To the Editor I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I am in recovery from this severe mental illness. The concepts of hope, self-determination, and respect direct my recovery; they give me power to bring about positive change in my life and therefore debunk the illness.
In my recovery, I am guided by the hope of living a meaningful and purpose-driven life. To say severe mental illness is in some cases untreatable or “refractory”1 is giving up on the potential of recovery and invalidates the concept of hope. If the basis for putting individuals in an asylum is because it is believed they cannot recover, then asylums deprive the individual of hope. An asylum system that does this will no doubt become futile and progressively worse over time—ie, hopeless.
Son D. Expanding Long-term Care Options for Persons With Serious Mental Illness. JAMA. 2015;313(17):1757. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3491