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Seen: Living With The Schizophrenias

An illustration of a masculine-presenting, brown-skinned person with short brown hair, wearing a purple hoodie, sitting at a desk. He is using a laptop. On his right are a stack of books, and a vining plant. Several hallucinated figures surround him.
Charnel Hunter

When Anita first picked up “The Collected Schizophrenias" by Esmé Weijun Wang, she realized how rare it was to find a first-hand account of someone navigating periods of psychosis. She brings Esmé on to talk about the relationship between mental illness and identity. Plus, she meets an artist who explores his hallucinations through drawing and a blogger documenting her experience as a mother with schizoaffective disorder.

Meet the guests:

  • Esmé Weijun Wang, a writer, speaker and the author of "The Collected Schizophrenias," talks about navigating medical stigma and the ways that writing and performance have contributed to her understanding of schizophrenia
  • Christopher Grant,an artist and animator based in Canada, talks about how he uses drawing to process his moments of psychosis and what it's been like to share his story on TikTok and Instagram
  • Ashley Smith, an author and writer who runs the blog "Overcoming Schizophrenia," talks about being a parent with schizophrenia, and what conversations about mental health look like with her 11-year-old son

Show Extras:

A sampling of Esmé's essays:

Ashley’s books:

Read the transcript | Review the podcast

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.