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David Baxter

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Teen Perspectives on Schizophrenia
December 10, 2007

Recently, we've come across a website called Teen Ink. It's a website that, as implied by its name, focuses on writing and art created by teens. On it, we've found perspectives of teenagers who either suffer from mental illness themselves or have loved ones who do. This is an age group we don't usually hear from on the subject of mental illness and we find these perspectives informative and difficult, yet still positive. Below are a couple of summaries of two personal perspectives on mental illness we've found on Teen Ink, along with links to the full stories:

My Schizophrenic Sister
This first story we've found is the perspective of a female teen whose sister suffers from schizophrenia. The author of the story says that her 13-year-old younger sister has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has problems with food. She says her sister wants to eat, but believes that she will became ill if she eats or drinks anything. So in addition to suffering from schizophrenia, her sister also suffers from anorexia. The author also comments on the stigma her sister experiences as a result of suffering from schizophrenia. She says her sister "...is quite intelligent, which people do not always see because they focus on the abnormalities of her personality," and stresses that schizophrenia is an illness "that should not be shunned or made fun of but understood and, eventually, cured." The author says she loves her sister, and will continue to support and care for her.

Loving Life
This story appeared in their May 2007 issue. It's a daughter's perspective on her mother's mental illness. Though the author never states which illness(es) her mother suffers from, the symptoms sound like schizophrenia. This account is particularly interesting because it describes the author's (daughter's) experience on visits to her mother in the hospital. She says her mother stops taking her medications because she feels she doesn't need them, and then ends up in the hospital. The author says, "...(s)he?s (her mother is) always glad to see us when we visit, and I rejoice to see her, but sometimes it makes me feel hollow inside. The halls are empty, the rooms so quiet you can hear your breathing. Visitors sit quietly, waiting anxiously to see their loved ones. The doctors smile sympathetically, but they don?t know how it feels to have that hollow feeling, like nothing will ever be right again." Still, the author says she tries to focus on the positive, the good things in life and emphasizes the importance of smiling.

Related Stories on Teen Ink:

Related Stories on our Site:


More Information on Schizophrenia - Family impact
 

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