Is schizophrenia the "romantic disease?" Do some people who don't have it consciously or unconsciously WANT to have it?

I have seen some people both online and offline who I am basing this off of. It seems to be mainly a thing with young teenagers or otherwise immature people, but I maintain that this DOES happen. I have seen people in real life and in forums, self-diagnose themselves with schizophrenia despite the fact that their symptoms could amount to anxiety/depression, sometimes even DESPITE a doctor telling them explicitly they don’t have schizophrenia. I think some people really do view it as a “romantic disease” a la tuberculosis in the 19th century. Even I will admit as someone who has been crippled by the schizophrenia diagnosis for the past 6 years, that there is something archetypal, alluring, interesting about the concept of madness to people, which is in somewhat of a dialectic with society’s profound stigmatization of it.

I had a friend/lover once who stuck around with me for about a year, in her words, because I was “fascinating” but had no problem blocking me when she got sick of the brutal reality of schizophrenia. I think in some sick way people truly are fascinated by us. Which is both pleasing, like okay, I am not worthless, but it is also really sick and annoying. Sometimes when people find out I am schizophrenic, they ask all sorts of stupid and offensive questions because they are interested. Both friends, acquaintances, AND mental health professionals.

Society has a very strange, problematic, and contradictory relationship with madness. I believe this is most evident with the occasional teenager online or IRL who self-diagnoses themselves with schizophrenia. You can also see it in pop culture, like movies, and also popular music (singing about “crazy” and the “voices in my head”). I mean, people say ■■■■ like “everybody’s a little crazy” and in today’s society, mental health problems are HUGE, but that leads to people mistaking their normal life pains for mental illness, which you can see on a lesser degree with young people claiming to have anxiety and depression without a diagnosis and without a loss in functioning.

One of my close friends, when we were younger, I really didn’t like him, because he would self-diagnose himself with a bunch of mental disorders like bipolar, OCD, et cetera. And I think it was because despite a pretty idyllic life (peaceful family, huge trust fund, utterly normal life despite him being an edgy metalhead Satanist to rebel against his parents) he still experienced pain LIKE WE ALL DO, and desperately wanted that validation. Which is normal.

And so, yeah, I REALLY DO THINK that some people WANT to pretend to have schizophrenia when they don’t really have it. I’ve seen it. When I was going to school at a mental institution, there was a borderline girl who pretended to have schizophrenia. I actually believed her until it became apparent that her doctors disagreed with her and never diagnosed her with that, and that she was actually borderline. She bragged about being “schizoprenic” too. Always “haha my schizo ass” and stuff like that. She also made up lies about stuff. Said that the kid who was severely developmentally disabled was schizophrenic, and that she had heard the doctors discussing it, which is such bs. The kid was obviously developmentally disabled and hadn’t just “lost his mind” like she said, and there is NO WAY doctors would be discussing a diagnosis with her in earshot. Also pretended to suddenly remember a repressed memory of grave sexual assault in the middle of class… She was in other ways super manipulative. And you better believe I called her on her bs after I figured stuff out.

I really do think that people who self-diagnose most likely don’t actually have it, but that somehow they actually WANT it, and I would even go so far as to say there are sometimes cases of Munchausen by Internet on different forums… Maybe I’m just paranoid.

What do you guys think? And remember guys, it is NEVER okay to accuse someone of “faking” here. That is HUGELY invalidating and honestly should result in a temporary ban. Even if you suspect anything, you cannot take that risk with someone who is most likely actually schizophrenic.


I dont know.

Im still not sure whether i myself am truly sz, or just have recurrent psychosis, but i have just seen romanticizing amongst people who have genuinely been psychotic (including me in my more delusional moods). Visited a conference once where they were discribing the spiritual nature of psychosis and talking so positively, while denying the destructive side, that i stood up and left the conference.

I havent met people who self-diagnosed with sz. In non-sz i mostly meet total ignorance. For example failure to grasp that it is not some issue you can solve by trying harder. Some people tell me to overcome my delusional terror with “thinking good thoughts” and trying harder,

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I know someone who says its spritiual awakening and Im lucky person, he keeps saying im lucky idk why tf he thinks im so lucky he thinks I can manifest watevar I want that I have that ability :unamused: and can be cured it really bothers me when he goes on like that. it makes me feel very uncomfortable. Ive told him so but he just cant help himself.

I just want him to be more sympathetic toward my suffering.sigh. its not all that

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I know what you mean. I’ve often thought about this. If people knew the horror of it they wouldn’t romanticize it so. Even I, when not symptomatic, find myself thinking “well, it’s not that bad” but then I’ll flashback to an episode and I’ll think yeah it’s pretty bad.


Dont know about SZ, but isnt Erotomania a romantic disease?


Being a victim is the in thing right now. I’m also so old that I remember when being autistic wasn’t cool, you were just weird and annoying. (Well, I still am.)


Ive definitely found it comforting reading information on schizophrenia, especially that its “chronic & disabling”. This i used to tell myself so that I don’t have to be achieving lots of goals & be running at 100% or going to bed at a proper time. This ironically is against what my delusions & voice want me to be like.

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I didn’t read your post, but I read the headline. Maybe the younger kids or immature people do. But it’s a ■■■■■■■ prison sentence for me. It’s hell on wheels as they say! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Sometimes, I think the doctors are wrong. Was it aliens the whole time? I’m not sure. Could it be possible that I’m not really schizophrenic at all and something DID happen to me? Is it possible that I am both schizophrenic and that I experienced everything that I’ve said? I don’t know.

Believing somebody to be in love with you or you them, i have it consistently

Like those quites on Facebook walls saying “love yourself, you’re beautiful” tautologies

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Yeah, that. :slight_smile: 1515

I think that there is a circle or group of artistic minded people and celebrities that romanticize depression and bipolar, especially suicide as sick as this sounds.
But I don’t think they are in the majority.

Most people do not romanticize schizophrenia.
They fear it too much.

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I am sceptical of this also.

I didn’t even really know what Schizophrenia was until I was diagnosed with it. Even then it took me two years to come to enough to have proper insight into my condition, and that made me suicidal and I ended up back in hospital.

I don’t blame people for wanting to label themselves. There are a lot of people hurting who want answers. Naturally because it’s personal to them they must just assume the worst.

My take on it anyway


I think people want to be that “crazy” talented musician or actor as they become more unique and stand out by having a mental illness.

People are attracted to that " crazy genius "

I also think celebrities cant get enough fame, it almost becomes a struggle for them so they do anything to stand out and get more attention !!


I mean is there actually a bigger arswipe than Kanye West.

I’ve had both thoughts and voices saying that I’m faking it for attention, that I’m not really sick, I’m just a bored sociopath.

Sometimes I don’t know if I am or not, that plays tricks on me.

In a way life would be better if I’m faking it, it would truly be not real instead of this constant “what if”

When I boil it down it’s either two possible explanation I think, either I’m sick, or the voices are real. Both of those things frighten me


I’ve grown to like Kanye a lot.

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Really? What do you like about him?

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I see young people on reddit all the time saying they think they have schizophrenia when even doctors have told them they don’t. I don’t think they want to have schizophrenia as much as their anxiety about illness is pressing them to think they have it. A lot of people really don’t know as well that when one develops schizophrenia, they typically don’t have insight to it, so it’s not like you just decide one day that you are schizophrenic and you start meds, its more like a painful journey of others saving you that we all have experienced in our own awful ways. I think there is something interesting as us as people with madness, but I think people really only like to see it when we are stable. I told one of my friends who is very open to hearing about my psychosis that I had spent much time around her in psychosis, without her knowing. She said it didn’t matter to her, because she was never “scared.” I gave her a stern look, and she quickly corrected herself and apologized for saying that my diagnosis can make me scary. I think my friends find me talking about my delusions as almost a juicy gossip for them, whatever that means, but when I’m actually psychotic they don’t really like it much at all, as I don’t make much sense and jump to ridiculous conclusions.


Yeah /r/schizophrenia is what inspired me to make this post. I also feel you with regards to people only wanting to be “fascinated” with the madness when we’re stable.