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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Building Professional Relationships/ Dating 101

This week I started volunteering for a non-profit organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness. I am interested in HIV/AIDS awareness because I believe it is a serious issue in America that needs more attention. I will be working with this organization for the summer.

The other day I attended a town hall meeting that discussed safety and community involvement to decrease the selling of drugs in the business area. After the meeting the executive director and I handed out business cards and networked with participants.

The executive director, who I will be closely working with this summer is going to educate me on how a non-profit organization operates, like an internship, and I will contribute to marketing needs and speaking engagements. I am very excited about this opportunity, and I got to thinking that I could start a non-profit organization or clubhouse that focuses on schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

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When I first started this blog, I thought it was going to be a diary-like blog, however, it has turned somewhat informative and therapeutic to discuss schizophrenia. I have been blogging for eight months now, I think I am ready to take it to the next level, and since this whole blog is personal I want to share with you something that is not too often touched on in mental illness... dating.

Recently, I started dating a man whom I am very interested in- he has a good job, great dating etiquette, and is handsome and single. I hope to keep him as friend for long time, so I don't want to run him away with the knowledge of my mental illness, so I did not tell him about it. We have been dating for about month now, how long should I wait before I tell him that I have schizophrenia? Or should I even tell him at all? Not that there is an urgency to share this information, however, I think it is important to be honest with friends.

I think it is kind of important to share the fact that I have a mental illness to friends, because they can be very beneficial by vocalizing symptoms, getting more information about the illness, and reminding one to take their medication.

Questions for You
If you have a mental illness, how long was it before you shared your diagnosis with your partner? If you are a friend, caregiver, family member, or someone interested in mental illness, would you date someone with a mental illness- why or why not?

If you want to learn more about schizophrenia I encourage you to check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia (Canada). Thank you for reading this blog and commenting!

4 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

I think it's wonderful that you have a relationship. I wish I knew the answer to when/if you should tell him about your schizophrenia. I've always believed that any relationship has to be built upon honesty and trust so if it were me I'd probably discuss my illness but I'm not sure when that time would be.

As Lovers Go said...

I don't have an answer either but I think it is important to establish trust. If it were me I would be worried that if I told him he would look for things and problems that weren't really there. So the more time you spend with him before telling him the better I think....oh gosh I don't know haha

ACDesign said...

First of all I am SO HAPPY you have met someone:) I can't give you any advice other than go with your heart. Everyone deserves love. Keep us updated:)

JustStella said...

Hey, Ashley! I just discovered your blog, and I'm so glad you did this. You see, the way I discovered your blog was by Googling "schizophrenia blog." I'll let you know something: there is a great friend of mine that I've known for years and he has schizophrenia. I've known for a while, and now we have developed romantic feelings for each other. I really like him, I may even go on as to saying I'm falling in love with him, but the schizophrenia does scare me. This is uncharted territory for me.

I searched for answers, and some were discouraging. People said it was going to be ridiculously hard, people said he'd eventually lose his mind, people said there'd be tons of crazy things I'd have to deal with. But when I came to your blog, I have new hope.

I guess it's too late to answer your question seeing as it's 4 years later, but I will tell you from the perspective of someone in a relationship with someone who has schizophrenia: when we realized our relationship was getting more serious, he told me. And I'm glad he did. I appreciated his honestly and his ability to be real with me. That's actually one of the things that attracted me to him.

Continue being awesome, and giving people hope. Those with schizophrenia and their loved ones. I know that I will have to support him and help him out, and I know at times it may get tough, but to miss out on love just because he's different would be such a shame.

God bless! I hope you see this!