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Depressive Schizophrenia - A personal view

By Stephen Owen


Depressive schizophrenia is a condition not often diagnosed by doctors and psychiatrists. Schizophrenia is too often seen as catatonic or florid, with little in between. But if the schizophrenic has returned to perceptive normality, too often, the result can be depression.

Professionals are caught with a Catch 22 situation. Too often, they are told to encourage their clients in acquiring living skills, self-management skills, etc. But if clients want to move out of benefit dependency, dependence on drop-ins etc. the professional can offer no realistic hope.

The real situation is that the mental health survivor usually can look forward to nothing more than a life of marginalisation. Coupled with schizophrenia, with the problem of coping with distressing voices etc. the result is too often life depression.

In Warwickshire, the social problems of madness are not acute as in the inner cities. The classic image of the homeless survivor walking along the street in rags clutching a few plastic bags, and muttering to himself or herself, is not seen. Well heeled individuals ignore these people, hurry on by. The schizophrenic in the housing association flat can at least afford despair. But that can lead to depression, to urges towards suicide.

There is really no large scale effort being made to putting mental health survivors back into a win-win situation in society. The writers COLIN WILSON and ALBERT CAMUS wrote about Outsiders, those who see society as it truly is. The mentally distressed are Outsiders. They have tried to cope.