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i have a couple of friends who are schizophrenic who don't believe it. they are clear cases of textbook schizophrenia and still believe they are depressed or whatever.

why does this illness have to carry such a stigma in our culture that no one can believe they have it? even bipolar disorder- people look at me like i'm from mars when i tell them i'm bipolar, and then assume i'm going to go on a killing rampage. i assume the same discriminatory ideas are in place for schizophrenics.

maybe one day people will understand it is a neurological problem and not a personality defect, and it will be easier for schizophrenic people to accept their DX.

loon

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I'm not sure that my problem is stigma. It might be, I have no idea. Jesus, I can't even tell

It probably is.

That really sucks.

Though I thought it was more maybe to do with believing all these years I was near-perfect, indestructible and would never have anything wrong with me. What a warped view I had.

Is that you in your avatar? Whoever, is pretty.

Thanks for your reply

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Hello

When you were diagnosed, did you have a hard time accepting you were ill?

I've only recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia but it just doesn't feel right. I am reminded many time by my pdoc that I have the symptoms of schizophrenia but I still have problems with believing it. It feels like I'm trying to force myself into believing something that's not true and it's impossiblah.

It's also a bit of a pain taking the medication.

I really wish I knew why.

It would be nice to kmnow if I'm not alone out there with this. Did anybody, or are you still, experience problems with accepting your illness?

Are there any ways in which you can come to terms with it?

Thanks

Merryfolk, try and remember that schizophrenia is merely a label for a group of symptoms, or more accurately one of several distinctive groups of symptoms. Just as mental illness is a name for a group of illnesses.

The important thing is to get on the right medication, get educated through either therapy or books, and learn to feel better at least some of the time.

There is unfortunately a negative stigma associated with schizophrenia. 90% of people dont know what it is, and many are afraid of it as they dont understand it.

It can take a while to come to terms with a diagnosis and the required treatment. THis is perfectly normal. Take your time, educate yourself, and if you prefer, hold your cards close to your chest for now. No-one else needs to know in the short term, and when you are ready you will probably share with friends and family and in the process educate them. I still hear people refer to it as multiple personalities (shiver) which it sooo isnt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When you were diagnosed, did you have a hard time accepting you were ill?

My husband was told as a teenager he had bipolar disorder (or his mom was told and didn't really tell him...there is still debate on this). But it took about 20 years and 4 involuntary commitments for him to START to accept his diagnosis.

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I don't actually know what my diagnosis is. I had a major psychosis and was initially diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic. I was hospitalized six times before I finally agreed to take medication. I thought that all my delusions and hallucinations were real. After I started to take medication and began to heal it was a while before I came to terms with mental illness. Their is the personal acceptance of an illness and the societal acceptance of an illness. On a personal level realize that similar to what someone else said here the diagnosis is the grouping of symptoms. What is most important is that you get the symptoms treated. I don't care whether my Dr. calls what I have schizophrenia or not. I care that the Anti-psychotic I am on treats my symptoms as well as the anti-depressant. I care that she listens to me and helps me work through the healing process. The societal acceptance of the illness is an entirely different kettle of fish. Like someone here said, most people couldn't tell you what the symptoms of Schizophrenia or Bi-Polar are, or what it means to manage the symptoms. Best of wishes on your journey to get healthy, I have been mostly symptom free for over two years. I wish you the same or better.

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I'd have an easier time excepting my diagnosis (s) if the doctors would quit arguing about which ones I have ;) For me, at 46 years old, I'm just relieved that I'm not the only one going through all of this crap by myself. I have a hard time with some of the diagnosises because the docs spent so little time with me and WHAM I have a new and to my mind fairly random DX. I'm having a kind of hard time, kicking my feet and throwing a hissy fit all the way, with my internal personalities, voices, shards, whatever. But they aren't going away. I've always been weird, I guess as an abuse survivor who has a very full life of panic attacks, hallucinations random paranoias and such, I really should be wearing the title of MI as a badge of honour.

But no, it's not easy and it doesn't help with the bitterness either.

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  • 1 month later...

I keep vacillating between the diagnosis and and how there is no real way to truly know if you are schizophrenic. My daughter has been diagnoses as schizophrenic and all her pschologists say that she has'nt internilized what this really means. she takes her medications because she still remembers what she felt like when she was psychotic but doesn't want to come to terms with her disabilities. In some ways as her mother I understand that she is sick but that she will never be the same person that she once was is very difficult for me to handle so I try and do research for new meds or therapy because parts of me won't let me accept this as a life time diagnosis.

Just that you should know - in japan it is not called schizoprenia but rather Integration Disorder - which I find much easier to accept

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I think what has been useful for me in acceptance has been time. It has taken two years to get a correct diagnosis (I still have some doubt there) and schizophrenia was diagnosed for a while. I remember being terrified of that label. I have had schizophrenic friends that I dearly cared for and I don't think I was ever afraid of them or stigmatized them though. I found the more I read and interacted with MI people the more it became normal and hit home for me.

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Now that I'm doing better I can look back and think "wow I was one sick motherfucker!", I actually feel some sympathy for myself after all that I've been through.

Warning! Some major whining ahead! ;)

But I will never accept being labelled 'schizotypal', it's just a massive judgement on my character and I feel the doctors are way way way off the mark. I prefer Psychotic Disorder NOS and in many ways I think I would prefer to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia - at least then I would be recognized as being actually ill and not this intrinsically flawed human being - a social outcast and misfit - that the diagnosis of schizotypal confers upon me. I think it's even more stigmatizing (particularly in the medical profession) to have a personality disorder than schizophrenia. After all schizophrenics are sick and can't help what they go through, personality disordered people are just messed up individuals. Throughout my life and dealings with the psychiatric profession, I have just been made to feel like one giant pain in the ass who should just snap out of it.

Apologies if I have offended anyone

yours feeling tarred by the schizotypal brush

blackbird x

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Your post was interesting...dd was telling me that they were reviewing MI's in psychology last week and that her prof said schizophrenia was a "personality" disorder. Needless to say, I take exception to that. We talked about how some of the symptoms are "personality" related but that sterotyping is beyond words for me.

Warning! Some major whining ahead! ;)

But I will never accept being labelled 'schizotypal', it's just a massive judgement on my character and I feel the doctors are way way way off the mark. I prefer Psychotic Disorder NOS and in many ways I think I would prefer to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia - at least then I would be recognized as being actually ill and not this intrinsically flawed human being - a social outcast and misfit - that the diagnosis of schizotypal confers upon me. I think it's even more stigmatizing (particularly in the medical profession) to have a personality disorder than schizophrenia. After all schizophrenics are sick and can't help what they go through, personality disordered people are just messed up individuals. Throughout my life and dealings with the psychiatric profession, I have just been made to feel like one giant pain in the ass who should just snap out of it.

Apologies if I have offended anyone

yours feeling tarred by the schizotypal brush

blackbird x

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  • 1 month later...

Going to support groups and finding people I could relate to that had the same illness helped me accept the diagnosis.

I was originally diagnosed bipolar, but I couldn't find myself in the books I read. When they switched my diagnosis to sza it was sorta a relief because it fit my symptoms so much better.

I had to give up my preconceptions of mental illness. My brother was untreated sz and he was psychotic. It was hard for me to accept that I had the same thing he did, because I wasn't that bad (I probably have been, but the medications work to pull me out of psychosis).

I am much better than I was before I was diagnosed and on medication.

The thing is I can pass as being fine even when I'm delusional. It's hard to believe you're sick when everyone around thinks you're okay.

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I think that for me by the time they were ready to say the word schizophrenia/schizoaffective I so much knew there was something terribly wrong that I was ready to hear the word. I really already felt like i was losing my mind. I had lost jobs, my military career, friends, my sanity, my self esteem, etc. I was moody, depressed, paranoid, hearing voices, etc. I KNEW that there was something teribly wrong with me and I just wanted them to put a name to it so that they could treat it.

But I will say that being 19 and hearing the word Schizoaffective Disorder and hearing that explained to me as being Schizophrenia and Depression combined felt like a death sentence. I literally cried when they diagnosed me. And it wasnt' because I wasn't accepting it. It was just because I was scared that my life was over.

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I've never truly come to terms with it, to be completely honest. I don't suppose I ever will 100%. I've pretty much had problems since I can remember. What gets me is that I'll never be normal and I've just been getting worse, even with meds. Oh well, we deal with the hand we're dealt.

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