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.
This diarist opens up about her experience with schizophrenia. To learn more about schizophrenia and find resources for support, please head over to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
How much do you pay for medication, therapy, and psychiatry?
“I see a fee-only psychiatrist. In my small town there are only five or six psychiatrists that even practice. It’s really hard to get services, or you have to go through the community mental health center and I just prefer not to do that because I’ve heard bad things from people who have had issues with the doctors there. My psychiatrist is $200 per visit. If I’m having issues, like symptoms and stuff, I see her once a month or as needed. But if it’s just a checkup or a follow-up, it’s about once every three months.
“For medication, I do generic, so it’s a bit cheaper. I’m really lucky to have really good insurance, so it’s only about $60 per month for …read more