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Chess-loving atheist. Mental health writer and poet. I like The Beatles, gothic rock and metal. Living with chronic delusional disorder. ...

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"Schizophrenia is not an illness"

 

 

I can already gather a collection of stories how friends, relatives and others say to me "schizophrenia is not an illness". I thought at first having an illness and disability automatically means that people perceive I'm different. But no. Imagine my relatives and friends pathetically screaming "schizophrenia is not an illness! It's your imagination! You can do anything and get anywhere!" They think I'm lazy, stupid, pretending to be sick, not having enough strength of will etc. Some of them even have medical education. I think it's comfortable for them to think as they do. Some think a schizophrenic must be a genius. I believe they should understand I'm trying to do best that I can, not to reproach me for lack of abilities. But they treat me just like they treat normals, without any considerations that I don't meet the criteria of a normal person at all. My relatives and my healthy friends expect too much from me. I'm used to their pressure that I must get healthy the sooner the better. They don't see I haven't ever been normal. I've been different since childhood. But they hardly noticed me when I was "healthy", now they only want me to fit in and not to bother them. This life is for healthy people. And you realize it when recovery is perceived as some “victory”. Hey, recovery is not a business achievement! Some people recover, and some might even get worse! It’s an individual process of healing that may take about ten years or more.Being "healthy" in our society seems to mean only to be able to work fulltime. They don't care for cognitive impairment. They only expect me to continue to earn my living somehow and appear normal. They don't care what's going on in my head. I got more frail as I got sick, but it's not written on my face. But they devalue my feelings just as they devalue the simole fact of my illness. If illness "doesn't exist", how can I be having mental problems: problems with communication and bad memory, excessive emotions, suicidal thoughts, paranoia and voices? No, it all JUST DOESN'T EXIST! And normals treat me as if I'm a healthier and stronger person than them, which is not true. They think they behave nice just not thinking about my illness and not noticing it, but they do harm easily, as I'm not stronger than them, just on the contrary. And I don't see any way to "prove" seemingly normal people that I'm not like them, as I don't have a visible wound in my head.

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