Tuesday, May 01, 2007

About This Blog

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.


Catherine said...

An eloquent response to such a forward comment. I do not have schizophrenia, nor do I know anyone who does, but through your posts I have gotten a glimpse of what it would be like to have it. You have done a much better job educating me about schizophrenia than any technical website ever could.

Thank you for your willingness to be honest and open.

Anonymous said...

Don`t worry too much MMW. If you say what you think there will always be someone who disagrees. Unfortunately, in modern Britain, too many people are far too willing to claim they`re "offended". Your blog is first rate, long may it continue.

And you`re absolutely right, schizophrenia can take a heavy toll but it`s also a very positive thing. I suspect we would still be in some hunter gatherer phase if it wasn`t for minds capable of thinking outside of the box.

Slurry said...

A wonderfull answer MMW and I think it sums up your blog wonderfully, and totally agree about schizophrenia not being a identity, its just a afliction like any other.
My new meds are ok, tho finding it hard to get up in the morning!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Catherine, I'm glad my writing has achieved its purpose. Thank you for your positive comments.

Thank you Anonymous (although through my sharp detective skills I suspect I know who that post was from!) I know you’re right; there will always be someone who will disagree (and if you are who I think you are you are the master at it! Forgive me if I am mistaken about your identity), but I felt I should answer properly because I have been questioned before about the title of my blog and I am sure there are others who are offended either by the title or the content but have not commented. I believe there is greater understanding in communication.

When you mention Schizophrenia being a positive thing it brought to mind another point that I probably should have included in my post (maybe I will) and that is that it has had a positive effect on our marriage because it has brought us much closer together.

Thank you Slurry for your positive comments also. I’m glad you have had no major problems with your new medication so far. How does it compare with your other meds in controlling your symptoms?

Slurry said...

So far so good with it all, they cant change me over rapidly as it makes me rather unwell, so at the moment I am on a combo of amisulpride, respiradone and the new geodon, so its no wonder I feel I can hardly move, but as things are redused I will feel better Im sure but till then I shall continue to sit in my garden in a drug induced haze catching a few rays! I so hope if it works I can stay on it, as its only really a trial, and I dont fancy going back on most the drugs I have been on! which meds is Mr Man on?

Mr Mans Wife said...

Well, it's certainly a good time of year for sitting in the garden in a drug induced haze!

As for Mr Mans meds... ok, time for an update in the blog :)

animegaijingirl said...

Catherine pretty much said everything I was going to say about the anonymous comment =)

But I also have to say, I've learned so much more about the subject here than anything on TV/in movies/in books etc. While everyone may be affected by it differently, reading this is at least a starting point for understanding some aspects of the condition.

Also, I'm glad to read how you have been able to negotiate the relationship challenges the new dynamic has brought up. I have watched the dynamic of my parent's relationship change as my mother's MS has progressed, but they aren't really talking about that part of it with us kids (they're busy dealing with it and trying not to burden us too much), so reading your feelings has been interesting.
To see that a partner's illness affects what you can do and how you live your life is to be expected (as one who has seen that part), but that (at least in your case) it doesn't affect your love or respect for Mr Man is very comforting!

All the best
Becca, Glasgow

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Becca, I’m glad that you have found my blog informative.

I’m sorry to read of your mothers condition, but glad that she is not suffering alone.

It’s true that many carers have the same kind of issues to deal with even though they may be caring for loved ones with very different illnesses.

I hope both of your parents are able to find the support they need.

Thank you for your positive comments.

Anonymous said...

The MM in MMW could also stand for Miss Marple. You`re quite right, it was me. I wasn`t trying to comment anonymously, I just forgot to sign off. My age, I`m afraid.


Mr Mans Wife said...

Lol, I quite fancy myself as a detective - I love Frost, Holmes, and Poirot - but I'm sure I wouldn't be that good at it in "real life". I'm dying to go to one of these murder mystery nights - pun not intended!

Rhea said...

Ditto everyone's comments. I've found your blog to be very informative.
Sadly, mental health is still such a taboo subject and yet when I think about it there are a number of people in my life who are affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. These illnesses need to be seen in the same light as asthma, diabetes, IBS - just natural imbalances in the body's functions.

Mr Mans Wife said...

I completely agree with you Rhea.

Thank you for your positive comments about my blog as well.

Alexis said...

mr man's wife,

I suffer from bipolar disorder myself, and while probably not nearly as debilitating as schizophrenia, it does have it's moments. From what I read, you are doing a wonderful job. While people may criticize, you are there and loving for your husband, which is more than what a lot of "normal" people have. Also, even therapists have therapists. If they didn't, they would probably explode themselves. I imagine one's support system, even if it is just a blog and the people reading it, like a man laying down on a bed of needles. The more needles there are (therefore the less weight each needle bears), the more bearable it is to be on that bed of needles. If you didn't have this blog to vent, that would be one less needle, and more stress on you. I know I'm rambling, and I'm sorry, but I just wanted to let you know that we understand. There are people here, like my fiance (and my mother), who go through what you do (even if on a different level) everyday. As a person who does need taking care of, I commend you for your committment (and your balls). Good job.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Alexis, no apology necessary for the rambling; I know exactly what you mean. You're right, I definitely think that blogging has been a type of therapy for me.

Thank you for your kind comments, they are much appreciated.

Love Always Hopes said...

Hi mr mans wife,

I don't know how my hubby would feel about my blog. I do hope that if he ever reads it that he will understand and see how much I love him and just want to hopefully help someone else so they know that they are not alone. Thats exactly how I feel when I read your blog. You have given me so much help in knowing that just because our loved ones are suffering from Schizophrenia doesn't mean life is over, it maybe hard, but life is hard no matter what, people just experience it in different ways. I feel that God gave us this opportunities so we can grow and appreciate life and the people we have in our life.
I am still trying to get through your blog, seeing how I have a lil'one its hard for me to have me time with out interuptions. I do look forward to all your new post. I just hope that my blog is just has respectful and helpful as your is.

Thank you mr mans wife for having the willingness to share your experience, strength and hope with all of us.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Love Always Hopes, thank you so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate it.

I feel the same way as you, that we all experience trials but in different ways.

I sincerely hope that your and Mr LAH can overcome this particular trial together. Best wishes to you.

Ronen said...


I just wanted to give you a hug.
I know that sometimes it can be very difficult to be the mate of a man who suffers from schizophrenia. But remember in all time that both sides should invest in your relationship. I'm saying that as a sufferer who is married to a wonderful wife. I see my illness as the best thing that ever happened to me.

Best of luck,

Mr Mans Wife said...

Hi Ronen, thank you for your comment and your hugs! I'm really glad that things are working out for you. Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

I recently started getting harassing emails from a reader who thought my sz blog was despicable. I tried to handle it much the same way that you did, but it escalated to the point that I chose privacy and made the blog invite-only, after 3 years of being public. Thank you for being so kind and listing Someone Just Took My Picture in your blog roll. As always, I still look forward to your posts.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing blog, and really leaves me feeling more understood and confident. I'm a schizophrenic, and my bf of 5 years is definitely my carer.

We have gone through a lot together in dealing with my illness, including my multiple suicide attempts, med changes, and mood swings.

I will say its a lot better now! With his help, i'm starting to get more self reliant, and am looking at trying to get back in the workforce.

Keep up the great blogs!

Mr Superman's wife said...

Mr Man's wife:
Your blog is giving me some hope for my marriage with a Superman, who is still a Superman albeit with some hyper-activity followed by super-dullness followed by over confidence followed by no self esteem followed by... well ... please keep blogging! I am learning a lot about surviving my relationship from this blog!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you so much Sarah, Anonymous, and Superman's wife!