Socially Unacceptable Post 58: Societal Problem

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is not a death sentence. It is more of a suicide suggestion.

I remember when I first heard about schizophrenia in a modern context. I had heard of it in a vague historical sense. For instance, that many schizophrenics were burned at the stake because they were believed to be possessed by demons. And once I watched a video in high school that suggested Joan of Arc was an undiagnosed schizophrenic whose religious visions were no more than delusions. She, of course, was also burned.

Somehow my brain had relegated schizophrenia to the same category as smallpox and the bubonic plague. Something that was once a major problem, but is now a thing of the past.

Schizophrenia is not, in fact, a thing of the past. It is estimated that 1% of the population has some form of schizophrenia. That may not seem like a lot. One out of every hundred. But that’s at least 80,000 people on the planet. A decent number of schizophrenics are homeless or institutionalized. A tragic number of schizophrenics commit suicide, and most of them attempt suicide at least once.

Maybe it’s not as much of a societal problem due to affecting a small minority of the population. But that does not mean it is not a part of our modern reality.

Anyway, I was taught about schizophrenia in my education classes and psychology class. In the education classes, I was introduced to short videos of schizophrenics describing their lives. My first thought was holy shit, these are people just like me. I had a crisis.

It didn’t help that in my psychology class, our discussion of schizophrenia was prefaced by the assertion that schizophrenia was one of the worst things that could happen to a person.

At first, finding out there was a name for what I experienced was a relief. It meant I was not alone. It meant maybe, just maybe, there would be a way to fix this broken part of me, this mental illness that made my life a living hell.

So I opened my laptop and searched, Is there a cure for schizophrenia? Hope welled up inside me until I saw the damning words, there is no cure for schizophrenia.

Post 58 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

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