Schizophrenia affects 2 to 3 million Americans, yet many people do not openly admit to having the illness. And I do agree you should be selective on who you tell because of discrimination. There is a stigma attached to schizophrenia. Usually people think that individuals who have schizophrenia are violent, however this is not the case; they are usually victims of crime (The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia). They are discriminated against in housing and jobs, I have experienced this while looking for housing. The landlord would not rent the room to me because she thought the voices and my potential roommate would cause too much stress. Little did she know that I no longer hear voices because of my medication.
I think that people are afraid of individuals with a schizophrenia because they are ignorant of the illness. I am open about my illness because I know that I am not the only one with schizophrenia, and I am not ashamed.
Today my therapist told me she wants me to meet another young lady, like myself, to share my experience and to give her insight. The woman refuses medication yet is experiencing psychosis. I told her I would like to talk to girl. If I were to meet the girl I would tell her that a lot people have schizophrenia and you are not alone. I would tell her that I heard voices, experienced extreme paranoia, and was afraid of people because I thought they were demons. But I am okay now that I take medication.
In fact, my goal is to share my story with other people so that they will be educated about the illness and know the warning signs of mental illness. Some early warning signs I experienced was religious preoccupation, paranoia, isolation, and thoughts that I have special powers such as mind reading and discerning spirits. I have already started my mission by writing an article for MentalMeds News (http://mentalmeds.org go to articles, Issue 8 and read No More Voices, No More Demons).
What do you think about this?