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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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Expert by experience

Hi Tallguy, this is a great beginning but there are some issues as well. Especially when I read this as someone who has experienced some 'altered realities' (some may call it psychosis)but who has also worked in mental health (mental health service inpatient, out-patient, community and now- workforce development)for 10 years. Whats great about this is the stuff on violence, media, the pictures (what a talent you have!)and some of the info.
Whats not so good is it's very medical model only. Its mainly about deficit and negative symptomology. Where is the recovery and strengths based stuff? Schizophrenia is only a way of describing a set of symptoms (hardly anyone has them all), its also a continuum that you can move up and down on. Its not static.
We dont like being called 'sufferers', the suffering part is only one part of our lives and for some not any. We can be some of the things you say here but not all of them or all the time and not all of us. It is not inevitable that without meds we will become catatonic or insane. Those two things are very very rare.
LOADS of people are untreated because their symptoms are not distressing (you would be surprised how many voice hearers you actually already know). For some people medication doesnt help or makes things worse. The side effects are horrible, its a constant compromise.
Mostly we have average lives with some sticky bits (doesnt everyone?), we are so much more than an illness. We add value to our friends, workplaces, families and communities.
The thing that makes the largest impact on our recovery is not medication or therapy but actually connection to other people. In other words hope and 'love'. If we are loved or cared about by someone/people and feel valued we make much better recoveries. 'Othering' us only makes that harder. We are you, you are us.
Hope this doesnt feel like a telling off. I do appreciate what you are trying to do here and there is some very good stuff but you may want to get a service user leader or group to look at it and fix some of the language and concepts perhaps.
Best wishes for this great project

Nice work. I bet my 50 psych major friends from college would be all over this book.
And since you asked, I'd change "perceptions" on pp. 65/2 to "perception" and "interaction" to "interactions" (or the subsequent "is" to "are") on pp. 71/8

I hate the internet shorthand term of "this," so instead I'll just say that I agree with these pages, and you've spoken the truth beautifully. You honestly had me at "most crimes are committed by the sane." YES. YES. YES! And our disgusting psychophobic society forgets this!

I had been planning to write a graphic book/comic book about how utterly hilarious it can be looking after someone with a mental illness - with someone who leaps naked into fountains, declares he is Jesus, and thinks the mental hospital ward is inhabited by retired porn stars...but I wasn't sure how it would be received. sometimes deluded deranged people find it funny too afterwards, but sometimes they get a bit cross when I have hysterical laughing fits at their mad thoughts, so maybe it isn't a good idea...my boyfriend called me last night for directions to Buckingham Palace because he thought my dog was a corgi stolen from the queen, and wanted to return it personally. I think it's funny today, but I was very upset last night worrying about my dog getting dragged to Buckingham Palace and arrested...

If you wish to cure schizophrenia you must stop depending on advancements in science and start focusing on becoming aware (meditating).

Divided consciousness is ignorance. This goes for ordinary self-view that the vast majority of humans possess, as well. Everything that arises is your very own self. That includes everything received through the six sense bases.

When you hear a scary voice, it is in fact that sound hearing itself but thinking that it is a human hearing the sound.

You are the sound hearing itself. You think you are a human and not a sound (due to past karma), so you create an imaginary separation in consciousness between yourself and, well, yourself.

This is why the sound can hear itself and get scared. It is ignorant of what it is (a sound) and thinks it is a human.

Wisdom combined with concentration is the only way to dispel ignorance. Until ignorance is dispelled there will always be suffering (conditioned existence).

Feel free to reach me at sam@xofz.com if you wish to learn more.

Thank you so much for this. I have a good friend, and although she has multiple personality disorder and not schizophrenia, it still hurts when people make horrible comments about her. Hopefully your book will change a lot of people's views on these kind of illnesses!

I was just linked to this, and I haven't stopped crying since I read it. Seeing this level of understanding in print - it's overwhelming. I wish you all the success in the world. We need you.

- madeline

That was excellent, thanks for posting.

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Fantastic read. Informative and not patronising to the non-schizophrenics out here. Tempted to do similar for Depression and Anxiety. Do you know of many other illustrative books like your own? or blogs which cover those areas so I can be aware of what's been done?


Thanks for your kind words. Here's a link to a website dedicated to medical themed cartoon works. Go Look At The Details Here.