Schizophrenia.com

To Be Honest or To Be Accepted - a life choice


#1

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum but have been on different schizophrenia forums before if anybody recognizes my user name. I apologize in advance for the verbal soup I am about to spew forth.
I work in a place where I have to do a lot of customer service, verbal cues recognized, kind-of have to act normal all the time even though its a desk job. Now as a diagnosed schizophrenic it feels like a LIE every day to go through this routine. It’s excruciatingly hard to type out even simple e-mails because of the symptoms getting in the way. I am going back on medication today because its just so hard.

Now with this out of the way here is my question: how do you tackle being a normal person in this world where you are not the same? Do you guys have similar experiences of ‘trying to fit in’ to reality so hard that it’s basically your Job to be ‘normal’ instead of doing whatever work you have?
Also - who can you tell about the diagnosis? Obviously close people like family and significant other, but I see many recovered and recovering people actually TELLING other people ‘Please excuse my actions / what I say for I am suffering with schizophrenia’ in day-to-day life. Now that is BRAVE I think, I really really wish I could just put it in conversation to make things easier but the stigma is the worst.

The thing about mental illness is now everyone is accepting of depression and anxiety as legitimate reasons for why a human is having a hard time. You can say you CAN’T do something because of depression/anxiety and the person will (likely) sympathize but the only reason we can do that now is because so many people stood up and said ‘HEY! THIS IS A REAL THING THAT HAPPENS TO REAL PEOPLE!’ and it’s accepted now. I guess that makes me think that I SHOULD be open about schizophrenia because more people will be exposed to it and will understand better about it. But at the same time opening up to them about something like that makes them ‘scared’ of you going ‘crazy’.

Anyways, if anyone had any input on this I’d love to hear it and that’s all I can really ask for. Hope you are all having happy holidays despite this cold and I wish you all well!

Ash


#2

Very well written. My son has schizophrenia. For me there is no shame in this diagnoses however I can not speak for my son on his feelings regarding this as he is only just gaining some insight into accepting that he has it. If the choice was completely up to me I would possibly have shirts made up stating how proud I am of my schizophrenic son with menopausal mom written on the back :smile: . I have sometimes asked myself the same thing that you are asking. Can we stop stigma if those suffering do not stand up and say Hey…? I’m very hopeful that yes we can. Too many of our young are dealing with mental health issues and I don’t think the world can continue to ignore it.


#3

I’ve been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia for almost 8 years. And I just really “came out,” so to speak, a few weeks ago. Of course, all of my close friends already knew. But I have a lot of acquaintances who had no idea.

So I basically wrote out my story, and all the symptoms I suffer with, and sent it to everyone.

I received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from almost everyone. In a lot of ways, it brought us all closer. And I have a HUGE sense of relief that I don’t have to hide anymore or try to be “normal.”

That was my experience with telling people. I’m so glad I did it now.

I hope this helps you!

Blessings,

Anthony


#4

That took a lot of courage Anthony. :thumbsup:


#5

Thank you so much :slight_smile: It was totally worth it!


#6

I am a very strange fish I know and I’ve always just come out with it. I used to just introduce myself as SZ right off the bat. It has been pointed out that I was doing this as a way to scare people away. Maybe for a while I was.
When my family decides to match make I do introduce myself as “Hi, I’m an under employed gardener who lives with his sister and has SZ. By the way my name is James.” I figure if I can scare them away in the beginning then I don’t have to get attached to them and have them run away later. I tried to scare off my new neighbour by introducing myself as SZ right off the bat. She had a beloved Uncle who was SZ and she wasn’t afraid of me all
But lately when I tell people I’m SZ I nearly always hear someone say back that they are PTSD, or Bipolar or ADHD. Mental Illness is finally getting some education. It’s not all roses, but I feel that some of the stigma is fading.
My boss knows and has been very cool with me about it. It’s made my working life a lot easier when life gets complicated.
For a long time I though people were leaving my life due to my SZ, but it has come to my attention (now that I’ve been sober for 4 years) that I lost friends due to being an abusive jerk when I’m drunk. Now that I’ve given up drugs and alcohol, friends are coming back.


#7

I am so glad your starting to let people know about this part of your life and your getting a good supportive response back.

I am so glad to read that your still getting out and walking and seeing people. :smiley:

This news makes me smile as well.


#8

Thanks, J! It was a huge weight off my shoulders. Now all I have to worry about is being myself.

I have to credit this support forum and it’s awesome members for giving me the courage and strength to be open about my illness. Talking with all of you has made me more comfortable with myself and my illness. And less sensitive to what other people think about the illness.

Thanks again!

Anthony


#9

I had to quit working normal jobs and found a more hands on less people interaction, and only part time. I’ve had to accept that I can’t ‘normally’ work a ‘normal’ job because of sz. I do find splice in my writing and finding my own truths inside my reality. Playing with it can be very interesting and at times, fun. At other times, that can be my job, just keeping this reality the way I perceive it going the way it needs to go so I can be around people and not have an episode. Maintaining and upkeeping the universe so I can function! That’s a big job! And for me, very important to do before I can even consider social functions etc.


#10

I actually don’t come out. I think i would to more people but my family is kind of against it. I think sometimes they have more shame about it than i do.

I thinking about saying that i am bipolar though. Its’ more socially acceptable to me and also it would prevent a lot of paranoia that telling people i’m schizohphrenic would create.


#11

I know deep in my heart that my kid sis isn’t ashamed of me or my SZ, but she’s is so afraid of embarrassing me that it’s amazing too see what she will go through when people as her, “what is up with your brother?”
It’s amazing to see her say so much, so vaguely.