I understand that it has helped heal the lives of countless people and will continue to do so. And as a model of climbing out of addiction, I can objectively see its advantages for those with more open minds than mine.
Remember that phrase, “climbing out of addiction”, as it is important to this essay. Or, at least I think it is.
Not so loyal readers will know that I am schizophrenic with clinical depression. Up until the DSM V was released this year, this was known as schizoaffective. I don't know if I got a promotion, or what.
Part of my “illness” is that I only leave the house once a day to circle the block with the dog, and once every three months to go to see my shrink. My only friend lives across the country from me. I live with my 'legal' husband. We have an arrangement. He is more my care giver.
So, social media is important to me. It is really the only contact I get. I've tried to fit in here and there, and never really found my niche. Most depressing was my hunt for like broken minded people. I found a lot of people afflicted with bi-polar, ADHD, and OCD, but no schizophrenics. No real schizophrenics, just kids messing around with the word.
So I did a Google search for “schizophrenia advocacy US” which led me to http://www.sardaa.org/. I looked over the site and couldn't help but notice their references to “Schizophrenics Anonymous”. The very idea seemed so absurd that I just skipped over it until it was all that was left for me to read on the site.
Schizophrenics Anonymous is a real thing. It is a 6 step program, based on the traditional 12 step program. Number 6 is turning it all over to a Higher power. It's got forgiveness of all that hurt you. It's got all the main tenets of the 12 step program, without the repetition (the 12 steps are a bit redundant).
So what we're saying is, schizophrenia = addiction? A mental illness that can be treated like addiction? Nothing about taking meds. This very concept is at once ridiculous and repugnant to me. With the help of god, I can overcome schizophrenia? Many atheists view religious belief as a symptom of mental illness. I've alienated myself from that Twitter crowd trying to stick up for the mentally ill that don't fall for the religious line. This doesn't help things.
This was started back in 1965 (or 1964, depends on which schizophrenic's story you believe) by a, I'm sure, well-meaning schizophrenic that just wanted to help others. But no. It is so wrong. Bad stigma.
If nothing else, addiction is the symptom of something else. Schizophrenia is the something else. It's the bottom of the barrel. It is the problem. And it can't be prayed away. If it could, I would be well. I had so many “laying on of hands” after my illness cropped up to save anyone from anything.
I am insulted by this approach to schizophrenia. And I am hopeless, because this is the only thing out there for me. And it is definitely not for me. If you need me, I'll be over at http://www.schizophrenia.com hiding in the research section.