Nothing is Real: Perspective, Perception, and Schizophrenia
About one percent of our population struggles with Schizophrenia (3.2 million people). It may seem like a small number in comparison with other diseases. However, despite it’s rarity in our population, it has huge impacts. To me, Schizophrenia is fascinating. In fact, it played a huge role in my decision to become a therapist.
Following my undergraduate education, I went to work for a Human Services agency. Specifically, I worked in a high intensity group home for severely mentally ill young adult males. Most of which carried a diagnosis of Schizophrenia among others. It was a truly eye opening experience. One that caused me to feel that I could really make a difference in the world simply by how I related to others.
These guys were not unlike other teenage young boys. They had girlfriends, poor hygiene, and could eat ungodly amounts of food. They wanted relationships,enjoyed talking about things that made them happy, and most of all they desperately wanted to fit in. However, the pervasive nature of their symptoms often times landed them in trouble, either with the law, or within the established rules of the home. Really, the “trouble” they found themselves in was directly a result of how society has perceived their “condition”.