May 11, 2005

Stigma and lost more friends

I just got over with a set of exams, and while coming back from college had some spicy stuff to eat with 2 girls (classmates) of mine (they know about my illness, though they don't understand the implications at all). We talked a lot, and we finally got to the point where they got to know that I smoke. Both of them looked flabbergasted by it. They told me that they hate people who smoke and now they hated me. While I was coming back home with one of them, I told her that cigarettes helped me cope up with the voices and the the symptoms of my illness, and I told her to visit my blog. But she still said that we hate you now.

I've been through many tough times, lost a lot of friends, become much of a loner, but I have never regretted it. As one of my friends tells me time and again, "You should never talk about your illness to anyone, they are biased, they look down upon you, they would hate you, sneer at you, kick you out...", but at the same time, she wants to reduce the stigma associated with schizophrenia.

This incident reaffirmed my beliefs of how conservative our society still is, still caught up in the Freudian psychoanalytical thinking who never even dared to work with schizophrenics, more less develop a theory on it. It has not hampered my spirits to know that I have lost 2 more friends, for I never forget the words of Morpheus (in The Matrix), "These are the same minds that we are trying to free, but they are still part of the system, and as long as they are part of the system, they are our enemies." I believe that until we talk about our problems, no one will even know about our illness, much less comprehend it. So I go telling everyone I can about my illness and how it is to cope with, for I believe that unless you want to free more minds, tell them about the illness, for otherwise we cannot even make them free from the system even if we want to.

Posted by puzli at May 11, 2005 03:10 PM


Dear Puzli,
You are quite correct in your assertion that "knowledge is power". By explaining, not hiding, your illness, you not only demonstrate your strong character, but you let your intelligence shine as well. I read your blog regularly, and I am always impressed with the maturity with which you deal with your very serious illness. You also touch my heart in a profound and meaningful way. I applaud your courage and look forward to reading your commentary on the way you experience your disease.

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at May 22, 2005 03:28 PM

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