Schizophrenics Still Strive for Success and Satisfaction

I have Schizophrenia. You simply by virtue of statistics likely do not. This disorder effects a fraction of a percent of any given population. Capable, thorough Statisticians, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc have by careful study established a few dreadful things regarding the general population’s awareness and perceptions of people with my disorder. A.) Most people think Schizophrenia is Dissociative Identity Disorder. Which is more commonly known by an outdated, pejorative, Multiple Personality Disorder. Disassociative Identity Disorder is generally rooted in trauma rather than chemical imbalance. It is not yet very well understood. The only accepted consensus is that it’s caused by incredible trauma (ie. Physical or sexual abuse) that occurred during any given patients development. It also has an entirely different set of symptoms and treatment and exists within a wholly separate paradigm than Schizophrenia. However, well-educated, considerate people still buy bumper stickers and t-shirts with slogans such as, “I have Schizophrenia, and so do I” because that isn’t demeaning nor does it perpetuate ignorance. Also, two plus two equals infinity, homosexuality is a choice, and The Confederacy won the Cival War. That’s how profound an instance of ignorance this is.

B.) The overwhelming majority of people don’t believe people with Schizophrenics have the capacity to live independently and handle their various affairs (ie. Working, finances). This is a rather effective illustration of the unfortunate but fundamental human reality that we fear that which we do not understand. While, unfortunately there are a considerable number of chronically institutionalized, homeless, and or addicted Schizophrenics; there are just as many, if not more who are fully functional and do with their lives all the things anyone else would do in life. You see Schizophrenia is what’s known in Academic circles as a “disease” or ‘illness”. You likely are not familiar with these terms but essentially there are an endless number of circumstances and varieties of things that can negatively impact physical and mental health. Thankfully, for the entirety of human history countless brilliant people have worked to understand and resolve illnesses because as we now know they for the most part have a physiological basis and therefore for the most part can be cured or managed by drugs and various forms of Therapy.
Countless Schizophrenics have done amazing things. John Forbes Nash, an accomplished academic Mathematician won the Nobel Prize in Economics. U-god of The Wutang Clan is in fact U-god of The Wutang Clan. Dr. Elyn Saks, is a tenured, immensely accomplished professor of Law and Medicine at USC. A British fellow named Syd Barrett started a little band called “Pink Floyd” whom you’ve likely never heard of. Vincent Van Gogh a modestly skilled artist has been thought to suffer from Bipolar Schizo-affective disorder which is also my diagnosis. These are but a few of many examples, that with proper treatment we are no less capable or deserving of dignity than cognitively normal people.

What people forget or dismiss about the mentally ill is that we are still people. We are not lepers. We just happened to be born with a certain abnormal brain Chemistry. C.) People believe Schizophrenics to be by nature violent because news media sensationalizes extremely rare, isolated incidences. In reality we are actually far more likely to be victim to violence for being mentally ill then we are to perpetrate violence ourselves. I very much doubt anyone would physically assault you for having some form of Cancer or Lupus; but we, the mentally ill are seldom afforded the luxury of sympathy and understanding in regards to our illness.

Also, there is an immensely well researched and documented correlation between Schizophrenic and/or Bipolar illnesses and both genius and creative capacity and talent. Were it not for that you would likely be binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix or actually doing your job at your job rather than reading this. You can thank my massive excess of dopamine for not watching a mediocre medical drama or being immersed in the drudgery of your job. Dopamine is in terms of human survival and pleasure the most critical neurotransmitter. Say for instance, you’re Brendan Fraser’s character in Encino Man previous to having been frozen, and you decide to venture away from the security of your cave to hunt and/or gather; if during that process you successfully elude a Dinosaur hoping to eat you, your brain would release some Dopamine. This would make you feel good and in doing so promote the pattern of not being eaten by a god damn Dinosaur. In more modern terms, let’s say you’re a student in a course which you may find difficult or simply outside of your areas of interest, and you have a midterm coming up. If you’re actually studious you will put considerable effort into learning and understanding the material, and as a result you will hopefully do to that test what Comets do to whatever they land on (ie. Crush it). Your brain will reward you with some Dopamine. You will consequently feel wonderful and likely maintain such terrific study habits.

Conversely, all ANY drug does is alter your brain’s behavior in regards to neurotransmitters also including serotonin, Nor-epinephrine , and various others. As simply and accurately as I can put it all any drug taken recreationally does is flood your brain with naturally occurring chemicals Well, my brain has a naturally occurring imbalance of nuerotransmitters (primarily a massive excess of Dopamine) which causes Hallucinations, Delusions, and Disorganized Thinking amongst other things. It can also fill me with immeasurable joy or despair due to the Bipolarity of my Schizophrenia. However, I’ve had over 10 years of therapy and have perfected my Medication Regimen; that being so, it is for the most part a non-issue. I’m just a dude, like you or anyone else. Everybody has their issues with which they struggle, and this just so happens to be one of mine.