Mental Illness – Schizophrenia

I am not truly sure where this will go, but I have a reason for writing about Schizophrenia.

I had just been married, April 1983, we were heading to Ontario to my home area. We were going there because there were only three that could attend the wedding in Saskatchewan.

I was young and my knowledge about this mental illness could fill a thimble. Yes, I have seen movies and their portrayal of Schizophrenia.

My family in the east was in a crisis situation concerning an aunt of mine. She was showing symptoms of the mental illness. And they did not know how to deal with her. She was placed in a mental health ward and left there.

We arrived into Ontario and my first stop was at my grandmother’s house where we would stay. They filled me in on her situation. At that time the family had never dealt with anything when it concerned mental illness. They had spoke to the Pastor and he didn’t want to deal with it. {what I am about to write I don’t believe it is true} Some in the congregation thought it was “demons” , that is bull pucky pure and simple.

My aunt somehow found out that I was in the area and it wasn’t long before I would start receiving calls from the mental health ward. So, I would jump into my car and drive to Windsor, Ontario to see her. My first glimpse of her was shocking. Her voice was barely above a whisper and her movements seemed jilted.

I really didn’t know what to say or do, so I just went with my gut feelings. I saw that there was a pool table and there was another girl there sitting off in a corner by herself. I took my aunt over to the pool table and I asked the other girl if she would like to join us. She did just that, and we just would shoot the balls not really playing a game of pool. I began to speak to the other girl and I found out her name. I am not sure how long we spent at the table, but I needed to start heading back. Before I left a nurse took me aside and asked how I was able to get the girl to talk with me. I just told the nurse that I just treated her like a human being. That was my first visit, but it wouldn’t be the last and the phone calls were daily, sometimes several times a day.

So dear reader, I wrote the above incident because I would like to explore schizophrenia, the myths and the facts. Have you ever dealt with it? What are the myths that you have heard?

p.s. – Over the next few weeks I will explore the myths and then discuss the facts.

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