This is an interesting article from the Schizophrenia Bulletin (one of the leading journals focused on schizophrenia research - but which frequently include articles from consumers/suffers of schizophrenia and other healthcare workers who focus on helping people who have schizophrenia. The full article is included below in PDF format that you can click and read.
recovery champions: A Personal View on Making recovery Happen
Having a mental health problem can be a frightening, isolating, and even terrifying experience. Seeing things and hearing voices can be disturbing and carry with them stigma and exclusion from ordinary human relationships, employment, and even simple things that are taken for granted like socializing, going out, or making friends. One person I knew in hospital saw people covered in snakes, while another saw people on re. I myself have heard threatening and taunting voices, saying: “You wait until you see what I’m going to do to you!”
Too often, people can withdraw into themselves and be cut off from others, even from close family members and carers. This is not helped when seeing things and hearing voices are labeled as “hallucinations” to be dismissed and ignored. Having a mental health problem also has “nega- tive symptoms” such as tiredness, loss of emotion, and apathy. This is not helped by the undesirable side effects of many antipsychotic drugs, which may cause tremors, tired- ness, uncontrollable shaking, dribbling, apathy, and weight gain. I can say from personal experience that these side effects are often humiliating, embarrassing, and painful. People with mental illness can withdraw into themselves and become passive, a shell, a shadow of their former self, and almost zombielike. People can end up just going through the motions of life in an empty and hollow way.
According to Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor, who have run the Recovery Champions course in places as diverse as Scotland, Australia, Italy, and Palestine, making recovery happen is about learning to live again and not just exist as a shadow in some sort of half-life. Rather than running away from the pain and dificulty of living with a mental health problem and withdrawing from life, people are positively encouraged to discuss their voices and difficult experiences.
Full article below:
SchizophreniaRecoveryChampions_gray2013.pdf (363.3 KB)