I was thinking of various purposes for this blog. I don’t want to just talk about myself endlessly as a gesture of self-reference or vanity. Helping to de-stigmatize schizophrenia would be a worthy goal. I think, further, I’d like to suggest and convey that mentally ill people can be highly functioning people.
When receiving a diagnosis, it is often true that a person “drops out” of our society. They stop working, lose relationships, and fall off of the grid. The government sends them a check every month. They deposit it, and get by in a new and reduced way.
This saddens and frustrates me. I am highly able, though schizophrenic, and I know many others who are, as well. Functioning schizophrenics might not make the best bus drivers, pilots or surgeons. But there are many, many other possible roles we could play in society, and some might involve a degree of expertise or leadership.
I think that needs to be said, and hopefully believed. That mental illness does not have to mean that a patient’s life is completely or permanently compromised. There is much more that can be done, more potential.
This is not all on the health care professionals, to witness to this issue. Many already believe it. It is for society at large, yes– and perhaps more importantly for the patient himself or herself. When the world says for them to take a bow, have a seat and become consumers forever, I would ask more able patients to resist the urge to accept this. To believe in themselves, that they can do great things. To make a genuine effort to do so.