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Another problem with the current diagnosis perhaps exists due the stigma surrounding psychosis and being “crazy”. If you ever watch a horror movie or even a thriller, usually one of the killers has a mental illness of some sort. Some of these movies are located specifically in a psychiatric ward, usually abandoned, while others are about a psychotic person who has yet to be institutionalized. Over the years and years, I have come to believe that schizophrenics are people who are extremely impaired, those who are functionally incompetent. At least for me, the stigma toward psychosis made me believe that unless those hallucinations told me to kill someone or do something else irrational of that degree, that I was fine. I thought that the voices had to be real, because the voices were not telling me to do anything insane enough to trigger an alarm for me. And of course, living in a mental hospital for the rest of my life, which I had come to believe happened to the mentally ill, was also something I was terrified about, especially if I did not see a need to be there.

In my case, I think that I was first troubled by mental illness in my elementary school years. I had no hallucinations or delusions, but I had mood swings from bipolar disorder. I would be manic for a couple of months and would then crash for the next. While I never attributed it to a mental illness, it did confuse me and made me question the relationship I had with my friends. During my mania, I would be very close with my friends, but then the depression would kick in and I would wonder why I suddenly felt so distant from them. At that time I attributed that there must have been something that I had done wrong, but thankfully now I know that it was not my personality, but rather mental illness.

If you look more into schizophrenia, you will find out that usually the trigger for it is stress. I guess that might be the reason why most people are diagnosed for schizophrenia as a young adult, during the stress of university.

I guess it seems kind of crazy, but for me that stressful moment was probably in my freshman year of high school. I was just getting used to the environment there, and became really stressed over my English course. The teacher was an extremely hard marker and made the entire class do a lot of work. Because of this, I had a lot of trouble getting used to the heavy workload, something that I had never run into in elementary school. I think I was stressed for the entire semester because of constant assignments from English class. I was used to going above and beyond in elementary school, and by the end of the semester I realized that I just did not have enough time in high school to continue to work like that.

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