I remember sitting in a Starbucks in Richmond, London and in walks a guy, obviously suffering for schizophrenia or a related disorder, he was talking to himself.
I saw many people be unnecessarily scared of him or snickering. He came in to buy a cup of coffee and sat by himself in a corner. The stares and snickers continued the entire time he was sitting there.
When I was kid, I would been scared of individual talking to himself, but as an adult I felt compassion for this person. I knew that besides what the media says most schizophrenics aren’t violent.
I was writing in a journal and the man was not far from me. I went on , paying no mind to the world around me. As I was leaving the stood up from my seat, I drop my pen and paper all on the ground. Grumbling I put down my coffee and look around , I couldn’t find my stuff. The man who everyone was snickering at was the only one who help me struggling. He handed me my stuff asked what I was doing. I told him journaling. He said that he used to love journaling and would like to do it again sometime. He went on to tell me a bit of his adventures then he want back into what I can only assume was speaking to a hallucination.
I thought, wow. Why are we so judgmental of people who different? Why do we portray Schizophrenia as crazy murderous individuals when that is only handful of cases like that. What was this man like before the illness?
If I was sick like this would my friends and friends who loved abandon me ? I would be heart broken, must people with schizophrenia understand when lucid they are sick. Imagine having your love one stop talking to you because of illness you develop, would you abandon someone with cancer or snicker at them. Then why do we do it now to the mentally ill?
My goal will be when I get into social work, how to get clients feeling like a better version of their old selves and incorporating skills to deal with their mental illness.
There so many misconceptions with mental illness, my wish is that this ends and especially with schizophrenia. I met so many people with this illness who are super smart and creative.
I will always remember the man from the Richmond , Starbucks. Where ever you are, I hope your well.