My Schizophrenic Uncle…



noun /ˌskitsəˈfrēnēə/  /-ˈfrenēə/

  • A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation
  • any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact

I have an uncle who suffers from  schizophrenia. He had a wife and two children (I say had because he’s hurt them so much and they probably felt neglected; it would be a long path to forgiveness and acceptance). He had medicine and didn’t take it. He’d lived my grandparents for a little while,  but was cursing them out, destroying their property, stealing from them, etc. and had to leave. He was even in a mental institution for a little while. But was never put back after a hospital evaluation in which he was asked “Do you want to hurt yourself or anyone else?” and he replied “no” (ridiculousness when it was obvious that he was mentally ill). And now he’s homeless. The sad thing is that he’s really intelligent. He can play multiple instruments, graduated from two colleges, and has played music all over the world. But now he’s homeless and off of his medication and out there to possibly hurt others and/or himself. I just realized that we’ll probably never hear from him or see him again. Until one day we get a call from the police, asking if this man with no money, no home, seemingly no family, and a failed mental health, who they found dead in some alley way or on the street, resembles my uncle…

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