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To not want to keep my schizophrenia a secret

(50 Posts)
NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 14:54:45

I was recently diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, which they thought was bipolar at first. Anyway, I'm feeling bummed out as it still causes me considerable problems despite the medication and I don't feel like I can be open about it.

It's a very stigmatised condition and most people don't understand what Schizophrenia is. I want to be able to be open about why I have problems with certain things that other people take for granted, but I fear being shunned by people. It's very isolating.

I'm not crazy or dangerous, far from it. I also don't have a split personality. The few people that know about it have advised me to keep it secret and tell people I have bipolar if I need to disclose that I have a mental illness, but why the fuck should I?

Part of me wants to advocate for this illness and be open about it. AIBU for considering not keeping this a secret and to be honest about my disability?

NewtScamandersNaughtyNiffler Mon 16-Oct-17 14:56:07

Yanbu at all. I work with adults with schizophrenia and hope that one day it becomes as destigmatized as depression.

Strugglinglately Mon 16-Oct-17 14:58:11

I felt like this when I was first diagnosed as bipolar. I felt so ashamed at first but now I am more open about it. I've especially been open about it at work due to the environment I work with. Thankfully people have been supportive.

chitofftheshovel Mon 16-Oct-17 14:59:02

Yanbu at all. I would highly respect anyone who was open about their disability, be it physical or mental health. Best of luck with everything.

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 14:59:43

NewtScamanders, thanks. I wish it was viewed more like depression. Bipolar has become destigmatised thanks to the likes of Stephen Fry and I wish that I had something more socially acceptable!

Ellendegeneres Mon 16-Oct-17 15:00:01

I feel the same with my bipolar. When I'm manic, people love me. I'm fun Ellen. When I'm low I guess they blame bad night with baby. But sometimes I really feel like saying no, I suffer with bipolar, it's not just I'm feeling moody, I'm a danger to myself. But I'm so private I never would. People think I'm an open book, if only they knew!

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 15:00:49

Strugglinglately, sorry you felt like that. I'm glad you got over it!

TitaniasCloset Mon 16-Oct-17 15:05:19

I felt very ashamed and stigmatised at first after my diagnosis. Now I talk publicly about my mental health issues. I realised if someone has a problem it's their issue not mine. I dint ask for this illness. I do a YouTube channel on mental health now.

Ilovevegas Mon 16-Oct-17 15:05:26

YANBU. Why should you keep it a secret? There is a stigma attached to it, by people that are ignorant & uneducated.

My nan had paranoid schizophrenia, was (passed away in February) the kindest, loveliest person you could ever meet. I was so protective of her, largely down to the horrid attitude of others. The insinuation that people suffering from paranoid schizophrenia are 'not normal' 'dangerous' 'crazy' makes me so angry.

There are different variations of this illness which people seem ignorant too. With the correct support & medication people with schizophrenia can live a happy & full life.

Well done OP for being an advocate for this mental health problem flowers never be ashamed of who you are flowers

UnderTheDesk Mon 16-Oct-17 15:06:26

YADNBU! My brother suffers from PS, but he's in denial, and wouldn't dream of telling anyone or asking fpr help.

It would be so much easier if more people were open about their mental illness (I suffer from depression myself), and make it easier to help them. I totally understand why people aren't though.

I would definitely cheer you on for advocating for PS. More people need to feel the way you do.

KoalaD Mon 16-Oct-17 15:08:32

YANBU at all.

I would love it if there was more openness about mental illness in general. The amount of secrecy, misinformation and stigma in 2017 is appalling.

We should be able to talk about it in the same way we talk about arthritis or epilepsy or diabetes.

IHopeYourCakeIsShit Mon 16-Oct-17 15:09:07

Yanbu at all.
I can understand why you would want to speak.
I know very little about schizophrenia, but you are right about the assocation with split personality for example, I think many people link it with danger and complete 'craziness'
I really wish you well.

Grumpyteens Mon 16-Oct-17 15:09:42

I wish and hope that all mental illness will eventually become destigmatised

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 15:11:02

I'm more of a danger to myself than others when I'm ill!

Bombardier25966 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:23:24

Bipolar is still very much stigmatised. All mental illness is seen as a sign of weakness, rather than recognising you've had to show more strength than others will ever know.

You're not being unreasonable at all, but be aware that people will treat you differently, even if they don't mean to. Google makes everyone a psychoanalyst and they'll all be trying to analyse what you do. Their problem, not yours, but bloody annoying!

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 15:26:17

Bipolar is still very much stigmatised Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone with bipolar. it's just that I know a couple of people who have it who are very open about it and nobody seems to judge them for it. They are both really lovely people, which probably helps.

Sallystyle Mon 16-Oct-17 15:28:01

YANBU. I work with adults who have schizophrenia. My husband also has it. He was diagnosed with it years ago and then they changed it to bipolar for various reasons. It became obvious that he didn't have bipolar when he was getting no mania and has only very recently got his diagnosis of schizophrenia back.

I have found that whilst my husband has always been very open about his symptoms he is struggling to tell people he has schizophrenia. He did not feel that way when he had a diagnosis of bipolar. All mental health issues have a stigma attached to them but from my personal experiences there seems to be more stigma involved around schizophrenia than other MH illnesses.

Far too many people think people with schizophrenia have a 'split personality' or they are going to become aggressive. There should not be so much ignorance around in this day and age. It is disgraceful.

It does break my heart that anyone could make negative assumptions about my husband or the people I support or anyone else who has it.

fantasmasgoria1 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:28:15

Why should you keep it a secret! It gets me in this day and age that there is such a stigma around it! It’s nothing to be ashamed of at all!!

Sallystyle Mon 16-Oct-17 15:32:05

Bipolar is still very much stigmatised

Yes, it absolutely is. I too hope I didn't offend anyone with my comments. thanks

DixieFlatline Mon 16-Oct-17 15:33:39

Can I ask how your schizophrenia manifests, OP? Just out of curiosity - and you can of course decide not to say. I just find it fascinating. smile

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 15:43:59

Can I ask how your schizophrenia manifests, OP?

I became completely withdrawn and reclusive because I believed that the government was conducting an experiment on me and targeting me with microwave weapons which were slowly cooking my internal organs.

I believed I had an implanted microchip which allowed them to place thoughts in my mind and to read my mind.

I also get messages from the TV which would be hard to explain to someone who hasn't had a similar experience. Also, intense paranoia. Fortunately, medication really helps with all of this!

Right now I struggle with being unable to enjoy anything, flattened emotions, low energy, lack of motivation and a complete lack of desire to interact with anyone. Also, poor concentration and difficulty focussing on anything. these are less well known symptoms.

Pretty standard stuff and I'm on the milder and of the scale. However, if you met me you probably wouldn't notice anything wrong with me.

Sallystyle Mon 16-Oct-17 15:47:50

I should also add that it breaks my heart that people make assumptions about anyone who has a mental health illness.

My friend who is going through her first experience of depression was recently told that she just needed to get herself up and about and the message was very much that she just needed to snap out of it. Very helpful!

NightTerrier Mon 16-Oct-17 15:50:02

My friend who is going through her first experience of depression was recently told that she just needed to get herself up and about

Not very helpful when someone has clinical depression. hmm

Sallystyle Mon 16-Oct-17 15:52:18

No it isn't. But then I could write a book about the shit doctors and unhelpful advice they have given my husband throughout the years.

Aridane Mon 16-Oct-17 15:52:46

YANBU - but equally I hope you won't think I'm being unreasonable for wanting to keep my (stigmatised) mental health condition private, especially at work. I do not want to be defined by my mental health

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