

Years ago, in my healthy youth, my high school teacher asked me if I agreed with the Americans with Disability Act protecting people with mental illness. I responded that it shouldn’t because I “wouldn’t want to work with crazy people”. How ironic it is that I would later become one of the people that I feared and stigmatized. In this way, schizophrenia has been a humbling experience for me. I have come to realize that we are all made imperfect and that pointing fingers at those less perfect is pointless and pitiful.

People with schizophrenia are not one of “those people” since they can be anyone, even you. I am one of “those people”. Thinking this way however is futile, because there is no “us” and “them”. In reality, schizophrenics are people just like anyone else, even if our disease makes it difficult to see this.

Peace Towards All

This is why we deserve to be treated with the same humanity and respect as anyone suffering from a debilitating condition. We deserve to be understood and treated with dignity, and if you do not think so then you may find yourself like me; degrading your future self.

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5 Responses to Anyone Can Experience Schizophrenia

  1. Mindy says:

    Thank you for your interesting article Dan. I have a close relative with this diagnosis and, though initially shocked and saddened at first, I feel that it has resulted in our family becoming more compassionate and understanding of anyone, which includes myself, who live with mental health issues. All the best.

  2. Randye Kaye says:

    Thanks for this beautiful post. My son Ben has schizophrenia and though he is not yet in a place to accept his illness as truth (at least as far as I can see, though I suspect he is getting there – slowly), I hope that when he does he can write about it with as much insight and hindsight as you have here.
    Randye

  3. Dan Hoeweler says:

    Hello Randye Kaye,
    It’s unfortunate that the illness itself often takes away the very ability to fight against it, through lack of insight. I often wonder why it is that I had improved so drastically over the years, while many others are left behind. If it was pure luck or some other reason. I hope that Ben will one day find himself getting better. I know that this illness is difficult on families, my brother took care of me to a certain degree when I was at my worst. Ever since I am not quite sure if our relationship had recovered. I wish you and Ben the best.
    -Dan Hoeweler

  4. Aivaz says:

    The people who are stigmatized, like mentally ill people, gypsies, homosexuals, and many others always try to show that they’re no different, in fact they’ve rights to be recognized as human-beings, but let’s take a look at this issue from a different point of view. The people who stigmatize other weak, innocent people are generally narcissistic psychopaths, or normals. Normality is assumed to be the healthy condition, whereas it is not. The normal are selfish, egocentric, egomanic, prone to peer pressure, followers of fashion, shallow in emotions and thoughts, mean, do bully, and tease different people, crack jokes hysterically about the ones who don’t like being joked about, make friends just for benefits, gossip maliciously about innocent people all the time, in short, normality is nothing but a “mild form of psychopathy”. What I am trying to say is that, when you are stigmatized by some people around you, notice that they’re the ones who are normal, that is, psychopath, not healthy. It’s not a delusion, paranoia, or obsessed, depressive opinion, but we do really live in an evil world, the majority of people are normal, and they’re incredibly dangerous. I, myself, am not a schizophrenic, but I really feel sympathy, and empathy for them. To me they’re the ones who deny to put on any mask that are distributed by the society like that of a successful engineer, good mother, funny friend, talkative girl, mischievous boy, hardworking doctor, nice wife, and many others. They may be stigmatized because stupid normal people subconsciously think that they’re an anarchistic threat to their system. If you think you’re stigmatized, don’t try defending yourselves, just attack them psychopathic bullies same way, and make them stupids be afraid.

  5. Dan Hoeweler says:

    Sometimes I feel selfish speaking about my issues. I was speaking with my epeleptic best friend recently about our conditions, and I tried to explain with him how a lot of people suffer from conditions and we are not the only ones. There is a stigma amongst many groups of people, and many people are amongst these groups. It truly is not “normal” to hold these beliefs. I was recently speaking with my doctor who was trying to explain to me how common disease and illness is in our world. Certain ones are more stigmatized than others, though many people suffer in some manner. It is foolish to hold stigma because of an illness, or because you belong to a certain minority, ethnicity or culture. We are all unique and with purpose. I have no doubt about this.

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