So its back- it’s time for the second half of my Q&A and there is definitely some thought provoking questions here. I wont say anymore….
How do you feel about the portrayal of schizophrenia in the media and movies? For example One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. Do you think these portrayals are to blame for the stigma that’s attached to someone with schizophrenia and/or mental health?
- If I’m honest I’ve not seen that one in particular, but generally schizophrenia and psychosis in media really frustrates me. Its always showed the extreme and made out to turn sufferers into villains. When I first started my blog I did do a post about it, with some examples, and explaining it further. I think now is a good time to mention though that I have recently read a book that had a psychotic character that was written very well and honestly, Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie– there’s a review on my blog if you want to look. I think to some degree the media is to blame for the stigma, but not fully; I think how it used to be dealt with in the past is partly to blame, and then lack of education is just meaning it cant be fixed yet.
Which book would you recommend to someone who is struggling in life?
- Another good question. In terms of looking for a book to make you think more positively, and rethink your life to make it happier, I would again have to say Happy as a Dane. But as you have to wait till March for that one, I’d also say Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan. Its such a happy, up-lifting (and yet tragic) novel, that will just help you escape for a short while and hopefully give you some relief.
List three stand out moments in your life (good or bad) that have helped define/shape who you are?
- Wow, this is one that gets you thinking. I think a big one has to be meeting my boyfriend, not because he’s ‘the one’ necessarily, but because he really brought me out of my shell, and has gotten me standing on my own two feet as an adult more. As recent as it is, I think my parents splitting up is going to be something that changes who I am for the rest of my life, its not been straight forward or easy, and its had me having to look out for myself more, and stand up for what I believe. Finally, my breakdown and diagnosis of schizophrenia. It completely changed my out look on life- it was no longer about being the best or doing what’s expected, I started doing what I wanted to do- in the weirdest way, its given me purpose.
Do you feel that having schizophrenia puts limitations on your dreams and goals?
- When I was first diagnosed, I felt that my life and capabilities to achieve were all over; as I’ve recovered, now over 2 years on, I feel I can do anything I want to do as long as I work for it. Things aren’t necessarily going to be as straight forward as it may of been without my schizophrenia, but its all still possible.
How have others reacted to the knowledge of your schizophrenia over the years?
- Oh I’ve had a full range of reactions, complete acceptance to not talking to me because they couldn’t cope with it. Some people feel it changes who I am, makes me need looking down upon, who believe that to deal with me they need to treat me like a child. I’m lucky that in the most part, with the people that I care about, they’ve all been very understanding of it.
What are your lifelong ambitions?
- As boring as it is, I’m not sure I really have any. I’ve got a few things I want to do or experience and places I want to go, but as far as lifelong ambitions go I don’t have any; I’m just kind of going through life seeing what happens to some degree. I guess the closest I have is to make my writing my career, whether the be book reviews and working with publishers, or writing about my schizophrenia- but again at the moment I’m happy working on it for free.