1. #1

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    Apologies if this is not news to you. This is a link to a story about Minnesota jazz guitarist Sam Miltich who also has schizophrenia. It is a compelling life story:

    The Improvised Life: Sam Miltich takes his message of jazz and mental health across Minn. | MPR News
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

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  3. #2

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    That was...really hard... to listen to and read--I'll leave that thought there.

    That said, these stories are EXTREMELY important to breaking the stigma of mental illness.

    Not everyone who has schizophrenia is dangerous. I once dated a woman who had schizophrenia, and honestly, she was like any other gal.

    Yeah, we need more stories like this--especially now.

    I have another guitarist to listen to

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Apologies if this is not news to you. This is a link to a story about Minnesota jazz guitarist Sam Miltich who also has schizophrenia. It is a compelling life story:

    The Improvised Life: Sam Miltich takes his message of jazz and mental health across Minn. | MPR News
    Tom Harrell is another jazz musician who has had schizophrenia his entire adult life. His father was a psychiatrist, and used to treat TH himself when he was younger, reportedly.

  5. #4

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    Sam is a great guy. Years ago, he stayed at my home while passing through California. What a terrific player he was even then! I am happy that he is coping with his illness and even found some greater purpose in life. Bravo Sammo!
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  6. #5

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    Since I've worked in mental health for 38 years now, I've met and gotten to know a lot of people with schizophrenia professionally. I suppose for me that has gotten somewhat normalized due to my professional experience- I talk to people with schizophrenia every working day. The stigma for me is (hopefully) pretty well worn off as a result but it is a very real issue that people with this and other mental illnesses face on a daily basis. Their ability to maintain employment, social and family relationships, housing, etc., maybe be mildly to greatly hampered both by the effects of the illness on their functioning but also how the people around them respond to them. I have been reading Robin DG Kelley's excellent- even exemplary*- biography of Thelonius Monk and for someone who's talent was clearly as great as his was, I suspect that his own personal success as a musician was very much hindered by his mental illness and the functional issues that came with it. Musicians and artists are not necessarily any more enlightened than anybody else, after all, and of course he also had to deal with club managers, booking agents, record executives, etc. There was a degree of being ostracized.

    One of the things people often don't realize is that about one out of 100 Americans have schizophrenia. For most of them the medications are pretty effective at reducing the symptoms and helping them to function better, in some cases normally. You might never know that they had schizophrenia unless they told you that. Irez87 is quite correct, Sam's story and stories like them are hard to read or listen to; of course, they're much harder to live through. Sam's courage in talking about this from the platform of jazz performance is remarkable. There are some other videos of him where he doesn't mention it and if you didn't know it you probably would have no suspicion of him being anything other than an intelligent and talented musician. And indeed, he is an intelligent and talented musician who happens to have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is only one part of the person- indeed, as the famous psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan remarked when asked what he'd learned about schizophrenics after decades of studying the illness, "all of us are much more human than otherwise."


    *possibly the best written, constructed and researched biography I have read.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Tom Harrell is another jazz musician who has had schizophrenia his entire adult life. His father was a psychiatrist, and used to treat TH himself when he was younger, reportedly.
    I did not know that his father was a psychiatrist. Harrell is another brilliant musician who happens to have schizophrenia.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke