Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

A TV show which made me think

I watched a reality show type TV programme a couple of weeks ago.There was a girl,19 years old,who seemed very confused.She was married but getting divorced.

Her husband said she occasionaly left home and went away,no contact during that time and then came back sometime later.They asked her what she was doing during the time she was away since she had no money on her.She said she slept at emergency departments of hospitals and sometimes when the weather was fine,in the parks.It was so heart breaking.And now that she was getting divorced,they asked her what she would do.She had a mother and her mother had a house but she didn’t want to go there for some reason.

The show was kind of a charity show and the hosts of the show contacted government officials about what could be done for her.They said first of all,they could provide accommodation for her at one of the women’s shelters and do all the other necessary things one by one.The hosts were happy and said “your life will change.The government is taking you under its generous wings.” She said “ok” and seemed happy.

But,three days later I heard on the show that she didn’t want to stay at the women’s shelter and left to an unknown destiny.The hosts were puzzled.Why on earth someone would do that?Well,I’ve heard many stories like that.And also,had an experience first hand so it is not something surprising to me anymore after all I’ve known about schizophrenia.Do I understand though? No,unfortunately.

Can anybody tell me what is the motive behind that? You have a chance to straighten out your life and you shove it aside.This must be more than self-sabotage.What is it really? Is it a desire for freedom no matter what? Is it rebellion? What is it?

For me it has been either

  1. Not being able to trust people. It would be better to die alone than to be hurt by others.

  2. Not believing that anyone would actually help me, so not bothering to ask or seek out help.

It’s also entirely possible that the women on the show had a condition that made her incapable of understanding and functioning on a high enough level to be able to take advantage of the services. Putting someone with a mental health problem so severe that they run away to live in parks, in a shelter, isn’t going to fix anything.

Maybe she didn’t like the shelter, is not an easy place to live. Maybe she prefered to be alone on the streets, some people choose that life, I’ve met a few and it is about freedom mostly.

Does that girl have schizophrenia?

I don’t know if she has schizophrenia or not.It wasn’t mentioned but I think this type of behaviour is very common among people who have schizophrenia .

Yes, it’s common. I didn’t do it, I just stopped working, but didn’t run away.
Ran away from home when I was 14 but it was a tamtrum.

Did they really say that? :open_mouth: Weird thing to say. What country did they film this show in?

:relaxed: I know, it must have sounded different to you.I am somewhere in Europe.Schizophrenia has no nationality.

I’m European too. We must live in different parts of Europe because that would be a weird thing to say here.

There is diversity in Europe.Different cultures may have different points of views.

But that is not what we are focused on here.I personally try to understand schizophrenia as much as I can and better my relationship with my family member in a way that will be healthier for both parts.

Besides;if an ill person has noone to care for her,a compassionate approach from a government which protects the ill person’s right to an adequate standart of living is something very good in my opinion.The vulnerable in society should be protected.I wouldn’t be bothered by the words “taking you under its generous wings” Here,vulnerable people are protected in many ways and I find it compassionate. But as I said,we aren’t here to discuss it anyway.

I just asked where it was filmed because I was curious. I was not trying to argue with you or discuss how the government should help people with sz, and I was not bothered by that sentence. You are reading too much into this. And I do not think asking where it was filmed was off topic. You talked about the show in your OP and I replied to that.

Many people with SMI reject services due to delusions.

If the girl on the show had delusions, she was not making a decision based on what can be observed in common reality i.e. she might have believed the people at the shelter were going to harm her or were part of a conspiracy.

So, for her, if she has or had debilitating delusions, she was making the best, safest, and most logical choice based on what she is experiencing and what she believes. The fact that most societies respond to this illness by acting like the person chooses to reject assistance shows an extreme lack of understanding and care.

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Very good explanation! Thank you so much ! You have contibuted a lot to my understanding of the illness.

People are notorious for self-destructive, irrational, incomprehensible, and illogical behavior. Who knows what she’s really thinking or what her motives are? Who really knows what all the demons in another person mind are, including the people we think we know best?