W I T H O U T M A S K
For 21 years of my life I suffered with schizophrenia. Fortunately, I discovered a way out and feel compelled to share my story with sufferers, family members, mental health professionals and the public. I believe the only way a change is going to come about is by coming forward and speaking openly about my struggles with schizophrenia and subsequent recovery. A great number of schizophrenics suffer needlessly because those who are in a position to help lack the necessary information about the development of schizophrenia and, therefore, have had to focus entirely on the end state of the illness. I stand strong in my conviction to dispel the myths, change attitudes, inform professionals, and give hope to family members and sufferers alike. It is time for those of us who are suffering or have suffered a mental illness, to challenge the incurable brain disease theory and push against the frontiers of knowledge to give all those with a mental illness an equal opportunity to be healed, and to begin a new life as useful and respected members of our society. It is the courageous sufferers, survivors, family members, and professionals who will change current treatment methods and provide real hope.
Today, as a result of my full recovery I live a normal life and enjoy healthy relationships which are the culmination of a self-fulfilling prophecy; I was determined to recover completely and since there was no where else to turn I prophesied I would succeed on my own, and I did. And now I am making another prophesy; that many now suffering with schizophrenia will take the knowledge they learn on this website, apply it to their unique situation, and with hard work and courage will be successful in their own recovery and discover an entire new and wonderful way to live.
Although I've been published a number of times and been the editor of two different newsletters it was not until the beginning of this year, 2001, that I decided to become more serious about my writing. I wanted to write about something more important than photography, horses, or nutrition. Not that those things aren't important in themselves; I just wanted something I could get more passionate about, something that would make me sit up at night when I should be sleeping, and write instead.
It was about that time that I met Tracey May. She told me her story, let me read her book, WITHOUT MASK, and it has changed my life. I had to do no more than read her book to realize that this person had most assuredly suffered the darkness of schizophrenia and, having talked to her in the flesh, to know that she has just as assuredly, recovered.
Tracey is a most delightful and intelligent young woman and we've become the perfect team to prepare her book for publication and to work on other projects related to our mission such as this webiste and an accompanying newsletter. We have other related projects in mind, too, that we will inform you about as they happen. We hope you will enjoy this website and that you will use the opportunity you have here to express your concerns and voice your opinions. Although this website is primarily designed for the sufferer we hope that family, friends, caregivers, and professionals in the mental health field will be instilled with information that will help them to have a better understanding and compassion for those among the most downtrodden in our midst. We hope that you will assist in any way you can to dispell the myths and abolish the stigmas.
Dr. Jack Rosberg, M.A.
We are including Dr. Jack Rosberg in our partnership arrangement because he is a crucial part of what we are trying to do. Tracey met him on the internet and, because of his unusual insights into the world of the schizophrenic, began a correspondence with him and has grown to respect and admire his work at the Anne Sippi Foundation in California. She has also worked with him on his own website before branching out on her own. Dr. Rosberg has written the forward to Tracey's book, WITHOUT MASK. Dr. Rosberg is the Director of the Anne Sippi Clinic. Click on the name to find out why the clinic was named after her after a person with schizophrenia.
If you wish, you may direct your questions or comments specifically by keying our personal name, Tracey or Sandy, in the subject field of your message. All correspondence will be handled with discretion.
Warning: If you are on medication please DO NOT stop taking them without very close supervision by your doctor, particularly if you have been on them for a long time. Withdrawing from pharmaceuticals is equally, if not more dangerous, than withdrawing from street drugs. And be sure you have some kind of emotional support and/or therapy, preferably professional, to help you to deal with the trauma of dealing with life on your own.