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Showing posts from July, 2012

How is Schizophrenia Portrayed in Media

Last week's Colorado theater shooting tragedy. When I first heard about this incident I assumed media and the public would identify schizophrenia; a brain disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms loosely categorized as either negative symptoms, positive symptoms or cognitive symptoms. Schizophrenia, schizophrenia- the media is doctor and authority over correct diagnosis of individuals and their actions, overnight- I am NOT surprised! Immediately, I understood the consequences- STIGMA- shame, fear, and suffering in silence, for individuals living with this medical condition and for their families and loved ones. Initially, I did not want to address the issue because I know how it will manifest in media and ultimately in the eyes of the United States society and beyond. Remember the Arizona shooting- "schizophrenia" was immediately suspected... To me, schizophrenia- the scapegoat for horrific crimes and everything negative, in m…

The Patient/Doctor Relationship- Barriers to Treatment and Tips for Better Care

What are some of the barriers to care in the African American community, and shared barriers for all populations? How can individuals receive adequate treatment?

I will recommend a reading that may share some factors and answers to these questions, I will also share my experiences with doctors, and what I've learned in order to support others on their journey to maintaining recovery.

Recently, I read an article about mental health disparities on African Americans in California. To read that article click here. This article particularly interested me because the study took place in California- where I was also diagnosed.

One of the experts who commented on this concern, Dr. Annelle Primm, who I've also had the pleasure of sitting on a panel discussion with in last year's NABJ event in Washington, D.C., said "due to lack of cultural understanding," African American patients are being misdiagnosed.

However, many individuals- not only African Americans- living a ment…

New Article and Screening of the Living with Schizophrenia Documentary

I had a busy week with interviews about my personal experiences with schizophrenia including that with Ms. Jackie Jones from Black America Web, and the the screening of the documentary Living with Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery which was held at the Benjamin Steakhouse in New York City on Thursday, July 19, 2012. To watch the half hour film about three individuals living with schizophrenia- the misconceptions, struggles, and recovery, visit

The interview with Ms. Jones was very conversational. She asked me a few questions about my experiences and wrote a very informative article which I am excited about. Here is how the article began:

Before Ashley Smith gave a presentation before a group of law enforcement officials about schizophrenia, one of the officials had told the audience before she arrived that “there is no hope” for a person with the mental illness.

Fortunately, she wasn’t in the room when he made the remarks.

When Smith finished …