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You know how it Is: you phone up somebody in the mainstream world, hoping to cement a friendship or just call round. You leave messages on their answering machine: they never get back to you. Why? Because you are a psychiatric sufferer. Mainstream folks feel uncomfortable with you, they avoid you. You are known about in the town or city where you live. Family have a different slot for you compared to other siblings.

The result of this ostracism can then conveniently be called paranoia by your psychiatrist. But the pain and humiliation, the suffering and loneliness caused by society making you an outcast: Do the social workers and CPNs consider this? Rejection causes paranoia.

Us and them-ism rules large in psychiatric circles and in mainstream society when it treats of psychiatric survivors. implicitly the tabloid media are saying "You the reader ain't schizo... they' re different babes..."

Yet there is the side where mainstream people pretend to find madness exciting. There is the popular supergroup Catatonia. The "Manic Street Preachers". Geri Halliwell has dubbed her latest CD 'Schizophonic'. But would these artistes really like to go mad?

Jim Morrison of Doors fame sang about 'the game called go insane' in "The Celebration of The Lizard".

If you break down, and come back, society brands you. Psychoprejudice is profoundly deep in Western Society. People who are politically correct about all other forms of prejudice do not think twice about discriminating against the mentally vulnerable. Often they do not know they are doing it. There is no law to protect against schizophobia and psychoprejudice.

Stephen Owen