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LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA By Aderonke Nofiu

The same way empathy is shown towards physically challenged people – where everyone tries to be kind to them to make things go easier on them and not affect their health more – is the same energy that should be channeled towards mentally challenged people.

Have you ever wondered how it would be like for you to encounter someone telling you that something terrible will happen to you tomorrow? This person has mentioned this premonition to you at three different times, in different places. You try to explain this to close friends of yours and they all look at you as though you are talking gibberish.

Let us make it simpler.

Have you ever experienced being tagged a liar when trying to explain an event that happened to you? When you have to constantly defend and try to prove to everyone that you are speaking the truth, but no one believes you? And after a while, another person who witnessed the event comes by, and in your relief of having someone corroborate your story, you ask this person to attest to your narrative. But alas, he denies knowledge of everything you mentioned. Imagine this happening to you.

How will you feel?

Will you feel unbothered by their disbelief?

OR

Will you feel livid?

You feel like staying away from everyone? You feel alone, like no one is on your side. You don’t know who to trust, or who else to talk to.

This is exactly how people suffering from Schizophrenia feel too.

Their story is real and true to them. You may not understand it, or accept it, but you should not reject them. Listen to them, reassure them and encourage them to seek professional help. Be supportive to them, and let them feel accepted and loved.

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