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An eleven page chapter from my upcoming book Psychiatric Tales, which will be out from Blank Slate in early 2010. Feel free to point out any errors or make any other comments.

1 schizophrenia

2 schizophrenia

3 schizophrenia 3

4 schizophenia

5 schizophrenia

6 schizophrenia

7 schizophrenia

8 schizophrenia

9 schizophrenia

schizophrenia 10

11 schizophrenia

I'm glad there's a date for when the entire work is coming out - I can't wait to purchase this. :-)

Are there ways - volunteering, donating - that you'd recommend to promote more understanding and to actively help the mentally ill? (Not that we all don't have our issues, but some forms of mental illness seem more intrusive and intense than others.)

Talking to them and trying to see the person inside. That's it.

Definitely can't wait to see this book as a whole. I'm wondering: will there be any sort of introduction or framing story to sort of give it coherence? I mean something that explains or sums up your years of working in this milieu?

Yes there will. I'm going to end on a chapter about my own struggle with mental health problems and how this affected my nursing career.

In America we've solved all the mental health problems your comic series points out by eliminating all of the mental hospitals. Now the mentally ill are called lazy, or criminals, problem solved. Of course it requires prisons to have mental health wards, but we goodly Americans demand that prison not be an easy ride, even for the mentally ill, so there are still restraints, beatings, cavity searches, 24/7 isolation etc.

Excellent stuff again, mate, sensitively framed and a good antidote to the knee-jerk panic reactions the tabloid media is so fond of. God forbid they should think on anyone, ill or not, as a person and not just a quick story to boost falling circulation. Looking forward to seeing the whole book.

Thanks for putting this up

I do think this is very good.

YESSSSSSS!!!! A book! I'll have to avoid reading these here even though they've been awesome, cause you've got one buyer right here for this book, my friend! Great stuff!!!

This is sooo excellent! I thihk you'/re doing important work, here.

Thank you for this.

While everyone understands why homophobia or racism makes me mad, they often don't fathom why I take it so hard when they joke around about various mental disorders and/or analyze situations based on popular culture. Schizophrenia is a big one when it comes to this thanks to Hollywood

this is fantastic. i worked in sohee park's schizophrenia/affective disorder lab for a year. she uses the tools of clinical neuroscience to understand 1) how the perceptual/cognitive difficulties found in schizophrenia affect people and 2) how the shizotypal personality (perhaps, people at-risk for the illness) functions in terms of creativity. the only thing i wish i had seen more of in this comic is a mention of famous people who likely/had schizophrenia. it would offset the debilitating degree of the illness.

also, medication definitely helps these individuals, but, as with any major mental illness, a large proportion will go off medication due to side-effects. but you're so right--functionality improves drastically WHILE medicated.


I might recommend clarifying the line "Most crimes are committed by the sane." In terms of violent crime, I'd tend to see any capacity for criminal violence as signs of some kind of underlying psychiatric disorder, even if the person in question seemed otherwise functional and "normal." I think I understand what you meant -- sane as opposed to suffering a schizophrenic disorder speciically -- but it was a little bit jarring.

Nonetheless: fantastic, compassionate, and absolutely vital work as always. I have several dear friends here on Livejournal who have schizophrenia, and I admit, it took me some time to realize emotionally what I already knew intellectually, that the stigma against these eminently worthwhile folks was cruel and unfounded. I feel you're even doing me something of a personal favor by writing these things, because you might in some way be making my friends' lives a little easier. Thank you so much.

Wonderful. I cannot wait until these are collected so I can show them to others.

Great as always. My uncle is schizophrenic and it's nice to see the subject being treated gently and humanely.

I am definitely picking this up when it comes out.

Hooray, another great one!

I never noticed before that mazes look similar to crossword puzzles.

Correction: Page 3, last panel: "effects" should be "affects".

Just seconding this. Make sure that you get someone to edit all of the text, since minor mistakes like this one can crappify the reading experience for grammar nerds like me.

I'm looking forward to your book when it comes out!

I found this very informative!

suggestion for easier reading...
"Using his flat to hang out in (line break here) and take drugs."

I really appreciate your work, but i do have one note which may or may not be a mistake- in the third panel of page five, the man on the right's hand is black with a white outline, rather than vice-versa

Panels 3 - 5 constitute an extremely bad argument (bad enough to put off anyone familiar with basic statistics). You shouldn't compare the total numbers of crimes committed by schizophrenics and others, you should compare the rates.

For example, if 1% of people were schizophrenic but they committed 2% of all crime then they would indeed be more dangerous than others because they committed a disproportionate amount of crime, even though it's a very small fraction of the total. (I am not saying this is the case).

Other than that I like your work very much.

"there is an association between schizophrenia and violence, but shows that this association is greatly increased by drug and alcohol abuse"

Schizophrenics are crazy.

Crazy people do irrational things.

That includes violence and passive aggression.

Get your pity party the fuck away from me -- you've disabled your own thinking.

Re: This comic is insane

Yes because drugs and alcohol abuse don't cause the same bullshit in the average person.

Hey these people have it pretty tough, fuck it, I'll further the notion that they should be ostracized. I don't wanna associate with 'those' people.

Is this some kind of fuck or be fucked mentality? In what way do you feel you're contributing to society with that kind of animosity? Thanks for being part of the problem.

Not sure if you know, but you made it to the front page of reddit.

Well done.

I had a friend with untreated psychosis who I've now lost touch with, she had a chronic depression because of it. Once her her family found out she was finally able to get treated and her life made a huge turn for the better. She was a great photographer, and an awesome person.

Absolutely brilliant article this should be mandatory in any school, hospital - people need to know stuff like this - this would amongst the best investments, the UK could benefit for! It WOULD help so much

As a family member of someone with schizophrenia...

... I have to point out that there's another side to the whole "Oh, those poor, poor people with schizophrenia, whose family and friends grow distant, while those people who have cancer get community support." thing. People with cancer don't, for instance, refuse help and berate the people who offer it for hours on end - as my sister did. People with cancer don't stop taking their medication every other week, forcing the people who care about them to check their cheeks every morning to see if they're not swallowing the pill because otherwise the person with cancer will turn up eight days later, three hundred miles away, in a psychiatric ward, having been discovered naked on the interstate. People with cancer don't treat every contrary statement as an attack, and every attempt to support an intrusion.

Yes, it sucks, and yes, behavior like this IS a symptom of the syndrome, or one of its commonly associated issues - but the whole Poor Little Us thing is, frankly, insulting and offensive to those of us who have to try to keep our family members *alive* while every attempt to do so is thrown back in our faces, while we get verbally and sometimes physically abused.

So, I'm sorry that you don't feel particularly close to the people in your life any more, but having BEEN the family member in this situation for rather a long time ... I *really* doubt that it's just "few wanted to know." In my experience, we knew. We knew because we were taught highly dramatic lessons over a very long time that nothing we did would help, and we would be screamed at, insulted, or dismissed brusquely for trying.

It takes a lot of effort to overcome that, particularly over the course of years. If you tell people to go away enough, regardless of whether or not you did it because of mental illness, eventually, many of them will.

Re: As a family member of someone with schizophrenia...

However bad it was for you, I guarantee it was worse for them.

You're highlighting the exact attitude that the author's talking about. Someone with altered thinking is not deliberately targeting you or refusing help just to offend you. It's like saying that someone in a wheelchair is refusing to go hiking to spite you, not because their mobility is poor.

this is cool... made really for that

this is cool... made really for that

As a schizophrenia researcher I appreciate your work and think that it's wonderful. I am looking forward to the book.


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