December 10, 2007

Teen Perspectives on Schizophrenia

Recently, we've come across a website called Teen Ink. It's a website that, as implied by its name, focuses on writing and art created by teens. On it, we've found perspectives of teenagers who either suffer from mental illness themselves or have loved ones who do. This is an age group we don't usually hear from on the subject of mental illness and we find these perspectives informative and difficult, yet still positive. Below are a couple of summaries of two personal perspectives on mental illness we've found on Teen Ink, along with links to the full stories:

My Schizophrenic Sister
This first story we've found is the perspective of a female teen whose sister suffers from schizophrenia. The author of the story says that her 13-year-old younger sister has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has problems with food. She says her sister wants to eat, but believes that she will became ill if she eats or drinks anything. So in addition to suffering from schizophrenia, her sister also suffers from anorexia. The author also comments on the stigma her sister experiences as a result of suffering from schizophrenia. She says her sister " quite intelligent, which people do not always see because they focus on the abnormalities of her personality," and stresses that schizophrenia is an illness "that should not be shunned or made fun of but understood and, eventually, cured." The author says she loves her sister, and will continue to support and care for her.
Full Story

Loving Life
This story appeared in their May 2007 issue. It's a daughter's perspective on her mother's mental illness. Though the author never states which illness(es) her mother suffers from, the symptoms sound like schizophrenia. This account is particularly interesting because it describes the author's (daughter's) experience on visits to her mother in the hospital. She says her mother stops taking her medications because she feels she doesn't need them, and then ends up in the hospital. The author says, "...(s)he’s (her mother is) always glad to see us when we visit, and I rejoice to see her, but sometimes it makes me feel hollow inside. The halls are empty, the rooms so quiet you can hear your breathing. Visitors sit quietly, waiting anxiously to see their loved ones. The doctors smile sympathetically, but they don’t know how it feels to have that hollow feeling, like nothing will ever be right again." Still, the author says she tries to focus on the positive, the good things in life and emphasizes the importance of smiling.
Full Story

Related Stories on Teen Ink:
Prozac Nation
Psychotropic Drugs

Related Stories on our Site:
Teen With Schizophrenia Spreads Word About Mental Illness
Growing Up With a Mentally Ill Mother - "Daughters of Madness"


That makes me wonder what my young sons perspective is on my illness, hes only elven but is very understanding and supportive to me , sometimes he will even offer advice lol

Posted by: Heywood at December 10, 2007 12:57 PM

I wonder the same things about my sons a lot. I try hard to be a really supportive parent when my husband can't be and he tries to make up for it when he is feeling well. Still I do worry.


Posted by: Motherof2 at December 14, 2007 05:51 PM

I was diagnosed in 1998, Just to let you know, keep trying and dont lose hope, as many recover and most learn what makes it worse and what makes it better. I have personaly been in situations where threats and crazy violence have been apparently coming from outside noises like car tires, engine sounds, people talking and shouting..,the perception was they were shouting and talking about me and shouting out my thoughts out loud, It was as if I could hear them thinking abuse at me and threatening me for thinking. recently I lost a a friend who suffered similar symptoms through thr result of a failed suicide attempt, she weas only 20 and tried to overdose, she was admitted to hospital and died from damage to her liver, a sad loss, as she was a very clever individual. my advice is ; if you feel yourself going ill or becoming unwell, seek help in the form of counsellings, a helpline or a family member, dont let it run your life. goodluck

Posted by: 33yroldmale at June 2, 2008 10:20 PM

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