Health & Wellness May 16th, 2012

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Mother blogs to cope with son’s illness

Web gives her an outlet on schizophrenia battle

My Journey with Schizophrenia is a blog started by a mother in Leaside whose son was diagnosed with the disease three years ago.

“When I started talking about it to people, everybody knew somebody that had it but it’s like nobody wants to talk about it so I thought I’d put it out there,” said Lesley, adding that she does not want her last name used for fear of embarrassing her son Christopher.

Lesley had never kept a journal or written a blog before the one about her son, which she started in December. She said the purpose of the posts is as much about helping others dealing with the disease as it is about helping herself.

“It does a lot more for me than I ever thought it would,” she said. “It’s kind of cathartic. It gets my feelings out there and then I don’t have to stew over them as much.”

The blog chronicles how she and her husband first found out Christopher suffered from schizophrenia. She writes about the good and the bad, about trips to the doctor’s office and days spent at home. Some of her posts describe how she is feeling at the time, while others describe what she has learned about the disease as a whole and how it is treated.

After less than a month of blogging, the site had received nearly 200 views. While Lesley said she is pleased people are checking it out she also said she worries her son may come across it and that she didn’t expect it to become as popular as it has.

“I didn’t think anybody would read it,” she said about why she didn’t use pseudonyms from the outset. “I didn’t think anybody would be interested in it.”

Not only have friends, family and strangers read her posts, some have also commented.

“The comments really help us a lot and it’s a way for people to give us support,” she said.

Through the blog, Lesley has met other bloggers including a lady named Rossa, who runs a similar blog about her son who also has schizophrenia.

“She’s offered me some very good advice about how to deal with him personally so that’s been really helpful,” Lesley said. “It made me read her blog, which made me feel like I’m not alone.”

Despite the illness, Lesley said she maintains a good relationship with her son and is confident that he will one day overcome it or at least be able to manage the symptoms better.

“(Our relationship) is pretty good,” she said. “As long as we don’t talk too much about the voices and the disease and his delusions, it’s really good.”

She said she will keep writing posts until Christopher gets better.

“I think I’ll continue it until he’s fine, until he’s recovered and acknowledges he has this disease and is willing to take it on for himself,” she said. “Maybe one day when he’s better he’ll read it and go ‘Wow, I had no idea what life was like.’ ”

Lesley’s blog can be viewed at myjourneywithschizophrenia.blogspot.ca.