I’m here to talk about schizophrenia jokes. They aren’t funny, you aren’t clever, and we aren’t a walking one liner for you to tell. For starters, most schizo jokes are made at the expense of people with dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities) which is an entirely different thing than schizophrenia or its spectrum, (with its own stigma that I cannot speak to). This is annoying for a myriad of reasons but mostly it goes to show just how little is known about schizophrenia by the lay person and how frustrating it can be to have a disorder no one understands but everyone has an opinion about.
Schizophrenia is a spectrum, similar to the autism spectrum. Many people may have schizophrenia or an associated disorder and be perfectly able to live a normal life independent of assistance of any kind, others require round the clock care, and there are a million versions of ‘inbetween’. Everyone on this spectrum deserves the same amount of respect and kindness as people without schizophrenic disorders. There is literally no reason to assume someone that hears voices can’t hear you laughing at them. Or that someone who sees things that may not be there or believe in things they shouldn’t doesn’t know you’re a huge piece of shit.
Stop talking shit about the homeless people you see that are shouting at no one. Stop making fun of people who live in tin foil lined apartments. Stop assuming you know literally anything about another persons mental health simply because you have witnessed one symptom. Stop thinking that “hearing voices” is somehow a joke in and of itself.
I’m relatively well off, considering I’m on this spectrum, and many of my friends and family had no idea until I told them that I have this disorder. What does that mean? It means most of the time I’m telling these people after they’ve unknowingly made an insensitive remark or an offensive joke at my expense. I’m in a place where telling people about my illness doesn’t put me at risk. I’m lucky in that respect. Most people have negative opinions about schizophrenia – assuming they know what it is when they likely have no idea at all, and assuming those of us on the spectrum are incapable and utterly “crazy”. This stigma means that most people on the spectrum aren’t going to call you out on your shitty jokes for their own safty, so just stop.
If you can’t find a better word to use than schizo, crazy, insane, loopy, psycho etc then you need to beef up your vocab. We aren’t a joke. We don’t deserve to be the butt of your shitty jokes. I’m here for my schizophrenics and I’m determined to see positivity for us on this god forsaken website.