The Effects of Schizophrenia vs. Other Chronic Illnesses

November 2, 2022 Rebecca Chamaa

When some people read about those of us dealing with the effects of schizophrenia, they feel the same way I do about some other chronic illnesses. How can we find joy when we can't trust our minds? How do we function when we have to go through psychosis or stay at a psychiatric hospital or treatment facility? How do we go on when we hear voices or have paranoia or delusions of one form or another? How do we form relationships, go to school, or, if we are fortunate, go to work? 

The Effects of Schizophrenia Might Terrify Some People

Living with schizophrenia is difficult, I'm not going to lie, but it is the diagnosis, illness, and effects of schizophrenia symptoms that I know. I'm familiar with it. While having schizophrenia might terrify some people, the idea of many other chronic illnesses scares me, and I read about people living with them (and thriving) every day.

I hate having a mental illness, but it is the foe that I know, and because there is no cure for it, I'll live with it for the rest of my life, just like some people live with chronic physical illnesses all of their lives. Generally, I'm not afraid of having schizophrenia because I have lived with it for over 20 years, and not all of those years, months, weeks, days, or hours have been bad or hard. I've experienced many successes and joys despite having a severe mental illness.  

Depending upon our illness's severity and ability to focus on other things, I think we get used to a set of circumstances (schizophrenia symptoms) we have to experience and eventually decide to make the best of it. The alternatives, like feeling sorry for ourselves (I occasionally do this) or becoming bitter, are not the way most want to go about our lives. Being symptom-free would be ideal, but because that isn't the reality for many of us, we do the best we can with what we have (like most people).

If I had a choice, I wouldn't choose to have schizophrenia. Still, since I have it, I try to (when I can) put schizophrenia out of my mind. I try to prioritize or notice other things when possible, especially things like kind, supportive people, people who love me, nectarines, peaches, bumble bees, a new journal, the smell of jasmine, the jacaranda trees when they are in bloom, tea, and coffee. The list goes without end if we are fortunate enough to take our focus off our illness and look around. 

APA Reference
Chamaa, R. (2022, November 2). The Effects of Schizophrenia vs. Other Chronic Illnesses, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Rebecca Chamaa

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