Friday, September 12, 2008

My Experience With Discrimination

A few months ago I was looking for a room to rent. While talking to the owner about rent money, she asked me where my income came from, and I told her that I get social security. She went on to ask me what my disability was, so I told her that I have schizophrenia. Then she suggested that I may have a difficult time living there because of stress, and my potential roommate talks a lot, and I may not be able to concentrate on my studies for school.

What does she know about schizophrenia to make such a rationalization?! Maybe if she knew I was on medication and did not have any symptoms she would rent the room to me. Fortunately her room wasn't my top choice.

Therefore I did not tell future owners that I had schizophrenia, because I did not know how much they knew about the illness. Instead, I simply told them that I was a student and that my parents would pay my rent.

What do you think about this situation? If you were renting a room out, would you allow a person with schizophrenia to have the room, why or why not?

In brief, to learn more about the symptoms of schizophrenia read the post titled "Types of Symptoms" (below).


freelance said...

I posted on your article below, but thought I address the discrimination situation.

You asked if I would rent a room to someone with schizophrenia. It all depends of the person and how well he/she is handling their illness.

This may sound harsh to your ears, but please bear with me. As I stated in my other post, I have some experience with it and what I chose to share was positive.

On the down side, I was physically attacked by someone with the illness, he refused to admit he had an issue, refused meds and his perception of reality was always (and specifically at attack time) very distorted.

A friend of mine has had her son hospitalized since childhood and he is an adult now.

As you well know, there are degrees of the disease and how they are handled is of major importance.

I would like to address the following: No one has a right to your medical records and asking what illness you had was none of her business. I consider that a breach of privacy.

Now, if there are minor children in the house, this is a consideration as well.

If I had a two story house and someone who required assistance because mobility was an issue (walker, wheelchair, etc) I would not be comfortable renting to that person for fear of finding him/her dead at the end of the stairs.

Financially, it could be a disaster if someone got injured because the house was not accessible enough or costly to make renovations.

I am sorry that you felt discriminated and I am sure that her experience with the illness is very different from yours. If you have not have found the ideal place for you, I hope you do soon.

It truly sounds like you got it all together.


La Pixie said...

just like with everyone else, I would have to judge the person by what I was shown. I would say... the only out-and-out NO would go to a sex offender. anyone else is case-by-case basis.

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