Schizophrenia, Rachel Shifting, Gary Howard discussed on A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

When I was reading this research? Is this idea. That mothers with schizophrenia. They don't have a lot of Leeway. One of the things that you just said is that you would need a lot of help. I would really defy you to find a mother on this planet. That doesn't need a lot of help. Now I understand that if you're managing any illness any not mental own if you have an illness then obviously you're going to need more help. That is understood but do you think that the bar is just significantly. Lower for women with schizophrenia. That if something happens if a mistake occurs if an illness symptom POPs up the dislike. Oh well you're schizophrenic. We got to take your baby whereas with other mothers like oh well you just made a mistake. Mistakes are part of parenting. Everybody does do you think that. That is a factor in some of these stats absolutely and I think if someone has some sort of even genetic disorder. Very few people are like. Oh you shouldn't have a child you shouldn't be over. You know another person's welfare but when it comes to mental stuff it's like Oh you have depression. Oh yeah bipolar schizophrenia. Like no you shouldn't be around children and not even like you shouldn't be a mother. You shouldn't be around children so there is definitely a double standard with that. All where anything mental freaks people out. There's just so much stigma discrimination and misinformation that it makes it very difficult and it's interesting because you know Rachel I love you and I think the world of you but I know what it's like to be sick and I can't imagine having to care for a baby and I can't imagine you carrying for a baby when you're that sick and of me is like. Oh Jeez I don't know maybe that's not a good idea but my mom broke her wrist when she had three children she she was not doing well. That six weeks i. My father lost his job when we were younger. Well that's not a good idea. Either I just I think of all of the adversity that my family faced growing up but everybody was like hey band together. Work IT OUT. You can do it. Nobody said Yeah. This is proof that people named Gary Howard shouldn't be fathers. Oh this is proof that people named Susan. Howard just can't Hack Motherhood we just got through it as as a family and a community and I think that more often than not women with schizophrenia. They just don't get those benefits and I think it's worth pointing out because it is another layer. That makes it very difficult for women with schizophrenia. To lead the lives that they would like and I wanNA put a little note on this over and over I could find so much info about women having children as far as like pros cons mostly cons in just lots of people with opinions and yet next to nothing about men with schizophrenia. Being father's nothing really there was nothing. I don't know just an interesting like how society we view people with mental disorders. Having families. It was just Kinda like women obviously. Yeah they're going to deal with this but not men that is incredible and obviously something that will discuss. More next month on men with schizophrenia. Rachel Shifting Gears from Motherhood we have to talk about the aging process. What's the difference between men and women with schizophrenia? As we get older this is fascinating. We talked about earlier. Age of onset. That women tend to get schizophrenia. Later another thing though is that women can have a second peak of schizophrenia. Is What they call it. And it's usually women aged forty five to fifty who have not been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. It suddenly comes on and it has to do with pre menopausal stage hitting and they think because the estrogen drops. There's something about estrogen that keeps schizophrenia. More in control and hearkening back to what we talked about earlier with periods and shopping. But men don't have this. There is no second part of life where suddenly a man who hasn't had schizophrenia. Will develop it in his fifties sixties. It's just not sane. In fact men with schizophrenia. As they age tend to get more of a handle on it and women. It's the opposite because you have for some women suddenly schizophrenia develops and there's a lot about that. I was wondering When I looked at the different research. These women already have schizophrenia. But maybe because they were so social. It just wasn't recognizable or did it really just come on at that moment and there is no answer for that but I did think it was very interesting and something that. If you've already been diagnosed with schizophrenia to look out for that it could get a lot worse hitting around age. Forty five if you're a woman so I got a little over ten years their clock's ticking for the second round of fun and it's something else that women have to be aware of that may or may not be as researched or as discussed. Oftentimes I think society does forget. How much educated guesswork there is in a mental health. Diagnosis Schizophrenia is diagnosed by observation. It's treated by best case practices and research and then more observation. There's a lot of self reporting from the person living with schizophrenia and all of that really allows our culture and our society and our bias to influence the end result. We have to be aware of it while it does sound scary and it is. I don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment. Obviously you don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment because it it kind of sounds like women are getting the short end of the stick. It is what we have now and for the women listening to this show this is where advocacy is just so important along with education and Rachel. I'm going to ask you. Would you have known any of this information about being a woman living with schizophrenia? If it wasn't for your job do you feel more educated and more empowered today than you did before the research for this show? And what advice do you have for? Women living with schizophrenia. To make sure that they get the best care taking into account the fact that they're women. I would not have known a lot of the things we've talked about today but especially The way estrogen is thought to affect schizophrenia. Did none of that's ever been brought up to me. You know doctors ever said anything like I said. I'm in my mid thirties and you would think maybe hey just so you know Rachel. You know women with schizophrenia. It could get a lot worse here in the next few years. None of that's ever been said to me. And it makes me realize how important it is to do your own research and I'm not saying to diagnose yourself I'm saying to really know an research what could be on the horizon especially with the pregnancy and things like that. I'm like okay well. I don't plan on having kids so I would. I ever like research. Look into all that. But then that's what led me to finding Alabel all of this which leads the menopause thing and again. It's just not something you you normally see on any of the little pamphlets in the doctor's office brought up at any therapists meeting Rachel. Were you surprised to find out? Just how separated physical health and mental health is because it. It just seems to me like before we started the research for this show that it never occurred to really anybody that your physical health would drive your mental health outcomes and while this is a chronic problem just across the board and Mental Health Advocacy specifically for schizophrenia. The fact that what's going on with your physical body has been so far removed from your schizophrenia treatment. How does that make you feel last episode we talked about the Co Co morbidity and then to go into seeing just how the hormones they do? Everything affects your schizophrenia. And it's all connected and yet having a hard time mental health effects your physical and vice versa. Something else that we as people with mental disorders do need to be aware of and to kind of not be so hard on ourselves. But I've done research and just kind of learned about different statistics. A lot of eggs are normal that I just didn't realize where it's like. Hey It's okay that I have this issue. It's not that I'm being super unhealthy. A lot of women or a lot of people schizophrenia. Also struggle with this. It's good and bad. Let's go with that. It's good bad gave Rachel. Thank you so much for your candor. Now you had the opportunity to talk to. Dr Hayden Fitch who is a PhD in a researcher and UNDERSTAND SCHIZOPHRENIA? From the clinical perspective. And you've got to ask her a lot of questions about will really the differences between men.

Coming up next