I had a quick conversation the other day with my injection nurse, Colleen, while I was getting my monthly schizophrenia medication. I have been using the same drug for more than 20 years and I am quite healthy (perhaps a bit overweight, but I was always husky, even as a child). Colleen and I were talking about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the fallout since. I had heard that Japan‘s tap water has high radiation levels and I asked Colleen if she believed that in 15 years, Japan would be an increase in cancer patients. “Who really knows?” she said. Some people get cancer, some heart disease, some diabetes. It’s hard to know what causes illnesses. Continue reading
An article in the Leader Post, a newspaper in Saskatchewan, Canada, was brought to my attention last week. The story told of a century-old provincial psychiatric hospital that has been neglected for years. According to Celeste Bridgeman, whose brother has been a patient at the facility for 30 years, the nearly 30 male and female patients have one bathroom to share. I can’t even imagine what this place must be like. Continue reading
Due to the nature of mental illness, when people are in trouble—unfortunately—the law is part of the equation. For two of my six hospitalizations the police were involved; both times I was escorted to the emergency department and admitted. I find it ironic now, years later, that I do presentations to police personnel at training workshops about dealing with people who are going through a mental health crisis. Continue reading
Bill George, who has a Masters degree in psychology from Cambridge University and who is also living with schizophrenia, recently penned an article in Psych Central about the word “schizophrenia” and the stigma associated with it.
Bill spoke of the many symptoms of schizophrenia and the fact that stigma is what leads people to believe schizophrenia is somehow connected to a split personality or multiple personality disorder—which it is not. Continue reading