If you've come here to discover whether or not I am crazy the answer is yes...but only sometimes
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of the process of thinking and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of around 1.5%. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior.
I'm creating this article because at my RfA in January some people made comments suggesting that I was not fit to edit (let alone use sysop tools) because I have this condition. It's understandable for people to feel that way, before they see my edits, and it's understandable for people to be scared, before they talk to me, but this article is meant to serve as a little introduction to what it's like to be a schizophrenic. It's really not that scary, I promise.
I said in my last draft of this that: I hope that this will encourage others to explore these issues and be less afraid of people who have similar conditions. - I still hope that, but if they don't, I've decided that's ok too. Schizophrenics have enriched our lives and our culture without people even realising they have the condition.
On a bad day
This has changed a lot since my last edit of this page. On a bad day I can't get out of bed, I can't form sentences, I can't leave the house. It sucks. A lot. But the reason that I can't get out of bed is because I am unable to formulate thoughts.
I still have hallucinations; I often believe that my limbs are broken, or that my bones are being crushed before my eyes. I can feel these things happening to me as the hallucination progresses. On particularly bad days I may wake up to hear voices, or believe that the people around me are spies sent from higher authorities to monitor and assess my behaviour.
A bad day will come along perhaps once every three to four months, I tend to have anywhere from a few hours notice to a few days notice of when it is going to come, which means that I can always take appropriate action. Sometimes I think a bad day is coming when it isn't, but I always find it's better to be cautious with regards to my health. No one wants to get sick and especially not me!
A 'bad day' can last from a few hours to a few weeks, but usually no longer than that. During that time I am in constant communication with my Community mental health team and their relevant crisis team who come and visit me at my house and look after me. Sometimes I go to hospital where there are no computers to hand!
On a good day
Anti-psychotics are my friends, and they're yours too! I take
one tablet a mixture of tablets every day and other than some (now thankfully) minor side effects, I am a completely normal and functioning human being! If you met me on WP, or in the street, you wouldn't know I had schizophrenia at all! Now that's something.
So why is it on your userpage?
Well, the reason for this has changed as well. I trust myself completely to be neutral with regards to mental health issues now. I haven't really touched the articles in two years and I don't think I'm going to start now! However, I already let the cat out of the bag, and in a way rightly so. I wanted other Wikipedians with mental illness to know that they were not alone. I wanted them to feel a sense of community within the community and to know that if they had any difficulties they could come to me for advice (which admittedly would mostly consist of: Take a wikibreak! but hey). I still think these things are important.
I also think it's important for people on here to know that people with mental illness can still function and still be productive members of the community. Unfortunately that's the part of the message I think most people missed, and that's a shame, because we can and we do edit! It's just that most of us are too scared to say anything for fear of reprisal from a community that doesn't understand.
So how does it affect your editing?
It really doesn't. Having an attack is similar to having a fit; it demobilises you. I personally cannot form thoughts cohesive enough to get out of bed, let alone log onto Wikipedia and navigate what isn't the most intuitive interface in the world.
Then when the bad day is over, or even if I think I'm going to have one soon, I'll put up a template on my page that says I am unwell, and take a break. It's that simple. I have enough self-awareness to know when it's going to happen, or has happened, and I ensure I log off every night before I go to bed, and that's it! No problems whatsoever.
But aren't vandals going to provoke you?
Of course they are. The entire internet is full of things that could provoke me, but I've figured out ways to deal with it and stop it happening. I won't go into them here, because then they could be subverted quite easily, but I've been dealing with this for so long that I've developed a fine system of coping mechanisms that see me through the day.
Just to drive the point home; here are some things that schizophrenics have achieved in spite of their illness:
- John Forbes Nash, Jr. - Won the Nobel Prize
- Syd Barrett - Well we all know Pink Floyd
- Lionel Aldridge - Superbowl winner
There are a ton more which can all be found here. Check it out if you have a minute! You might be surprised.
Cavalry on ED
—Cavalry, WMUK mailing list
- -hipcrime 20:57, 1 August 2012 (EDT)
Racist sexist, and homophobic is the least of it on Encyclopedia Dramatica. There's some very, very dodgy stuff on there. Very odd of Fox to be linking directly to a site that glorifies both rape *and* child abuse.
I wonder if the Fox News editor clicked 'random article' on that site?
--JuniusThaddeus 23:40, 1 August 2012 (EDT)