Stigma and the Hidden Schizophrenia Epidemic

This is a very good article written by a person who cares for his son with schizophrenia. Most people with schizophrenia, I hear, are not open about having the illness. And close family members, too, tend to keep quiet about having a family member with schizophrenia. This article goes into why people keep silent about the illness.

When my son, Henry, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in early 2002 I knew nothing about mental illness. After seeing him for the first time in hospital in Brighton I went online in my hotel room and was dismayed to discover that the US Surgeon-General had said that schizophrenia was to mental disorders what cancer was to physical illness.

Later, I mentioned to close friends what had happened to Henry and found that a significant number knew all too much about schizophrenia because they had a close relative who suffered from it. Looking after a schizophrenic brother or a sister, or, most commonly, a son or a daughter, turned out to be a preoccupation that dominated their lives.

But these same friends had never previously mentioned their struggles with mental illness to me, though I thought I knew them well and they must have known that I was likely to be sympathetic.

*Bolding, mine.