The episode of True Life that I decided to watch was “I Have Schizophrenia.” This episode followed three individuals who are all suffering from a type of Schizophrenia and who are attempting to get their lives back on the right track.
The first individual was a guy in his early twenties named Josh. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and says that he hears animals talking to him and at one point in the episode, he tells his mother that the sun had talked to him. Josh refuses to take any kind of medication and claims to self medicate by smoking pot; he refuses to accept the sick role. He talks about how he likes his illness because it gives him someone to talk to when he is alone. He shows a chaos narrative because he refuses this treatment which causes social suffering. His mother tells him that he has a choice between moving out of her home, or entering into a rehab center and he choses to move in with some of his friends. After about a week he returns home to his mother but still refuses to partake in any kind of treatment. His mother agrees to this because she thinks that if he wasn’t living at home with her, then he would end up living on the streets and he would end up getting killed.
The next individual is name Ben and he was diagnosed with Schizo-effective Disorder. He expresses a restitution narrative as his main goal is to restore his health and be stable enough to return to school. His first symptoms was when he heard a voice of a man named Marcus who was telling him to kill himself. Now that he does not hear Marcus anymore, he still has major anxiety problems. He takes many pills a day to help balance his anxiety and stress. He feels that with his grandpa and his father both having cancer, that the stress it causes will cause him to have a relapse.
The last individual on this episode is a nineteen year old girl name Amber. Amber was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia as she thinks that everybody is always talking about her. She also shows a restitution narrative as her goal as well is to improve her health. She wants to be the high achiever in school that she once was but she knows her illness is now part of her new identity. She visits a psychiatrist and takes medication in hopes to get over her paranoia. Unfortunately I cannot speak for a whole culture, however I believe that America is becoming more accepting of mental illnesses. I think that organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an extremely useful form of narratives as lecture 4.2 states that for the listener, it can help them feel less isolated (ANP-204-video lecture 4.2/msu.edu). Knowing that there is a group of people around you who are suffering from the same illness, can help others realize that they are not alone in their struggle.