The Flawed Diamond

Published by Shahdaroba Friday 17th February 2012

I speak of an age-old problem in the field of Mental Health… Schizophrenia. Now, this is a word that could bring to mind all sorts of questions and answers.

If you ask the man in the street the meaning of the word you may get an uneducated reply, something along these lines: crazy person, not normal, loony tune, Jekyll and Hyde type person, dangerous person, someone who needs to be locked away from us normal people, and so on, and so on. (sad)

Many in the medical world believe Schizophrenia can be pigeon-holed as a person with multiple personalities, as a type of psychosis, another word I have often heard used in the world of medicine is Catatonia.

Now that’s a sparkler

Catatonia is a syndrome of psychic and motoric disturbances, (cause involuntary or uncontrollable movements or actions of the body) a condition marked by changes in muscle tone, or activity associated with a large number of serious mental and physical illnesses.

In the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV), it is not recognized as a separate disorder.

It can also be present in individuals suffering from physical and emotional conditions such as drug intoxication, depression, and schizophrenia (catatonic type). It is most commonly associated with mood disorders. If you wish to know more then click the link to our National Health Service for a more in-depth look at the subject.

Well, that’s enough of that for the time being. I should mention here that Schizophrenia is not the illness of madmen/women, unfortunately, the way mental health is often portrayed in the media these days reinforces that age-old perception of the general public. There is documented proof that some individuals who have a single attack of Schizophrenia recover and remain well never being bothered by the condition again.

I am no doctor or even a medical student, but as a counsellor, I do have my own personal view of Schizophrenia. Here it is.

What Is Normal

let us start with normal… tell me what is normal? My idea of normal is relative only to the individual…

Using myself as a simple example such as I like Coffee, and it would not be unusual for me not to have at least 2 cups every day. I also enjoy a drink of dark rum, and my appetite for chocolate biscuits has to be kept on the reign, I have also realized just recently I enjoy swimming in the nude, and I also do not believe I am prejudiced, etc, etc.

Now my partner as far as the above items mentioned is concerned likes none of the items bar one, (she is not prejudiced) her pet hate coffee. While we have many things in common we also disagree on other things. After I have had a drink of coffee there is no bribe I could offer her to kiss me with the smell of coffee on my breath or to go swimming with me in the nude.

Does this mean my partner/wife is not normal or has a psychiatric problem, no it does not. It just means we have differing tastes, moods, and attitudes and these parts among others make the whole. So from my viewpoint, it would be right to say normal is relevant only to the individual.

As individuals, I believe we are made up of many parts each part is unique to each individual, some are moody, some are happy, some of us are biased, while some are murderers, some hate the old, and even more of us are jealous of the young, you may often hear the comment youth is wasted on the young. This list could go on and on.

While we all share many of those mentioned the way we respond differs for each individual. So from my standpoint to say that each, and every one of us is made up of many parts is correct. These parts, and how we each respond to living give us our uniqueness, bundle it all together to make the whole (you). Not a Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, not a crazy person that has to be locked up, and kept away from normal people.

Yes, I do agree there could well be a small minority of people (individuals) that suffer from Schizophrenia and more than likely will never be free from symptoms such as hearing voices or having unusual beliefs, and yes some may be incomprehensible, and unpredictable even appearing menacing, but we are in more danger from being stabbed, raped, or mugged just for the hell of it by what some people term as normal people than we would be from a sufferer of Schizophrenia…

So why title this post flawed diamond?

A diamond has many facets. When held up to the light each facet sparkles and shines. Each diamond is unique, each facet makes up the whole (diamond). Some diamonds have flaws but these flaws still have a part to play in the making of the whole.

I look at those that suffer from Schizophrenia much like the diamond, there is no Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or anything else for that matter, just a flawed facet of the whole, and much like the diamond, it is possible to polish out the flaw repairing that particular person with medication if need be or as in the diamond facet polish out the flaw restoring the diamond/individual whole again, or normal.

What was that I said Normal… Well, here we go again… full circle methinks.

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