By Taylor Transtrum & Laurie Engel
People living with schizophrenia face stigma, prejudice and discrimination and have unjustified assumptions placed on them by others. While this can be an incredibly complex and painful disorder, it is also one filled with humor, creativity, strength and hope. Schizophrenia can happen to anyone, from your next door neighbor to Nobel Prize winners, celebrities, prominent writers, artists and some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Living with and navigating schizophrenia can be filled with pain and fear, but people with schizophrenia can also live fulfilling, beautiful, loving, joyful and impactful lives.
Rather than stigmatizing schizophrenia, we should learn more about the disorder, the immense strength and courage that those with schizophrenia have, and how we can support them.
The following quotes give insight into experiences, creativity and courage of those living with schizophrenia.
“Living with schizophrenia requires immense courage and resilience, as we navigate a world that may not always understand or accept us. But let us remember that our experiences and perspectives are valid, and that our journey has the potential to inspire and empower others.”
― Dr. Rameez Shaikh
“I needed to put two critical ideas together: that I could both be mentally ill and lead a rich and satisfying life.” — Elyn R. Saks, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness
“There are a number of things that family and friends can do to help a person with schizophrenia. One of the simplest and most effective is to create a positive environment around the person.” – Milt Greek, mental health advocate and author of Schizophrenia: A Blueprint for Recovery
“As well as being one of the worst things that can happen to a human being, schizophrenia can also be one of the richest learning and humanizing experiences life offers.” — Mark Vonnegut
“I have schizophrenia. I am not schizophrenia. I am not my mental illness. My illness is a part of me.” — Jonathan Harnisch
“I say, ‘We shall overcome.’ I use that all the time. We shall overcome all of the bad notions people have, the preconceived notions.” — Brian Wilson, interview with Ability Magazine
“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is the battle.” – Julian Seifter, youthdynamics.org
“I have schizophrenia. My eyes do see. My ears do hear. I am still me, so let’s be clear. My memory may fade, my walk may slow, but I am me inside. Don’t let me go.” – Unknown, youthdynamics.org
“I am not strong all the time and you do not have to be strong all the time. There are days when I wonder where my strength has gone. What I know is that I have strength and so do you. There are times in my life when I have felt weak or may have felt weak, and in those times, I felt strong in my weakness, if that makes any sense. I believe we are built with strength, resilience, and the ability to handle anything this world gives us. We are made to weather the storm even when we think we are not made to.”— Samantha Mercanti, author of Embracing Schizophrenia
You deserve love & support. If you are living with schizophrenia or know someone with schizophrenia, treatment and support is available. Since schizophrenia is a chronic illness, treatment should be ongoing and long-term to manage and reduce schizophrenic episodes.
At Valera Health, we specialize in telemental health services for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia, using a collaborative care approach to treatment. To schedule a free consultation with a Health Connector, click here or call 646-450-7748.