100 Years of Schizophrenia

I didn’t know this either, but apparently it is 100 years since the term schizophrenia was first coined. Here, in a piece from the Grauniad, last Saturday, Rachel Whiteread explains the significance of that century. You’d like to think that attitudes to mental illness have changed since Winston Churchill did his best caveman impression back in 1910, but sadly they haven’t changed all that much. There’s still a massive stigma connected to any form of mental health issue – we mustn’t talk about these things, keep these people locked away where they can’t hurt/disturb anyone…

Yeah, right, like that’s going to do any good. Speaking as a carer, I know exactly what effect that sort of isolation has on someone with mental health problems. And, speaking as someone who has has (very) mild health issues myself, I know that people really don’t like to talk about it. They think you’re going to fly off the handle at a moment’s notice.

Wrong. Read the article. Then, do the world a favour and sign Rethink’s e-card to David Cameron. He wants to tear the NHS apart, and – guess what? – mental health services and charities like Rethink will always be the first to get beat up on. Let’s put a bit more positivity into the next 100 years.

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stevenpoore

Epic Fantasist & SFSF Socialist.

One thought on “100 Years of Schizophrenia”

  1. Personally, I’m sick of people’s attitudes too. This fucking government does nothing to campaign & educate people about mental illness. Every time you go into a new situation with new people you’re frightened – will they be accepting, will they support you? Even some people with mental health problems display prejudice – I went into a Mind charity shop recently, & heard two volunteers talking about a member of management who was off sick with stress. “Stress my arse!” one volunteer blurted. The last place you would expect to find prejudice, & up pops it’s ugly little head. I joke that I’m not Jeffrey Dahmer, but it pisses me off that some would presume that I was. On the question of violence,it would be great to have a campaign aimed at people who do have violent & disturbing thoughts, who hear voices telling them to commit violent acts. These people need open, widely available information that such thoughts aren’t normal & that help is available in many forms – medication, talking therapies, & many other treatments. It may sound too radical to some, but I think prevention is better than cure, & if a sufferer’s behaviour is nipped in the bud & controlled, it’s best for everyone. It also helps to educate the general public about such people & how scary it is for them to be thinking terrible thoughts – they can be as scared & disgusted by their own thoughts as everyone else! If they’re able to tell a health professional about what’s going on in their head, there’s a healthy chance of stopping them from abusing others.

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