This story gives visibility into the mind of a highly stigmatized mental illness – Schizophrenia. This article immerses the reader in an in-depth profile of the work and experiences of TikTok artist Christopher, @xoradmagical. The article gives visual recreations of his schizophrenia-induced hallucinations and strives to normalize the daily visualizations and experiences those with schizophrenia have.
In an effort to normalize mental health and reduce the stigma specifically around schizophrenia, the writers and producers sought to give readers exposure to the folks that are affected through this first-hand account. Ensuring that the footage and reporting was accurate and inclusive was key, as was giving an accurate portrayal of the creator that reflected his realities.
Schizophrenia is one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses and our In The Know Changemakers vertical is all about dismantling stigmas and giving a voice to those who are often overlooked by traditional media. When I came across Christopher’s videos, I was immediately drawn to the fact that he answered every question frankly and that he had touched so many commenters who either were mental health professionals, had family members or friends with Schizophrenia, or had Schizophrenia themselves. I have never seen anything like what Christopher is doing, and I hope by amplifying his story to a larger audience, I will help him bring a lot of people peace and understanding.
This story performed well for us in terms of readership, which proves that people are interested in creators like Christopher and what they have to say. I also got messages from readers who thanked me for introducing them to Christopher’s account and for helping to dismantle the idea that a Schizophrenia diagnosis means someone is “crazy” or unable to live an otherwise normal life.