Living in the dark
I grew up as one of five children with a mother who had schizophrenia. Mum was in and out of hospital when I was very young and we didn’t understand why. We were passed around a lot between various relatives, but while we knew something was not quite right - no-one told us that Mum had schizophrenia.
On reflection, if only I had had some education about mental illness and been able to understand more about Mum’s illness, things would not have been so traumatic for me. Not knowing anything much about what schizophrenia was, I associated it with depictions of mental illness in movies I had seen, such as ‘Psycho’. I didn’t want to associate those images from popular culture with my Mum and so began a long period of denial that she was experiencing mental illness. Read more