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Starting the Conversation

Many times limited information about mental illness leaves room for speculation and worry, which undoubtedly leads to fear, distancing oneself from discussions, and a poor outlook about the condition for oneself and the general public. However, a discussion about mental illness needs to be had to reduce confusion, isolation, and propaganda. Frequently, I share my story to reduce stigma and to promote the truth.

Whenever I share my testimony of living with schizophrenia I usually get a warm and familiar response that goes something like: 'I know so-and-so with schizophrenia... I wish I would have talked to you sooner because your story helps me understand mental illness more.' Hearing that rekindles my desire to further articulate my crisis history and present-day recovery to share hope and to reduce the lies- the lie that recovery is not possible, the lie that life is over if you have a diagnosis, and the most ignorant lie; the lie that we should not talk about it. 

Sometimes people are reluctant to ask me questions in the beginning because they don't want to get too personal, but I welcome the conversation because the discussion provides insight and understanding. For me, sharing my story is so therapeutic, it enables me to release the dreadful experience of living with the condition, but in a constructive manner. 

The misinformation circulated about schizophrenia and other mental illnesses have an invisible muzzle on that must be eradicated and destroyed. My hope is for society to remove that mouthpiece and to have a lively dialogue about the truth- the truth that people can and do get better living with mental illness, and that an individual like you, your relative, or your partner can live a fulfilling life in recovery. 

There needs to be a frank conversation about mental illness in order to reduce stigma, help others, and to break the cycle of suffering. Talking about my mental illness helps me and others to talk openly about our dark moments and hopeful life after crisis. 

To help start a conversation I encourage you to read my book, What's On My Mind? A Collection Of Blog Entries From "Overcoming Schizophrenia." Available in Paperback or e-Book online at

Also, if you have a question about schizophrenia I encourage you to ask, you may also email me: 

Finally, I am inviting you to an event in Atlanta, Georgia where I will start a mental health conversation, Mental Health Day At The Capitol on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 8AM - 12PM located at the Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303. The deadline to register is January 15th. For details visit the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, Inc.


ocdtalk said…
Wish I lived closer. I would be there on the 20th. Good luck!
Matthew Phillips said…
It is nice to see someone who shares the same illness as me and has the courage to reduce the stigma. I have had many relationships that have lasted quite a while before i "spilled my beans" and told them about my illness. I am extremely extroverted and i would call myself charismatic but when you are going through a breakdown its like you are a Jenga puzzle and someone just knocked you down. It is easy to spot the symptoms. I wanted to stay at home in seclusion but my extroverted self wont let me. You just feel like you got bumped back to square one. I just went through a breakdown and felt compelled to do some "you tubing" for a pick me up and stumbled upon the video Living With Schizophrenia. I got excited when i saw your blog! We are definitely lucky that now days there is a community for everything somewhere on the internet. I want more people to foster these kinds of relationships on the web. Every warrior needs a good sensei
TimBowers said…
We found your blog was much handy to me! If u keep up the good job I’ll come back at your website.
Schizophrenia Treatment Services
Mrs. Patricia said…
My son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 30s. After a difficult period coping with depression, anxiety and paranoia, My son feels his illness is under control and permanently cure using herbs, thanks to a very effective herbal product called CONSUMMO. In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you and everything will be okay, don't ever give up. check out the link to know more: or contact me with this so I can share our experience with you:
Jane Marsh said…
Satisfying posting. It would appear that a lot of the stages are depending upon the originality aspect. “It’s a funny thing about life if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” by W. Somerset Maugham.

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