Approximately one in five adults in America are affected by mental illness. Of this population, over 5% lives with schizophrenia. That's 2.4 million people.
Not only does schizophrenia (and mental illness more generally) lack accurate representation in media, it is seldom talked about or understood by those who aren't affected by it in a serious way. When it is depicted onscreen, it's typically associated with a negative stigma or represented by unrealistic extremes and harmful stereotypes. It's rare to hear about the reality of those who live with it.
In sharing her Money Diary, this analyst from Indiana shed light on what it's like to live with schizophrenia on a daily basis. We saw her contemplate how her medication interacts with her alcohol intake, and how it has forced her to think farther in advance than many people have to about having kids one day. We also saw just how expensive it is for her to get the treatment she needs. But she isn't alone: Financial costs associated with schizophrenia are disproportionately higher than they are for other mental and physical health conditions.
The diary drew a ton of supportive comments from the R29 community, with many admitting to knowing nothing about the illness and thanking her for sharing honestly about what it's like to live with it.
Ahead, an interview with the OP about how her schizophrenia impacts her life professionally, personally, and financially, without letting it define her.