A professor with schizophrenia – Elyn Saks has chronic schizophrenia, and she is a professor of law, psychology and psychiatry at USC. She might have spent her life in the back ward of a hospital, but that’s not what happened.
Elyn Saks is a law scholar at USC and author who fights for the rights of people with mental illness. Too often, Saks believes, decisions are made for these individuals without taking their desires into account.
She’s here to tell us her story. This is, she hastens to add, her own experience. “Everyone becomes psychotic in his or her own ways.”
What schizophrenia is
Schizophrenia is a brain disease, and the defining feature is psychosis — or being out of touch with reality. Involving loose associations and hallucinations. For example, during her episodes she often has the feeling that she had killed hundreds of thousands of people with her thoughts, or that nuclear explosions are about to be set off in her brain. She reminds us that, “It is not the same as multiple personalities. It’s not split, but shattered.”