Today I have received the following comment from an Anonymous reader. I’m aware that other readers may feel the same way, and so I have decided to respond in a blog post.
It's really horrible how you people act as if being a schizo is such a terrible thing. I'm schizo and if I'd ever saw my wife writing in a blog like this because of my "condition" I would ask for a divorce.
I’m really sorry if the content of my blog has offended you in any way. Mr Man is well aware of this blog, and in fact encourages me to write it. Let me assure you that I have the utmost respect for Mr Man and I love him unconditionally. I am often amazed by his strength and courage, and I don’t view his “condition” as a weakness in any way at all.
I don’t know what your personal experiences are with Schizophrenia, but I know that some people view the condition as a positive experience, feeling that the psychosis inspires them to be creative. Unfortunately in Mr Mans case “being a Schizo” really has been “such a terrible thing” for him, which is something that I haven’t yet fully covered in my blog.
There are many reasons why I decided to put our experiences down in writing. One of those reasons is to make people aware of how badly mental health patients are treated sometimes, both by so called health care professionals and by the general public. Also, by reading this blog I hope other carers of people with Schizophrenia are strengthened by knowing that they are not alone and that things do get better.
I’m sorry if that statement offends you. I use the term “carer” not because Mr Man is a burden, but because there is no denying that he needs full time support. And I say “I hope carers are strengthened” because when the person you love is ill beyond recognition the pain is unimaginable. And I say “things do get better” as if things were terrible at one time, because they were.
This blog isn’t all about my own suffering though; I want people to understand what it is like for the person suffering from Schizophrenia as well. Whatever emotional pain I have experienced watching Mr Man suffer is nothing compared to the pain and fear that Mr Man has endured whilst suffering from these delusions and hallucinations. I think Schizophrenia is greatly misunderstood, and I hope that by writing this blog I can dispel some of the misconceptions that the public have. I want to raise awareness about the condition.
I also should add that although Mr Mans illness has been very hard for both of us to cope with at times, it has also brought us closer together, and in that respect it has had a positive effect on our marriage. I am aware that many marriages end in divorce when either the husband or wife suffers from a mental illness of some kind. I hope that my blog gives out the message that marriages can survive mental illness and that something destructive can be turned into something constructive.
Despite the title of my blog, I view Mr Man as a man (an amazing one at that) fighting Schizophrenia, not simply as “a Schizophrenic” with no other identity of his own. The reason why I titled my blog that way is partly because it rolls off the tongue easier than “The Wife of a Man with Schizophrenia” which seems a bit long winded. Also, although many of my readers are either sufferers, carers, or mental health workers, I hoped that the title would be punchy enough to attract “clueless” people who may learn something by reading this blog, and I’m glad to say that I have previously received comments which confirm that this is the case.
Once again, I sincerely apologise if my blog has caused you offence. I hope I have explained myself adequately. Thanks again for your valued comment.