Mental illness looks different for every person who experiences it. Below are three honest accounts from people who live with schizophrenia — what it’s actually like, how it affects their lives, and what they wish people understood about it.
Michelle Hammer, 27, graphic designer and entrepreneur in New York
When were you diagnosed?
Michelle Hammer: I was diagnosed schizophrenic at 22, but I was diagnosed as bipolar when I was 18 or 19, in college. I was living with some roommates at the time and, after college, when I was living with the same people, I told them, “Hey, so they found out I’m actually schizophrenic,” and they were like, “Oh, that’s what we always thought you had.” So it was kind of like I was the last person to know.