A broken mind is not the same as a broken neck

Today at work I passed a man whose son lost the use of his limbs after a snowboarding accident a couple of years ago. These fleeting encounters always give me pause to feel saddened but relieved that Chris had merely lost the use of his mind for a period of time.

After the snowboarding accident, a co-worker organized a charity run and raised a substantial amount of money to help with the young man’s rehabilitation. His initiative in doing this is commendable. The young man has huge rehabilitation expenses.

The young snowboarder’s physical needs are obvious. Unless a miracle happens, the young man will still be in a wheelchair ten years from now. He will have on-going practical considerations about how to manage his life.

The hardest part for me in helping my son to overcome his problems has been the negativity of the medical profession, who act as if Chris’s prognosis in the same league as if he broke his neck. Now, if they don’t really feel this way, and most would probably not agree with me at all that their attitude needs readjusting, then why aren’t they saying in greater numbers that schizophrenia is a condition that most people can eventually walk away from? Taking a different attitude towards it would help a lot of people stay the course and not become discouraged. The worst part about mental illness at the beginning is the uncertainty because no one seems to be able to tell you what your life can or will be like in ten years, and they seem very sad about it, too. The feeling of being alone with your problem is overwhelming.

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