April 21, 2010

I received an email from a reader whose comments I wanted to share with everyone. Rebecca writes:
I want you to know that stating "schizophrenia is not a disease" is not only counter-productive to schizophrenics, but it's just plain mis-informed. By being able to have doctors recognize and offer specific treatments because I have a disease has let me know nothing is actually wrong with me, there's just something a little off with my brain. By calling it a "disease" I acknowledge it's treatable, it's not freakish, and other people have it too. I acknowledge any thoughts of blame I put on myself about bringing this onto myself or deserving it, can be released.
She also writes:
It hurts when I see people who think it's just "a state of mind." It's not just a state of mind. It is the only state of mind possible. It's not just feeling like getting up and going on a trip and having a carefree "state of mind." I cannot chose it and by saying it is a state of mind, that implies I can."
I want to make it clear that I don't think schizophrenia is a state of mind that people can choose to have or not have. They can choose to take medication and receive therapy in order to cope with undesirable manifestations of schizophrenia, and honestly, I don't see anything wrong with that. I object to the idea of calling alternative mental conditions "diseases". Autism is another example, besides schizophrenia. I think there are benefits to autism, just as there are to schizophrenia, which people doggedly fail to recognize due to clinging to a fear of disease.

Schizophrenia is a condition, and yes, a state of mind. Sometimes there are physical components involved, but not always. When it causes a lot of suffering for an individual, the individual is right to seek treatment. Hope that clears up any misunderstanding, Rebecca. Thanks everyone for your comments and messages.

Susan L Whigham

October 7, 2010

Wanted to share this thoughtful message from a reader:
Ms. Whigham

Thank you very much for writing the piece entitled The Schizophrenia Myth. I have been searching for tangible ways to express my thought processes to others and have not been able to do so. I will be using some of your points in future explanations and appreciate the simple and straightforward manner in which you display your findings as simplicity is key when trying to explain something as complex as schizophrenia.

Best wishes,

December 4, 2010

I received a very thought-provoking email from a reader named Sam, who inspired me to make a number of revisions to the site. I'll refrain from citing his questions, or my answers, since all of the questions he posed to me have been answered directly on the site, and it would be redundant. For the sake of acknowledgement, though, thanks Sam for your many questions. I think you'll find my explanation of delusions is a little more concise as a result. He also pointed out that command hallucinations are not always thought to come from God, a point I had failed to acknowledge on previous versions of the site.

Thanks again Sam. More questions and feedback are welcome, from everyone.


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