It was a hard day when I found out that someone I deeply cared about had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is basically a mental disorder where reality gets very confused. The person that I know that has Schizophrenia does not honestly understand the difference between reality and delusions. People with Schizophrenia tend to live in a world that only they can understand.
The problem with Schizophrenia is that not everyone who is in a Schizophrenic’s life knows that they actually have it. In my case, I had no idea that the person that I cared about it had it. I thought that all the stories that were being told were accurate. I was truly scared for that person. It took some time before I knew the truth.
An example of this was when I was being told that the person was afraid to go to sleep. This person feared that someone was breaking into the house at night, and so would refuse to go to sleep for days. The police were being called several times to come and check out the house. It seemed like a plausible story. Crime is everywhere these days. However, after talking with the family member of this person she told me it was all a delusion. The person I cared about did not know the difference between reality and fantasy because of having Schizophrenia.
In this person’s case, as long as medicine is being taken the delusions are manageable. However, this person feels that medicine is bad, and usually does not remember to take it. Even after just a few days of being off medication their mind is totally affected. They are not sane then, and it makes me feel like I am the insane one trying to figure out what is fact and what is fiction.
My protective nature wants me to fight for injustices, and when this person tells what is happening as truth I want to protect them. It is confusing, and it is heart breaking to see someone that you care about have Schizophrenia. People with Schizophrenia believe strongly that what is happening is real. There is no reasoning with them that it what they believe may not be accurate. They usually just end up getting mad with you for not understanding that what they are saying is true for them. What is happening to them in their world is what is real to them.
So it is a delicate balance of love and understanding while trying to not get frustrated yourself. When you are close to someone you want to be there for them no matter what. You so badly want someone with Schizophrenia to get better. You want the person that you loved and cared about back. Sometimes they are back for a brief moment, but other times it can feel like you are talking to a complete stranger. Schizophrenia is not just hard for those who are diagnosed with it, but also those who care about them.