Yes, I agree. Same happens in the news here, dementia seems to be accepted by society. When my daughter disappeared for a month 2 years ago, I could barely get anyone interested in trying to help. Yet an old person (sorry, I am an old person too) who wanders off without his/her meds is suddenly big news. I guess it is just that one is an “accepted” “physical” illness of the brain, and one is not? When I am successful in finding her a job, it is because I tell people she is “special needs” and they are sometimes willing to help. I certainly can’t say she is schizophrenic. That usually ends the conversation right there…
I certainly feel I can’t talk easily about what is going on with my daughter… I feel that people get really quiet not knowing what to say… that is how both my parents and my wife’s parents responded. A few people have been supportive, including my oldest brother and my wife’s sister.
Could schizophrenia come under the disability act?
I think schizophrenia does fall under the disability act. My son receives SSI, and is considered disabled.
Sometimes I do describe my son as disabled; other times I say he has a ‘serious mental illness’. Both of these are less stigmatizing than using the term schizophrenia.
Wow, yeah what gives? It’s ok for my son to live in absolute filth but not for other members of our society with brain disorders. There have been many times where I felt like I was living in the twilight zone in regards to the care we were able to access.
I think it has roots in history and in cost. SMI has been around for a long time and outdated explanations lay the blame on the sufferer and parents. Long term care in asylums is expensive, so de-institutionalization once neuroleptics were invented was jumped to as a ‘solution’. Legal changes surrounding committals and forced treatment didn’t help much either.
As life expectancies increased so did dementia, and a new generation of caregivers was born. Much easier to discount the sufferings of ‘crazy people’ than grandma and grandpa. And the plain truth is the elderly are on Medicare and Social Security without much fuss at all, so the money’s there.
Maybe going back to the initial label of dementia praecox (early dementia) for schizophrenia might help.
I wonder what sort of alert color would be appropriate for a SMI emergency?