My son has experienced what I later learned is a fairly typical gradual-onset pattern toward full-blown, and heartbreaking, schizophrenia. After years of chaos, we have gone through the stages of family emotional acceptance (NAMI Family-to-Family saved us, which is why I now teach and train others to teach it) and have hope once again - but that hope is always guarded, affected by stigma, caution and some sense of loss.
One saving grace comes in realizing we are not alone. Speaking out about family experience brings mental illness into the light, where it belongs. My book Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope was created in part to open eyes, ears and hearts to the family experience - and get schizophrenia out of the closet so we can work on paths toward mental and emotional recovery.
Bravo to Lifetime - I hope this movie can help us take another step away from stigma and toward empathy, acceptance and solutions.