American Law Scholar and Writer, Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School and an expert in mental health law
"Everything about my illness says that I shouldn't be here. But I am. And I am, I think, for three reasons. First, I've had excellent treatment, both psychoanalytic psychotherapy and medication. Second, I have many family members and close friends who know me and who know my illness. Third, USC Law School is an enormously supportive workplace which has been able not just to accommodate my needs, but to embrace my needs. Even with all of that -- excellent treatment, wonderful friends and family, enormously supportive work environment -- I did not make my illness public until relatively late in my life. And that's because the stigma against mental illness is so powerful that I didn't feel safe with people knowing. If you hear nothing else today, please hear that there are not schizophrenics, there are people with schizophrenia. And each of these people may be a parent, may be your sibling, may be your neighbor, may be your colleague."
"Some people still hold [the] view that restraints help psychiatric patients feel safe. I've never met a psychiatric patient who agreed."
"There are lots of misconceptions about schizophrenia, [like that] patients are truly wild. In fact, of all the major mental illnesses, they're the least violent. People can't hold jobs, certainly not high-powered jobs...Can't have close friends and family. Can't live independently. A lot of those have some truth; they're true of a certain portion of people with schizophrenia. But it seems to me that a lot more than is now the case could be leading far more gratifying [lives]. When you tell someone, 'you're not going to be able to work,' or 'scale down your expectations,' then they do. And yet work gives most people so much of a sense of well-being, productivity. You're taking away from someone a thing that could be an important tool in their recovery by having these kind of negative expectations."
"Occupying my mind with complex problems has been my best and most powerful and most reliable defense against my mental illness."
"Portray [people with mental illness] sympathetically, and portray them in all the richness and depth of their experience as people, and not as diagnoses."
"One of the reasons the doctors gave for hospitalizing me against my will was that I was â€˜gravely disabled.â€™ To support this view, they wrote in my chart that I was unable to do my Yale Law School homework. I wondered what that meant about much of the rest of New Haven."