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diversion sign
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

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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

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

The mirror has two sides...

First of all, I wish to thank you for holding up a mirror to this complicated issue. Your insight and compassion were a much needed balm to the raw nerve that is mental illness. I also appreciated hearing from both sides (patient vs. caregiver)
In so many of these disorders, perception is key. Speaking as someone with a complex array of mental health challenges, I recognize the tendency in myself to become overly bombastic and "in your face" at times as compensation for a "perceived" dissmissiveness on the part of society. That whole "shut up and take your meds" approach to treatment, while obviously "results driven", very often overlooks the price paid in diminished capability and quality of life.
It's a long sad road from the top of your game to the bottom of the deck. Woe be it to the individual who has the intelligence to realize this and to perceive its effect upon the ones you love and rely upon for solace and understanding. The guilt and the shame can be crippling.
That being said, I also realize what a frustrating, maddening (oh, the irony!)hateful, exhausting experience it must be for people to love and care for me. Every moment is a crap shoot. Seeming normalcy has warped edges. It would be so much easier, at times, to just declare the game forfeit and walk away.
I am eternally grateful to the ones who have hung in there with/for me. Thank you for continuing to circle back around whenever you are able. I would be truly lost without you.

This got linked on reddit.

If you're looking for some feedback about it, you should go check out the thread. People there are pretty vocal about their opinions.

beautifully done :)

My little sister was schizophrenic, and she committed suicide because none of us understood what was happening to her. We couldn't grasp that she was the victim of a disease, and not just a behavioral problem.
I love to see people making the effort to lift the taboo. Thank you.
Would you consider mentioning that there is actual brain degeneration during the course of the disease (up to 25% of the neural tissue over the first 6 years)? Schizophrenic people are honestly not able to conform to social expectations. Period. Their brains are degenerating, and it is terrifying for them.

Re: beautifully done :)

I'm sorry for you and your sister :/

I will definitely buy this book. I'm a sufferer of long term psychiatric illness (self harm, depression, and High Functioning Autism) and have been in and out of psych wards my whole life.
Now-a-days I'm working on finding someway of helping people with mental illness so nobody has to go through what i've been through. Or at least have support on the way.
Your work is awesome.

Out of curiosity will you be doing anything on autism/aspegergers?