I can’t figure out how I slipped through the cracks and wasn’t officially diagnosed as schizophrenic until 2020 at the age of forty-eight. Afterall, as a nine year old, I was taking a drug called Melaril, a first generation antipsychotic drug that was withdrawn worldwide in 2005 because it caused severe cardiac arrhythmias, but is still available generically. For forty years, this drug was primarily prescribed for schizophrenia, and I was taking it in elementary school.
Yet. I always thought I suffered from depression as a child and bipolar disorder as an adult. I don’t know if it’s because schizophrenia is laced with such negative stigma, and unmedicated, it should be. It’s awful. Think. What’s up is down and what’s down is up.
As a child, I can understand it. Who at the age of nine wants to be thought of as “schizo” or “psycho?” But as an adult, not being diagnosed or at least told that I was schizophrenic, I’m quite bitter. Being correctly told your diagnosis is extremely important. When I “believed” I was Bipolar, it seemed that practically everybody I told said they were Bipolar as well. It’s practically fashionable in this day and age to have a not so mild mental health disorder, but schizophrenia is a whole different ballgame. Most schizophrenics won’t admit it. I’m here to tell you. I am.
And through proper diagnosis and medication, you can live a relatively normal life with it. But who wants to be completely normal anyway?