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.

A Re-Blo“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King — It’s All in Your Head

So, a friend was talking to me about one of their family members who has been formally diagnosed with bipolar but refuses to get help with it even though they are having trouble functioning in their day-to-day life. When I asked my friend: “What all is family doing for him?” their response was this: “Most […]

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King — It’s All in Your Head

A Slow Decline

I met her shortly after becoming acquainted with my best friend. It was his mother, Lillian. She was a vibrant woman in her eighties who loved doing crossword puzzles, baking, and enjoyed a good laugh.

Every Christmas Eve I would have her and my best friend over for a small meal. I would sit and visit with them. One time my best friend was looking through some pictures of Lillian and myself when he noticed that in every picture his mother had a smile and others you could tell she was laughing.

I am not sure when things really began to change, but, I feel it was when she started losing her sight because of macular degeneration. She no longer could do her crosswords, bake, or even watch her favorite soap opera.

The time soon came that Lillian could no longer live on her own. The family had to place her in a long term care home. She really didn’t like it, of course I feel most don’t, but there were signs that something more was happening in Lilliam. She didn’t have the zip in her talk and she was having trouble recognizing people. I wasn’t long when she did not know her son, but, when I would go to see her, I would say, “hi mum”, she knew who I was.

There were days when after visiting Lillian that my best friend would come over and cry. His mother in her good days would never use expletives, but the Lillian in the care home would curse at the nurses, at her son. One time she bit a nurse who was trying to help her.

Dementia is a mental illness that many have never had to experience with, especially with someone they love. It seems that hollywood has no qualms about making fun of it, there is nothing funny about the disease. It slowly robs a person’s ability to be themselves, in their place it leaves a person hardly recognizable.

So dear reader, I hope that I am alive when they find an answer that can bring about some type of a cure for the mental illness.

Myths About Mental Illness

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” Glenn Close

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association they list ten common myths. I am going to some posts about each of those myths.

Here is the list:

Myth # 1 – Mental illnesses aren’t real illnesses

Myth # 2 – Mental Illnesses will never affect me.

Myth # 3 – Mental Illnesses are just excuses for poor behaviour.

Myth # 4 – Bad parenting causes mental illnesses.

Myth # 5 – People with mental illnesses are violent and dangerous.

Myth # 6 – People don’t recover from mental illnesses.

Myth # 7 – People who experience mental illnesses are weak and can’t handle stress.

Myth # 8 – People who experience mental illnesses can’t work.

Myth # 9 – Kids can’t have a mental illness like depression. Those are adult problems.

Myth # 10 – Everyone gets depressed as they grow older. It’s just part of the aging process.

Over the course of looking into the facts about each and every myth let’s have a conversation about mental illnesses and the myths that are floating around the subject.

So dear reader along with this series I am still looking into the Suicide Myths. I hope you will join the conversation!

A Re-Blog: Mental Illness in the Third World – More Refutation of Anti-Psychiatry — Mind You

The images in this post will shock you! I couldn’t believe the horrific way people with mental illness were treated!

By Marvin Ross A recent BBC report describes the horrific conditions for those living with serious mental illness in Nigeria. The article begins with “Some adults, said to be mentally ill, were found with iron chains around their ankles, and forced to eat, sleep and defecate within the same confined place. In one case, a […]

Mental Illness in the Third World – More Refutation of Anti-Psychiatry — Mind You

A Re-Blog: Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

What is it like to live with OCD in times of a pandemic? Well, every person has their own answer to this question and I think it is time to share mine. The other day, I was reading through articles about OCD in the age of COVID-19 and one thing I noticed was that the […]

Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

A Re-blog: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020 — My Brain’s Not Broken

*** I have tried several times to write a post about the subject of “suicide” but I deleted them because of the affects it was doing to my mental health. Below is an excellent article, timely, and informative.***

Suicide is a public health issue, and we’re here to talk about education, prevention and resources.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020 — My Brain’s Not Broken

A Reblog: Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

Did you know that gay and bisexual man are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population? Or that LGBT+ are one and a half times more likely to develop depression and anxiety than heterosexuals? June is Pride Month and I think this is the perfect time to talk about […]

via Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

A Reblog: Some Surprising Mental Illness Statistics — Mental Health @ Home

While I know that people tend to be somewhat skeptical of statistics, I thought it would still be interesting to explore some of the stats that are out there related to mental illness. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) These figures come from CAMH in Toronto, Canada, on their Facts and statistics page. Mental […]

via Some Surprising Mental Illness Statistics — Mental Health @ Home

A Re-blog: When Your Brain Is Drained – OCD & Mental Exhaustion — Overcoming OCD

Have you ever felt emotionally drained or had the impression that your problems are impossible to overcome? Have you ever had the feeling that you do not care about anything anymore and you’re just way too tired to do things that you used to enjoy? Well, I guess most of us have had similar feelings […]

via When Your Brain Is Drained – OCD & Mental Exhaustion — Overcoming OCD

Teach Me, Let Me Learn Part Two

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

“Mental illness is not something you misunderstand in this era. Get educated because bias is no different than racism.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Racism is a learned trait.  Go to any school yard and you likely to find two little boys playing together.  What is noticeable one will white the other African American.  There is not one sign of racism between them.

“I hate racial discrimination most intensely and all its manifestations. I have fought all my life; I fight now, and will do so until the end of my days. Even although I now happen to be tried by one, whose opinion I hold in high esteem, I detest most.”
Nelson Mandela

Growing up I was blessed to have two great examples of lives who were empty of racism, my mother, and my maternal grandmother.  I always knew I could take my friends to either home without any racial remarks being made.  My mother had two rules about our friends. First, she had to meet them, second was that she had their phone numbers.  Never once did she tell us we couldn’t be friends with certain people.

I also grew up living with someone who was very racist, I call him Archie Bunker the second.  He wouldn’t say much around my mother, but away from home he truly showed it.

Racism comes in all colors, backgrounds, and cultures.  However, the upfront form of racism is towards black people.  Things looked like they were going to be different because of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Lyndon Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education, and outlawed segregation in public facilities. from

The next group that has suffered racism is the Gay community.  For years homosexuality was defined as a mental illness.  It was finally removed from the Mental Health illness list.

the American Psychiatric Association (APA) — the largest psychiatric organization in the world — made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality.

For years they fought for the same civil rights that every heterosexual couple had, marriage.  On June 27, 2015 The Supreme Court ruled that Gay couples could now be legally married in all fifty states of America.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. from

If we ever reach a point to eradicate racism throughout every country people must come together and learn about each other, understand each other.

I have in my life experience first hand how First Nations people live, their hopes, their dreams, and their struggles.  I lived on a First Nations reserve, served with a Pastor who was a First Nation person.  On the books of a town near where I was raised had a law that a First Nation person could not stay overnight.  For years it was illegal to sell alcohol beverages to First Nation people.  All of this happened on Canadian soil.

So dear reader, let’s make an honest effort to end racism before this century is over! Change must start now!

Teach Me, Let Me Learn – Part One


“Mental illness is not something you misunderstand in this era. Get educated because bias is no different than racism.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Something that they told us when I was in treatment that everyone needs to become their own best advocate.  They really stressed that we needed to ask questions about medications, stand up when people use misinformation about those who are bi-polar.  

During that first admittance I was like a sponge trying to grasp all that was happening around me.  I would sit in the groups writing down everything I thought I needed to remember.  When I was released I read anything and everything about mental health challenges.

One thing I did was the best for myself and also my best friend.  I had him sit in with me while speaking to my Psychiatrist on the exit interview.  It prepared him of what I was going through and what to expect going forward.

When it came to pain medications, such as Oxycontin, I was double dosing without realizing it.  So, when I went in to break the addiction upon coming home I asked if it would be alright for my best friend to manage my medications.  He is still doing it to this day.

I still read as much as I can on the challenges of mental health.  I try to go to well known sources.  If by chance I read a blog that sounds credible I will research what the blogger wrote about.

I do not take it upon myself to self-diagnose for it can be detrimental.  I also do not try some remedies without first talking to my doctor.  There are many things that do not interact well with prescriptions, it can bring about some severe reactions.

So, when it comes to mental health correct information is important!

To be continued…

A Re-Blog: What Mental Illness Looks Like — Fractured Faith Blog

I think I’ve ticked every one of these boxes at some point in my life but, thankfully, not for a while now. But I’ve been there and I know I could return there, we all could. Nobody is immune from mental illness, we are all vulnerable and few will live their lives untouched by it. […]

via What Mental Illness Looks Like — Fractured Faith Blog

A Re-Blog: Care Enough To Look — Fractured Faith Blog

No words needed. People with mental illnesses may not have broken bones but they have broken dreams, broken minds and broken hearts. Their illnesses may be invisible but the signs are there if you take the time to look for them. The onus is on you to reach out to them, not for them to […]

via Care Enough To Look — Fractured Faith Blog