Butlers are awesome (systemaurora) wrote in little_details,
Butlers are awesome
systemaurora
little_details

Schizophrenia: little things you would/wouldn't like to see in fiction

I'm pretty familiar with most mental illnesses, and I know from personal experience how infuriating it can be when people perpetuate damaging stereotypes that usually have no basis in reality (thank you, "The Roommate." Ugh). Anyways, I would really like information on things to include and avoid when writing about schizophrenia so that someone with the diagnosis is shown in a positive light. My experience with hallucinations and delusions is limited to things like low blood sugar and medication interactions, so I'm not sure what's typical and what's just me talking to telephone poles because I'm 10 minutes away from insulin shock. =/

Anyways, one of my main characters is a strong, friendly, and generally highly competent super-powered woman (not really a hero, but not really evil enough to be a villain) who incidentally has schizophrenia. I'm thinking that her case was relatively mild during her late teen years, then worsened once she received her superpowers (electricity) in her early twenties. I also expect the symptoms will wax and wane with her menstrual cycle. By the time the story starts, she's found a drug combination that works for her. However, it's going to be a post-apocalyptic zombie story at some point, so chances are she won't always have access to the right meds and the stress of everything will probably not help.

Obviously I'm not going to write her as being violent as a result of the schizophrenia itself (because I know it's incredibly rare, not to mention damaging), but is there anything else you think I would benefit from knowing? Are there any specific delusions or hallucinations or other symptoms that are really common, or ones that people THINK are common but almost never happen? Would it be completely illogical if she started hearing the zombies talk inside her head while she was well away from them? Are there any stereotypes I should avoid, or any little known facts I should try to include?

I don't really even know how to search for this kind of thing. I hit my textbooks and google for in-depth information about the actual disease, but I'd like personal input from anyone with experience, first-hand or otherwise. :) Thanks in advance for any insight you have to offer.
Tags: ~psychology & psychiatry: schizophrenia
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