EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a very technical, researched piece I wouldn’t normally publish here but its content is close to many of our hearts. Thank you as always for reading.
In an age of mental health awareness—even by our nation’s celebrities and respected public figures—there is one group of people still suffering the aftermath of mental health stigma. The schizophrenic people have been so heavily stigmatized for their brain disease that in some cases they won’t even seek treatment for fear of being discriminated against. Lack of treatment can lead to a plethora of issues, including suicide. Of the few (in comparison to the masses raising awareness about other mental illnesses) writing and speaking about this disease, most prefer to use the term ‘people with schizophrenia’ over ‘schizophrenic’ because people to do not want to be defined by the illness. Even Elyn Saks, a professor who has achieved fame with her memoir The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, has been quoted many times with the words, “Please hear this: There are not schizophrenics. There are people with schizophrenia.” Other advocates and mental health professionals have warned me against the term ‘schizophrenic’, which is precisely the reason I believe this disease needs activism. The desire not to be defined by something that is so clearly part of us veils the real problem: we need to educate society about the disease we live with instead of making an attempt to distance ourselves from it. Schizophrenia is not a shameful thing and we should own it just as we would own anything else about ourselves that we are proud of.
Continue reading The Oppression of the Schizophrenic People
by Neesa Suncheuri
I live in a hole the ground.
It is my beloved place of refuge.
Always, it is safer to stay within the earth,
Protected by its mass,
Than ever it is to emerge outside naked,
Into that evil world.
Continue reading Metaphor: THE WORM
by Eleanor Parker Sapia
Over the weekend, you watched the umpteenth YouTube video under the guise of researching for your work in progress. Congratulations, you now know more than anyone about the history of toilets, the sketchy death of Marilyn Monroe, and about the bedroom activities of the British monarchs.
Continue reading What’s Going On Here?
by Sarah Dubinsky
Across the street, she stands — impatiently — waiting for the light. Her hair catches the sun easily. The not-quite-natural blond and red highlights are becoming. Her smile is also easy enough. How attractive. A smile on her lips and a song in her heart.
— And a candy bar in her hand? Oh my.
What’s the other saying?
A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
So are we talking songs or cellulite?
I think we need to weigh the lightness of her heart. Scientifically, it would depend on her cholesterol count. I would think HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) weigh more than LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) cholesterol. But which is the bad one? High means more and more is always good. Low means less and less weight is always good. Is the pivotal factor triglycerides? “Tri” stands for three and three chins are always bad. Three candy bars are worse than one.
Maybe she is impatient because her heart is heavy. She shifts her weight to the right side. I hope her heart isn’t loose. If it slips out, there is no one around to clean it up.
Sarah Dubinsky’s stories, songs, and poems glitter like pyrite and have the depth of a puddle. She likes it this way and hopes you do too.
by Valarie Kinney
There was an axe in the back of my head, and I couldn’t stop writing.
Yesterday was a migraine day, and while I battled with myself for hours to push through, keep writing, keep working, eventually I gave up and went to bed.
Continue reading The Pain Behind the Words