Schizophrenia – Michel Jean

My mother was always a very sweet,
mellow type of person. Unfortunately, I didn’t have
the chance to know her very much before she developed schizophrenia. My name is Michel, I’m 27 years old, and my mother suffers
from schizophrenia. She was someone that
didn’t take a lot of space. She didn’t talk very much,
she was very sweet. At least, that’s what I gather
from people that were close to her. I stayed with her and… I went through her life,
her troubled world with her, with the eyes of a child, essentially. I never judged her.
I loved my mother, and for me, she was just a normal person. She was 29 years old when she started
developing symptoms. She had a very odd behaviour, but at the time, my family,
my dad, her mother, her father, they didn’t do much because they just didn’t understand
at all what was happening with her. She… she hasn’t worked in a while because, as most people with schizophrenia, she has anxiety, she has trouble with stress, so she isn’t able to work and she hasn’t been able
to work for a long time. But fortunately for her, after the diagnostic, her family was there to equip her, help her, and to this day she’s fine,
but the social stigma around schizophrenia is very hard to shake off, so… she lost her friends. She did lose her family at some time. In a way, she did lose me too. We can’t go on like this and allow people afflicted
with this disease to get isolated, to lose their family,
to lose their jobs. But I think the biggest step
to be done is from us, people all around the world, to be more understanding
of people with mental illness, and schizophrenia, in my case,
with my mother.

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