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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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magnificent! you did a great job! thanks for sharing this! im a nursing major so i can relate to this topic. i wish every psych case could be interpret into something like this!

support! support! ^o^

Excellent! As a layperson who has an interest in multiple personality disorder, I've given this explanation many times. Now I will have somewhere to point people. I'll be interested to see your work on intractable depression, because I suffer from that. BTW, great artwork!

Got a mailing list or something, to let me know when the book comes out? I'm a big fan of works that try to lift the stigma surrounding mental illness. Kudos to you, sir.

great work, can't wait to see the finished product. i've added a link to you from my website: http://theschizophreniamyth.com/links.html

When i was in high school and heavily abused/or that was what i was only imagining? , i was very introvert going from psychiatry to psychiatry i refused to study or to speak with anyone, dressed really bad ,not intresting in anything ...
so this lovely public european school send me to get some help from government psychiatry center, this woman psychiatrist just laugh at my face after few sessions and gave me pills from depression , and that was it , for them i was cured
after month and half, probably 10 kg fat, unable to move for hours of stress , unable to turn my head or look to anyone , some weird muscles disorders, horribly hallucinations and i think i'm marked for life
I never been worse in my life , when i told others of my situation ... it's like they didn't even care and said that pills are important for me. Anyway i quit this madness i don't care what's wrong with me but noin hell i'm taking medicaments again
fuck them !

I have schizophrenia and have lived with the stigma of my illness for 13 years now.
Thank you so much for this post.

It would be nice if you'd written about the fact that Schizophrenia isn't always a life sentence - some people will have a sudden onset of schizophrenia that will alleviate itself. Just exploring all the sides. This is really interesting though

This is fantastic! People are so ignorant about Schizophrenia, and mental illness in general.

Well done and thanks for putting out this powerful piece of work.

.....and to the family member (who clearly has their own difficult story to tell), don't assume that anyone's experience "trumps" anyone else's. Surely you aren't suggesting that, because *your* life has been hard, we should continue to marginalise, suppress and treat inhumanely those people who experience distressing experience of mental illness? What we need, absolutely, is better support for family members but that should not be to the detriment of great stigma-busting work like this.

The writer should be congratulated and supported for his bravery and honesty, not further harried bcause someone has had a bad day. So have we all, but let's work *together* and get some reality and understanding out there.

Bad day? BAD DAY? Tell that to my aunt, who has been without a husband for 16 years after my schizophrenic mother murdered him. I've had 25 years of nightmares about her, and that's AFTER she completely turned my childhood into an inescapable hell. And I STILL have to take precautions to ensure that I'll be able to protect myself if they ever let her loose. After 15 years in the hospital, they finally let her out to take a walk one afternoon, and within an hour she turned up in a gun shop.

I'm sure it's very easy for you to say what awful people the family members are. Apparently YOU don't have to live with a severely schizophrenic person in your household on a daily basis, or live with the consequences of what they will do to your life FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. Nobody said we don't want them treated well. Even I want my murderous schizophrenic mother treated well, and I get other people to communicate with her for me to ensure she is being treated well in state care. (She is. Thank you, New Jersey.) But it's arrogant presumption for you to have the unmitigated gall to lecture us about what is appropriate behavior on our parts toward our schizophrenic relatives. We have to do what we have to do to survive, and if that means deciding, however painful it is to us, that we have to push the schizophrenic person out of our life and go hide from them so they can't bother us any more, who the HELL do you think you are to tell us we're bad people because of it, or to say that we're merely having "a bad day"?

My mom is schizophrenic, and she's the sweetest, kindest person I know. She's definitely had a hard time of life, as she's currently in her early fifties, and treatments when she was younger didn't even come close to what they are now. I remember when I was little, the preferred medication would make her sleep 18+ hours a day. Now, I can take her out for coffee, and we can have actual fun conversations. It's nice to have a mom, and not a zombie. She'll never be 100% society dictated "normal", but she is who she is. I love her just the same. ^-^

All the side effects of medication, as well as the frequent desire to go off-meds, I have found to be true. No one wants to be a prisoner of their own mind. Everyone wants to be free, it's perfectly understandable. Also, manic depression seems to go hand in hand with the disorder, complicating things.


Thank you for your comic, get the word out! I was very excited to find this. ^-^

thank you for this. my son has schizoaffective disorder.

Great art, interesting panels.

I worked for a number of years with local citizens who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, an outreach (PACT) program in Iowa,USA,  which provided me with great opportunities to forge strong friendships--to be honest, if unprofessional--with my small number of clients, via home visits and helping to structure workable contexts in which to live more fully engaged within a larger community.
I visited with one young man daily in his home as a method of medication management, primarily an issue of what we called "compliance."  The method worked, and his psychosis, over time, retreated significantly;  he became more verbal, his language comprehensible, eventually elegant. 
Here is how he described his experience with schizophrenia:
His world was--and still remained, at that time, to some extent--one-dimensional, as if he were facing a wall, with nothing to attract his peripheral vision, and with no sense of anything at all behind him.  A huge flatness, a wall before him was All.
The wall, however, is embedded with hundreds, at times thousands, of television screens, stacked and side-by-side, like bricks.  Each one is broadcasting a different program (or film?), all are tuned to high volume, and each is of equal interest.  So when I arrived to visit, and shook his hand or squeezed his shoulder, that physical contact unwittingly (an instinct and social habit) cued him to focus, as much as possible and with great effort, on the one screen where I was appearing.  He said that as his trust in me grew over a long period of time, he began to label the show in which I apparently was starring as what most other people call Reality.
Essentially, he concluded, the moderate remission in his symptoms (via daily dosages of more gentle antipsychotic meds and a daily structure that he himself had designed) had led him to forge a new tool, an imagined remote control through which he could choose and change the channel to match the expectations of the surrounding world.  He literally began tuning in to the world, even to the point of adjusting, or muting, the volumes.  He seemed reluctant to hope for the goal of one channel only, the one of shared reality, because the loss of channel surfing would likely prove boring.
I like your aesthetic and especially your honestly kind voice from the page.  Congratulations on some very fine work.
Mike Sinclair