Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. People with schizophrenia — the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses — often have problems functioning in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. Schizophrenia can leave its sufferer frightened and withdrawn. – Taken from WebMD
This may be what most people think of when they hear the word, Schizophrenia. Me, however, I think of my grandma.
Even when I was little I knew that something wasn’t right with my grandma. She wasn’t like my other grandma, instead she was more child like. She was often talking to herself and there were a few times that I heard her talking about people coming to get her, I’m assuming those times where when she wasn’t on any meds. But being young, I didn’t know exactly what was wrong, I just knew she was a little different. It wasn’t until I got older that I understood exactly what the diagnosis meant.
But while I’ve only know my grandma this way, my mother knew her before the disorder affected her. According to my mom, she used to be like everyone else, until a series of tragedies slowly took her mind away from us. I don’t know if it was the tragedies that allowed the disorder in, or if she was destined to have it all along and it was just a coincidence that she hit the age when the disorder normally manifests around the same time of the tragedies. Whatever the reason, I’m sure it was hard on not only her, but also her husband and kids. In fact, her and my grandpa divorced after her diagnosis. I’m not sure how long after since they were already separated at my earliest memory.
If you’ve ever read about Schizophrenia before then you may have read that it’s hereditary and that scares me. To my knowledge, no one else in my family has the disorder but it doesn’t usually manifest until early 20s/30s and myself and my cousins are all getting to that age and it’s scary to think about.
Thank you Christy for sharing this story. Seeing a loved one go through a mental health issue is always hard, especially when you don’t know exactly what is going on. I, and everyone else, definitely wish your family the best!