Schizophrenia, Poetry and the Everything In Between
December 5, 2018 7:19 AM   Subscribe

The remarkable story of a woman diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, who manages to find her voice again through poetry. Amy Willans is now an award winning social support worker herself, and has given the radio program 'White Coat, Black Art' this candid interview about how writing helped her rediscover herself.
posted by TruthfulCalling (3 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I work with people with "severe and persistent mental illness" (Medicaid's term) and I wish there was so much more of this realization that they're people, that they have skills and talents, and that they get better, especially with peer support. We have a large peer-run advocacy and wellness center in our building and the artwork for sale is often amazing. And the longer I work in a licensed-professional helping context in this field, the more important I think the peer-support movement is. Recovery is not just about finding the right medications (though that can be part of it, but it's not always even necessary) but about building a meaningful life, and peer support is so vital to that. And it would help if the licensed professionals would get a clue and stop reinforcing stigma or outdated ideas that people with mental illness never recover.
posted by lazuli at 8:08 AM on December 5, 2018 [7 favorites]

Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are not the same thing.
posted by mareli at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

I did not know that, mareli. I just looked it up and learned that schizoaffective disorder is very similar to schizophrenia, but it also has a mood disorder component that is either bipolar or depressive. That sounds very, very challenging to live with and manage.

I liked the Hallelujah piece at the very end.
posted by sockermom at 9:41 AM on December 5, 2018

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