Monday, November 22, 2010

What's it like for other people?

It is well-known that no two people labelled "schizophrenic" are alike. One of the hardest things for me at the beginning of this crisis was comparing how Chris was stacking up against "the competition." The competition were the people who were doing better than Chris at the moment or the people who were much older and fully recovered. I was frightened that Chris would be part of the group that wouldn't make it.

Well, I shouldn't have been so worried (and neither should you be about your own relative) because Chris is making it and far surpassing the expectations of the psychiatrists who labelled him in the first place. Even though Chris is not like your son or daughter in the way the crisis unfolded in him it doesn't mean that the remedies are different.  

The point I'm trying to make is that when I report progress with Chris, it may not at all ressemble anything that you are experiencing. When I write that I am pleased that Chris seems utterly bored these days, it may bear absolutely no relation to what's happening with your relative. Yet, I wonder if boredom (or some other under-exercised emotion) is a significant sign of progress that can be applied to anybody in this situation, especially if your relative is the type who never expressed much discontent one way or the other. To be discontented means that something will eventually change. A light may go on. The trick here for me is not to leap in with all kinds of ideas to alleviate boredom. He needs to take sustained action himself.

Let him be bored.

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