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5 Ways to Observe World Schizophrenia Day

World Schizophrenia Day, which falls on May 24 each year, is traditionally a moment to raise awareness and advocate for better understanding of people with schizophrenia. But I've found comfort and healing in marking the day with small, personal, introspective actions as well.

Everyone relates to their schizophrenia differently. Your unique relationship with your schizophrenia should determine whether and how you observe World Schizophrenia Day. But however you relate to your schizophrenia, the following 5 suggestions can help you use this day to meaningfully process your schizophrenia journey.

Celebrating World Schizophrenia Day

1. Write a letter to your newly-diagnosed self

Reflecting on your journey can be a powerful way to acknowledge your growth and offer comfort to your past self. Take a moment to write a heartfelt letter to the person you were when you first received your diagnosis. Share your experiences, struggles, and triumphs. Offer words of encouragement and reassurance, reminding yourself of the strength you possess and the progress you've made since.

2. Make schizophrenia art

Art can serve as a therapeutic outlet for expressing emotions and experiences that may be difficult to put into words. When I was first recovering, I found it challenging to express that I remembered some of my psychosis fondly.

So I created the below art to serve as a series of dioramas to explain the night of my first severe manic episode, which I would later recall as the funnest night of my life. Now I use the display when I give talks about my schizoaffective disorder – and one talk was even featured on the television network A+E! This World Schizophrenia Day, set aside some time to create art that reflects your unique perspective on living with schizophrenia.

I created this art to display a series of everyday objects – coins, matches, cards, keys, etc. – that I picked up in psychosis because I thought they were magical:

3. Call a friend with schizophrenia

Connection with others who understand your journey can provide invaluable support and solidarity. I know I always benefit from talking to my schizoFRIENDias – so much so that I wrote an article about it! So reach out to a friend or acquaintance who also lives with schizophrenia and share a conversation.

Whether you discuss your experiences, offer each other encouragement, or simply enjoy each other's company, connecting with someone who shares similar experiences can remind you that you're not alone on this path.

4. Read authors with schizophrenia

The written word has the power to offer insights, empathy, and inspiration. Explore works of authors living with schizophrenia whose writings reflect their unique perspectives. Don't know where to start?

Esme Wang, Ellyn Saks, and the articles written by patient leaders on this website are all great options. Reading these stories can offer validation, understanding, and a sense of camaraderie. Immerse yourself in narratives that resonate with your own experiences and find solace and connection in shared stories.

5. Get a schizophrenia tattoo

Tattoos can be deeply personal symbols of identity, resilience, and empowerment. Consider getting a tattoo that represents your journey with schizophrenia – a visual reminder of your strength, courage, and perseverance. Whether it's a meaningful symbol, a poignant quote, or a design that reflects your individuality, choose something that holds significance for you and serves as a source of empowerment and pride.

This is my "schizoFRIENDia" Shannon's tattoo of their first visual hallucination:

Your experience matters

On World Schizophrenia Day, take the opportunity to honor your experiences, celebrate your resilience, and connect with others who understand the complexities of living with schizophrenia. These 5 suggestions offer meaningful ways to observe the day, fostering self-reflection, creativity, community, and empowerment in the process.

Embrace the day as an opportunity for growth and healing as well as an opportunity for advocacy, knowing that your voice and experiences matter.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.