Today, we have a guest post from a Looneychickblog reader who talks about her experiences of supporting a childhood friend with Schizophrenia.
My childhood best friend was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and he committed a brutal murder.
I remained in touch with him and spoke to him on a regular basis and visited him in the mental institution. I was shocked to find out that for a long time I was the only one who spoke to him apart from his father. I faced a lot of criticism for staying in touch. People couldn’t understand why I wanted to talk to him after what he had done; I became ‘the one who is friends with a murderer’. But he was my friend for so long I couldn’t not talk to him and find out why it came to the murder.
He had suffered in silence for most of his life. And what I had dismissed as shyness and depression was in fact voices only he could hear.
I wrote a book about it ‘Solacium’. I initially wrote the story down as a way of self-therapy to deal with the shock and insomnia I developed as a consequence, but I now feel I owe it to my friend to make his struggle known.
I hope my book not only provides a glimpse into the tortured mind of a paranoid schizophrenic but also manages to portray him from a different angle than the one chosen by the media at the time.
Not a crazed, bloodthirsty monster but a sensitive boy who was dealt the wrong cards and battled his whole life to find a place in a society that still stigmatises mental illness.
According to recent studies, a quarter of the population in the UK is likely to develop some form of mental health problem over the course of a year. And with the NHS continuously cutting funding into the health support sector, I believe it is important to raise awareness and foster better understanding to ultimately provide better care to those who suffer.
You can purchase the book on Amazon for feel free to comment below, email some questions across and join in the discussions on our social media pages.
If you would like to know more about caring for someone with Schizophrenia feel free to comment below, email some questions across and join in the discussions on our social media pages.