In Defense of Schizophrenia Poetry

This page is in response to a misleading and inaccurate article written in “Psychology Today” on October 22nd 2016.
Psychosis and the Creation of Poetry

“In Defense of Schizophrenia Poetry”
By Dan Hoeweler

This article makes multiple false and misleading assumptions, one of which is the claim that people suffering from Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders are incapable of producing quality poetry due to the nature of their illness. I am a Certified Peer Specialist that suffers from Schizoaffective disorder and have written poetry that has been published in multiple magazines, psychology websites and street papers. If Dr Rothenberg’s were correct in this highly prejudiced and inaccurate article then this would have never been the case.

The author is selectively using examples of people writing poetry under psychotic duress in an attempt to prove his false claim. While it may be impossible to produce sensible poetry during a psychotic episode, there are times when a patient is lucid and able to rationalize their thoughts and ideas. During these times it is possible to produce poetry based upon the psychotic thought process. In fact I personally have found it therapeutic to do so, as it is a way to unscramble and rationalize the irrational.

People suffering from Schizophrenia have a unique perspective on the world that is different than most people. For that reason “Schizophrenia Poetry” is as valid as any other art produced by discriminated individuals from a disadvantaged background. I am confused why a publication like “Psychology Today”, a supposed champion of the mentally ill, would choose to run an article that denigrates the artistic expression of such a highly stigmatized group of individuals. Rather than building up the disadvantaged, you have chosen to tear them down. How sad.

-”The Schizophrenic Writer” Dan Hoeweler