Due to wrongful media portrayals, schizophrenia patients are often perceived as unseen monsters that are safely locked away in militarized institutions. As long as we don’t have to see them, we don’t have to deal with them, right? This manner of thinking couldn’t be more damaging. The reality is, mental illness can affect anyone.
Talking about it is such a relief, although it has taken me two decades to realise it. My story started when I was a child. Witnessing my incredible Mother experience two horrific mental breakdowns really affected me more than I could ever recognise being so young. I couldn't understand why she would be in tears on a daily basis, and shielded from us by my Father as she just couldn't cope with life itself. It wasn't until my own breakdown recently that it suddenly dawned on me just how dreadful coping can be during these times.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to write this blog post for Time to Change. Sadly, I am qualified by experience in relation to mental health issues having lost my brother to suicide and having suffered from varying levels of depression and anxiety intermittently throughout my adult life.