SZ: Our Role In Society

I’ve been thinking lately (uh oh, here we go :sweat_smile:):

What are our roles as psychosis experiencers in modern society?

On a micro-level we are brothers, daughters, parents, etc., but what kind of role do we play in society as a whole?

I would argue that mental illness is undoubtedly marginalized in society, and as a result, many of us are forced to either assimilate into mainstream roles or remain on the outskirts.

Is assimilation our only ticket to inclusion?

Or, by way of educating the public on our condition, can we not only live integrated lives, but also wear the badge of having experienced psychosis proudly?

Maybe my thoughts are scattered; I’ll admit, I have no one but you guys to really bounce these ideas off of at the moment… So maybe I’m just thinking out loud.

I guess my questions are:

How do you think society sees us?

How can we carve out a role for ourselves in society (if there’s even room)?


We just keep psychiatrists employed :frowning: That’s our role as a group.


Is it wrong I laughed? :sweat_smile:

But yea, we’re kinda cash cows for pdocs, @everhopeful.


I bloody hope not.

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But doesn’t it seem that way at the moment?

I strongly think that as the public learns more about psychotic conditions (like, the real stuff-- not the Joker-type theatrics), then perhaps there might be some understanding and mutual “okayness” about psychotic conditions.

Normalization by way of education is key, I think.


Last year I had an appointment with a therapist, and only in one session I understood how should we live to have more functional lives.

At the end of the session she explained to me that I have a chronic disease, as other people have it too, like diabetes for e.g. So we have our limitations and we must do stuff to have the most functional life possible with this disease.

Diabetes(type 1) have to work out every day and inject themselves with insulin to have a normal live, and we with sz/sza have to work out as well, sleep at least 8 hours and in normal night hours(not like from 2 am to 10 am) and avoid doing drugs. Obviously it’s easier said than done, but we can turn around our limitations just by being as healthy as we can.

So to answer your question, what’s our role in society? The same as everyone else, we have this disease and other people have other diseases, some are lucky and don’t have none.

So when we go to the doctor and share our successes and failures we are adding more data to fight this disease and improving other peoples lifes besides our own. As group with this disease I bet 50 years ago their life quality was way worst than ours, so sometimes I think we have some social responsibility for those who may have this disease in the future.


My first job post-psychosis (and last job to date), I was pretty open about my illness and got flack for it even though I was and am “high-functioning”.

At my next job, I plan to put up huge walls around myself, never revealing anything personal and only associating with my coworkers regarding work matters. They’ll see me as a heartless robot but that will be preferable to the previous stereotype assigned to me.


Oh for sure, @Lenny.

There’s a huge amount of social responsibility that comes with this illness. That’s why medication is so important-- we as patients are prime examples of how schizophrenics actually function, so basically following the “straight and narrow” is what’s best for us, given societal expectations and the loads of stigma placed upon us.


Yes, being in the work-place is extremely difficult, @antidepressant044.

Disclosure means a hell of a lot with us. Brave of you to speak up at your old job… One of those decisions we’ve got to gauge accordingly. Tough stuff for sure.

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The goal of every psychiatrist is to assimilate and make people function normally in society.

They police the patients so they are not a harm to themselves or others. It is as simple as that.

In general society sees us as madmen/women and as dangerous due to the szs that commit serious cases of violence as reported by the media.

Those szs who can pass off as eccentric may be able to get away with it and live a peaceful life, but they too will always be seen as outsiders by neurotypicals, and are they not?

An inclusive dream of unmedicated szs being part of the general society isn’t really viable due to the abnormality of their ideas and actions. Zombify them, take away their spark and make them passive with strong aps and then the psychiatrists deem you fit to live a small life on the outskirts of society for many; while a few can thrive on aps.

Just my two cents. :slight_smile:


It’s neither something to be ashamed of,or something to be proud of.


Well just like with Autism spectrum—masking what makes you uniquely you is setting a limit on what you can achieve…I think that people like me are great—maybe we’re on some kind of relative wavelength/channel. Since decreasing the medications I am finally feeling more myself again–less induced paranoid madness. But whatever. Micro-cosmic metempsychosis reality is GNOSIS–know less, then I guess—condemn us for being so breathless—exhaustive mental madness.

Sorry I turned my comment into a song. I’m bored. Someone else will have a more intelligent answer…

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My role is go to work, drive my car, take classes, and live mostly independently. I functioned in society many years. I’m 59. It’s only in the last three or four years that some cashier or fast food worker or occasionally someone at work who guesses something’s wrong with me. I like my position and rarely have the urge to come clean.


Our role is to scare the hell out of the middle class to keep working.


I haven’t been assimilated. I’m a participant who is well-treated.


Its a balance like with many things. We are considered abnormal, so others can be considered normal. You cant have one without the other.


I think the goal to every person that is not healthy is to make other people more compassionate.


There is this thing with some people with ASD that they are sought after to be employed checking code. Despite popular opinion, SZ have been demonstrated to outperform neurotypicals on some reasoning tasks. This could be an asset.


I think most people have no clue about sz/sza and psychosis, were just swept under the rug and never thought about unless some movie comes out with a “crazy” character like the joker. We carve our role in society by bringing awareness of actual mental health, not just too much screen time but really monitoring your mental health as much as physical health, imagine someone that’s like an athlete but with the mind. But as long as people don’t know and fear sz we will be shut out and scoffed at.


As far as the topic of this post, I’ve been doing a lot of studying on the work of a man named Jullian Jaynes.

There’s a concept known as “bicameralism” rooting from the terminology meaning “two chambers” meaning the right and left hemisphere. I won’t get too far into detail but the theory states that before humans have conscious thought the way we do now. Our brains were split and operated on a relatively simple instinct only basis. Now operating solely off instinct would be dangerous as society and language began to form. So over time the brain developed a way of communicating with itself that could help ensure the survival of the unit.

Jaynes estimates this communication from one side of the brain to the other was hallucination. Take for example the Greek story the Iliad. In the story the main character interacts with a pantheon of gods relating to certain situation. Much like in sz the same hallucinations dealing with the same issues. Some other examples occur throughout humanities history in many different cultures. All kinds of people claimed contact with gods and other beings containing greater knowledge then themselves. The argument is again, maybe it wasn’t gods at all. Just the right hemisphere sending messages in a way it thought it would be listened to. People who were sensitive to hearing these “gods” or quick to hallucinate had a survival advantage because they received frequent messages from the right hemisphere. Making them good leaders in a time where answers weren’t so clear. So the frequent hallucinators became Shamans and Priests, because they were more in touch than the rest of humanity.

From this, I draw the belief that Sz is a type of handed down trait that is simply out of date. Since it has a physical component, being brain architecture, it will take a long time to phase out.

As for our role, I believe it would be whatever you can make it, given the… Special nature of our reality. As for the role of our sz ancestors… I think it would be that. Early leadership positions.

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