MHAW - the S diagnosis. Watch

Sabertooth
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Despite some medical advances and the in general liberalization of society, people with mental health problems still face huge social stigma in their school, university, work, and everyday life. For instance, in one recent survey ( http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/177/1/4 ) 71% of respondents believed that people with schizophrenia are a danger to others. While 77% believed this same group are unpredictable and 58% that they are hard to talk to.

This kind of prejudice is at least partly responsible for the fact that only 8% of people with schizophrenia have a job, despite much larger numbers wanting to work. The feeling of contributing to society, earning money, and interacting with other people on a daily basis are all beneficial factors for people with schizophrenia to receive from working. Not to mention to benefits to society of a greater portion of the 1% who suffer from schizophrenia actually working and contributing to the economy.

Stigma is dangerous; it leads to low self-esteem and isolation. Both of which can make the symptoms worse. 800-1800 people with schizophrenia in the UK kill themselves each year. People with schizophrenia are far more dangerous to themselves than others, despite what the media would have you believe.

Do you agree with the survey answers? What do you think are the best ways to get more people with schizophrenia into the workforce?

Finally; AMA.
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CoolCavy
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Ah this isn't the S word i thought you meant

have nothing to ask just wanted to say admire your strength saber :hugs:
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Ah this isn't the S word i thought you meant

have nothing to ask just wanted to say admire your strength saber :hugs:
I did not even consider that! :facepalm: Thinking maybe a mod could change it to "the S diagnosis".

The feeling is mutual CC. :hugs:
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Kindred
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I don't have much (well any) experience with schizofrenia. I can't even spell it!
I do have some experience and thoughts on stigma though.

[ I apologise for any and all spelling mistakes that are to follow but honestly correcting the spellings will totally throw me off. I also apologise for any terms I may use that are unpleasant or stigmatised. I kinda have to use them in some cases so what I'm saying makes sense. ]

A word I think applies to a lot of stigma is ignorance. I think a lot of these warped and unhealthy views about conditions and people comes from people just not knowing. People are scared or threatened by things they don't understand and especially when it comes to things that are "in your head" (I mean in the literal sense not in the it's made up sense) it's really hard to understand what's up with that.

Some mental health issues do frankly look pretty scary and threatening. People might be screaming or throwing things or talking to or even arguing with nothing etc. When you don't understand what's going on in that person's head and why they're doing that it's pretty freaky seeing that. And although not all (or even most) people with schizofrenia or BDP or Autism or whatever else will be like that and do those things that's what people see relating to those conditions (you can't really see somebody not talking to themselves) so even with the people who aren't on that extreme level that's what people who don't know that person and what they are actually like will associate with their condition and thus them.
There's also things like media to bare in mind with all these crazy serial killers with mental health issues murdering poor innocent coco puffs. And again that adds to the associations people make to "x condition" or "mental illness" in general.
Aaand then you get all these words that mean two things, like schizo being short for schizofrenia, but also being used generally to mean anybody who's acting nuts. So there might be a video with somebody drunk off their bottom or who has extremely severe issues of some type doing some awful things and people will comment "that dude's so schizo man!". Boom another association is made.

Even if you're not a mean person those comments and representations get linked in your head with those conditions so when you do come across those conditions your brain goes "oh! we've had this before" and throws up all those nasty drunk people and TV murders and the like.

Now actually as far as I am aware (it's something I've looked into previously, but have no current stats or anything for) people with mental illnesses are actually not that likely to be violent to others and if anything are more likely to be of harm to themselves. And even with those awful people hunting down corn flakes it's not those visually "crazy" people, but people who are sick in a very different way and are very good at seeming normal. Let's face it somebody who is having a hard time making themselves pasta over the yelling of voices isn't going to be planning complicated criminal activities.

So yeah ignorance. I don't think the majority of people with these stigmatised views are mean people, I think they're just a bit ignorant and don't know what's actually going on.


I'm sat here talking about things like I'm so pure and all, but no I've been ignorant too. And I'm sure I still am in a lot of cases. I doubt that pasta comment was terribly accurate for instance.
Example time:
I've had a few interactions with special need children and a lot of them I've been trying to talk to and they're looking off in some random direction totally ignoring me. Except nope. That's a bit of ignorance there. Those kids who are looking away from me aren't ignoring me- they just aren't looking at me. For them eye contact might be really scary and intimidating so they look away from me, but they're still listening and when I talk to them in the right way they'll still do what I ask or talk in the information I want them to.
But to start with I'd not interacted with kids like that so I was used to "normal" and if a "normal" kid is looking away from you it's a fair bet they are not only not listening, but maybe even making a point of ignoring you. It took me a while to get used to that type of interaction and still does most of the time cos it's not something I do all that often.


Anyway I'm all lost with what point I was tying to make now so sudden disjointed summary- ignorance is everywhere and it's human nature. Ignorance leads to stigma and stigma is not cool. Remember that by being human you will be ignorant to at least something and the people and things you have learned from will be ignorant too. So when you're faced with something new and different try to learn and understand for yourself rather than relying on knowledge that may well be utter bs or just not apply to that individual situation.
A bit of open mindedness and understanding can go a long way to fighting stigma.
And stigma doesn't just harm the people on the receiving end either. My interactions with those kids are a lot more pleasant for me when I'm not feeling offended the whole time for no reason.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Fantastic thread. There's still so much stigma around having a diagnosis of schizophrenia :sad:

I have a related condition (schizoaffective disorder - a combo of schizophrenia and bipolar) and was fortunate enough that the hospital I'm an outpatient of is partnered with a local charity that aims to help disabled people get back into work by providing them support with applying for jobs, attending interviews, and starting jobs if they gain one whilst with the charity. Although it didn't get me back into work at the time, it was helpful to have someone encouraging me and helping me to work towards getting one I think this charity's work should be rolled out in similar projects UK-wide :yep: I at least found it very helpful
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Anonymous1502
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1.What's it like to have schizophrenia?
2.What were your first signs of the development of schizophrenia?
3.How old were you when you developed it? (if you don't mind sharing only if you do mind that's ok)
4.What does it feel like to have hallucinations and delusions what sort of things did you see or hear or believe?
5.Is the medication effective for you?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Anonymous1502)
1.What's it like to have schizophrenia?
2.What were your first signs of the development of schizophrenia?
3.How old were you when you developed it? (if you don't mind sharing only if you do mind that's ok)
4.What does it feel like to have hallucinations and delusions what sort of things did you see or hear or believe?
5.Is the medication effective for you?
Hey Anon, I'll try to explain to you and maybe other people might learn someting too.

1) it sucks. As I said with this thread, there's a hell of a lot of stigma and I can be open here on TSR, but irl I am very secretive and it actually scares me that people might find out. It's like I have this huge secret that I have to make sure only a few select people know - I do have a job but I have to see my psychiatrist monthly sometimes more so I am an object of intrigue where I work because people start to get suspicious about me having "doctor appointments" sometimes even weekly. I have to try and act "normal" all the time. Voices scream at me sometimes calling me names and telling me to do "things" and they're a lot more scary and intrusive than the stigma. My body is a mess because of me following their orders. They know exactly how to push my buttons to make me as upset and subservient as possible. My brother means so much to me so usually they threaten me that they will hurt him if I don't obey. I know that sounds stupid but when I'm not doing well it scares me. With delusions, I get very paranoid about world governments using me as a IRL experiment. The reason for my last hospital admission was my belief that my psychiatrist was trying to kill me. And it's so hard to fight those thoughts. So erm...yeah, the main continuous feeling is fear I would say. Sorry, kind of rambled here.

2) The prodromal stage started for me around 16 according to my psychologist. I didn't notice at the time nor did anyone else but he's pointed out to me how my behavior was abnormal then. I developed depression around that time too and that's what I first went to my GP about.

3) I was 19 and studying at university.

4) I kind of already answered this. I do experience negative symptoms as well as the positive ones I've described. So stuff like ****ty concentration, a tendency to forget words a lot, social withdrawal, sleeping problems, poor motivation. A lot of people seem to think I'm just very lazy and/or slow.

5) I've tried a number of antipsychotics and a lot of them have helped a little but many symptoms remain. I'm on a good combination right now which I've taken for about a year and a half and I'm actually reducing one of them slowly to try and take less meds because of the side effects and me just wanting to take less. In 2017 I was off all meds for about a month and a half and I look back now I'm doing better and just feel so embarrassed about things I said to people and things I did, I was bat**** crazy. Had to spend Christmas in hospital which was really rough because of how usually I spend it with my family.

Sorry about the rambling. Does this answer you? Any other questions I'd be willing to try answering if you think of any.
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Glaz
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Sabertooth :cube:
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Anonymous1502
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Hey Anon, I'll try to explain to you and maybe other people might learn someting too.

1) it sucks. As I said with this thread, there's a hell of a lot of stigma and I can be open here on TSR, but irl I am very secretive and it actually scares me that people might find out. It's like I have this huge secret that I have to make sure only a few select people know - I do have a job but I have to see my psychiatrist monthly sometimes more so I am an object of intrigue where I work because people start to get suspicious about me having "doctor appointments" sometimes even weekly. I have to try and act "normal" all the time. Voices scream at me sometimes calling me names and telling me to do "things" and they're a lot more scary and intrusive than the stigma. My body is a mess because of me following their orders. They know exactly how to push my buttons to make me as upset and subservient as possible. My brother means so much to me so usually they threaten me that they will hurt him if I don't obey. I know that sounds stupid but when I'm not doing well it scares me. With delusions, I get very paranoid about world governments using me as a IRL experiment. The reason for my last hospital admission was my belief that my psychiatrist was trying to kill me. And it's so hard to fight those thoughts. So erm...yeah, the main continuous feeling is fear I would say. Sorry, kind of rambled here.

2) The prodromal stage started for me around 16 according to my psychologist. I didn't notice at the time nor did anyone else but he's pointed out to me how my behavior was abnormal then. I developed depression around that time too and that's what I first went to my GP about.

3) I was 19 and studying at university.

4) I kind of already answered this. I do experience negative symptoms as well as the positive ones I've described. So stuff like ****ty concentration, a tendency to forget words a lot, social withdrawal, sleeping problems, poor motivation. A lot of people seem to think I'm just very lazy and/or slow.

5) I've tried a number of antipsychotics and a lot of them have helped a little but many symptoms remain. I'm on a good combination right now which I've taken for about a year and a half and I'm actually reducing one of them slowly to try and take less meds because of the side effects and me just wanting to take less. In 2017 I was off all meds for about a month and a half and I look back now I'm doing better and just feel so embarrassed about things I said to people and things I did, I was bat**** crazy. Had to spend Christmas in hospital which was really rough because of how usually I spend it with my family.

Sorry about the rambling. Does this answer you? Any other questions I'd be willing to try answering if you think of any.
Thank you for your reply. I like very detailed answers.

1.Did you ever experience any delusions or hallucinations when you were at work?If so how did you deal with it?
2.When you hear the voices in your mind do you know it is not real or do you think it is real?
3.Do you see things that aren't there?If so what sort of things do you see?
4.When you thought your psychiatrist was trying to kill you did you tell them that is what you thought?Did the belief made you do certain things?
5.Were you hospitalised in the US or UK?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Anonymous1502)
Thank you for your reply. I like very detailed answers.

1.Did you ever experience any delusions or hallucinations when you were at work?If so how did you deal with it?
2.When you hear the voices in your mind do you know it is not real or do you think it is real?
3.Do you see things that aren't there?If so what sort of things do you see?
4.When you thought your psychiatrist was trying to kill you did you tell them that is what you thought?Did the belief made you do certain things?
5.Were you hospitalised in the US or UK?
Hi Again Anon. I don't use my computer over weekends.

1. Yes a lot. There's an empty office on my floor so I would go/go there to cry or hide. I'd also take walks and listen to music loudly on spotify. Thankfully, no one can really see me when I'm at my computer (2nd floor window behind and backs to me in front). Back when I last had a really bad episode people kept asking if I was ok - along with a "you ain't right" from one of the secretaries. I missed a load of work days because I was too scared to leave the house. Then I was admitted to hospital so missed more work - I just said I was "ill". My boss is very laid back and the kind of business I work for is very accommodating so I didn't get fired. Most other jobs I would have been so I'm really lucky there I know (and no I don't feel comfortable sharing my workplace).

2. That depends how I am at a particular point in time. During an episode: 100% real. Right now having not heard them for nearly 2 months (!): I can flip between the 2 possibilities.

3. Blood on everything and weapons. During a shower I might see massive amounts of blood all over the floor and walls and it's terrifying. Or I see people carrying knives or guns with blood on their hands and shirt.

4. Yeah I told him. And my psychologist who I thought was in cahoots with the psychiatrist. Not my finest hour but I told my psychologist that I would leave by my own means if he called the police and tried to stop me leaving. I didn't mean kill him or anything just that I wouldn't let him stop me leaving. My psychiatrist didn't section me for a long time as my partner went to appointments with me and assured him that I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else.

5. Both.
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Anonymous1502
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Hi Again Anon. I don't use my computer over weekends.

1. Yes a lot. There's an empty office on my floor so I would go/go there to cry or hide. I'd also take walks and listen to music loudly on spotify. Thankfully, no one can really see me when I'm at my computer (2nd floor window behind and backs to me in front). Back when I last had a really bad episode people kept asking if I was ok - along with a "you ain't right" from one of the secretaries. I missed a load of work days because I was too scared to leave the house. Then I was admitted to hospital so missed more work - I just said I was "ill". My boss is very laid back and the kind of business I work for is very accommodating so I didn't get fired. Most other jobs I would have been so I'm really lucky there I know (and no I don't feel comfortable sharing my workplace).

2. That depends how I am at a particular point in time. During an episode: 100% real. Right now having not heard them for nearly 2 months (!): I can flip between the 2 possibilities.

3. Blood on everything and weapons. During a shower I might see massive amounts of blood all over the floor and walls and it's terrifying. Or I see people carrying knives or guns with blood on their hands and shirt.

4. Yeah I told him. And my psychologist who I thought was in cahoots with the psychiatrist. Not my finest hour but I told my psychologist that I would leave by my own means if he called the police and tried to stop me leaving. I didn't mean kill him or anything just that I wouldn't let him stop me leaving. My psychiatrist didn't section me for a long time as my partner went to appointments with me and assured him that I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else.

5. Both.
Thank you for your reply
1.What is it like in a psychiatric hospital us vs UK?
2.Are psychiatric hospitals scary?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Anonymous1502)
Thank you for your reply
1.What is it like in a psychiatric hospital us vs UK?
2.Are psychiatric hospitals scary?
1. The UK one I was in was pretty ****. The sound on the TV didn't work and there was only 2 toilets and 1 bath between about 15 people which was ridiculous. There were no therapy or art or anything else to fill the time so I spent most of my time learning to juggle or sleeping. The food was almost inedible. I have mixed experiences in the US. Two were really nice - lots of therapy and the food was incredible. The other patients were mostly nice so I could talk to them and the nurses were mostly friendly and again, I could talk to them. The third was like a prison; no exaggeration.

2. They can be. In all the hospitals I've been in there has been really ill people and seeing people in that state can be scary. I only saw people properly kick off in one of the US hospitals and they were quickly tackled by big male nurses.
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
1. The UK one I was in was pretty ****. The sound on the TV didn't work and there was only 2 toilets and 1 bath between about 15 people which was ridiculous. There were no therapy or art or anything else to fill the time so I spent most of my time learning to juggle or sleeping. The food was almost inedible. I have mixed experiences in the US. Two were really nice - lots of therapy and the food was incredible. The other patients were mostly nice so I could talk to them and the nurses were mostly friendly and again, I could talk to them. The third was like a prison; no exaggeration.

2. They can be. In all the hospitals I've been in there has been really ill people and seeing people in that state can be scary. I only saw people properly kick off in one of the US hospitals and they were quickly tackled by big male nurses.
Ah memories of someone stealing the remote so CBBC was on play 24/7 for a good week whilst they looked for it. Also memories of someone doing a poo in the sink.

I've heard a lot that US wards are a lot more restrictive. Interesting hearing your account.
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Ah memories of someone stealing the remote so CBBC was on play 24/7 for a good week whilst they looked for it. Also memories of someone doing a poo in the sink.

I've heard a lot that US wards are a lot more restrictive. Interesting hearing your account.
Was it a shared bathroom or an en-suite type thing? Tbh with the state I was in CBBC would have been great as a distraction although I can kinda see some of the kids' tv music singalongs might drive people up the wall.

Yeah, I wasn't allowed my phone in the US hospitals but they did have free phones I could use (though the prison-esque "hospital" only allowed one 5 minute call a day!). Also they have no qualms about straitjackets or literally tying people down. :afraid:
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Was it a shared bathroom or an en-suite type thing? Tbh with the state I was in CBBC would have been great as a distraction although I can kinda see some of the kids' tv music singalongs might drive people up the wall.

Yeah, I wasn't allowed my phone in the US hospitals but they did have free phones I could use (though the prison-esque "hospital" only allowed one 5 minute call a day!). Also they have no qualms about straitjackets or literally tying people down. :afraid:
bloody anon! was me

shared bathroom for females

and oh god straight jackets sound horrendous.
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MidgetFever
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Thank you for sharing your experience, I know talking about these sorts of things aren't always easy and it's very admirable of you to do so.

I honestly haven't had any experience with meeting someone diagnosed with schizophrenia but even so, I'm really surprised at those high percentages in the survey. I do agree that there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues though, and that there should be a lot more initiatives to raise awareness and combat that stigma.

I can only sympathise to some extent though, I'd recently been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of a serious car accident. I struggle to get in cars or take public transport now without quite literally trembling and feeling extremely anxious, and I have noticed the odd person staring at me as if I'm mad.
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
bloody anon! was me

shared bathroom for females

and oh god straight jackets sound horrendous.
Hey Noodz.

That's a good hospital story. I see yours and I raise you: a woman on my ward dialed 911 and told them she had chest pain and a racing heart but the nurses weren't taking her seriously. Cue the ambulance arrived to take her to hospital (this psychiatric hospital wasn't joined to a regular hospital). They got her outside and were trying to walk her to the ambulance and she legged it. :rofl: Of course, she didn't get far and was moved to a ward where they stuck the troublemakers.
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Hey Noodz.

That's a good hospital story. I see yours and I raise you: a woman on my ward dialed 911 and told them she had chest pain and a racing heart but the nurses weren't taking her seriously. Cue the ambulance arrived to take her to hospital (this psychiatric hospital wasn't joined to a regular hospital). They got her outside and were trying to walk her to the ambulance and she legged it. :rofl: Of course, she didn't get far and was moved to a ward where they stuck the troublemakers.
Hilarious! We should start a thread on psych ward stories, so many of them too much (and spam worthy) for this thread
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Anonymous1502
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Did you find therapy beneficial? Also what type of therapy did you have?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
Hilarious! We should start a thread on psych ward stories, so many of them too much (and spam worthy) for this thread
We should! :five:

Although we'd have to keep it lighthearted and not mocking seriously ill people.
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