Denying 'schizophrenia' makes improving services difficult

Susan Inman

My younger daughter, who lives with us, has a schizoaffective disorder. Our family found a diagnosis to be very helpful in understanding the horrific experiences our daughter was having when she became psychotic. We continue to find it very useful because it helps us identify relevant research; allows our daughter to receive important supports and accommodations in academic settings; provides a way for her to understand her experiences and explain them to others; and identify other people who have shared experiences.

Our daughter has a very healthy acceptance of her quirky brain; she doesn't believe that her disorder is her fault or ours. She doesn't believe that she has anything to be ashamed of. She is interested in understanding all she can about her brain disorder so that she can continue to manage symptoms. Our daughter often says how much she appreciates Clozapine, the anti-psychotic that let her return to sanity and allowed her to begin to function again.

We just wish that Canada, like the US, would begin to make more cognitive rehabilitation programs available; given the vast data about the effectiveness of these kinds of programs in helping people restore the cognitive losses that frequently accompany schizophrenia, we believe that these programs represent best practice and should be easily accessible.

We're very troubled by people who deny that schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders exist. This makes improving services more difficult.