Ah, and that's the worst stereotype, that schizophrenia is nothing but a different way of looking at the world. (RD Laing was an asshole.) The only fair screen treatment of mental disease is to have it be a continuing role in a series. Brenda's brother on 6 Feet Under was a pretty good characterization, I thought. Yeah, there was an element of the stereotype, but there was also the uncertainty, the fear, the missed communication, the guilt, the emotional paralysis, the relief, the absence, the fatefulness and oppression, all the unshareable stuff that comes to the family of a schizophrenic.
it just really pisses me off how when bipolar characters aren't violent, wacked-out killers on like on Law and Order, the illness gets romanticized into an illness of artists who need to be manic to express themselves blah, blah, blah. It's a mental illness, people. For the most part, it sucks.
There's a new study on Alzheimer's that recasts that disease in the same way, that Alzheimer's is simply an altering of perception and actually quite a zen state of mind, more peaceful than wrenching. The study comes as a real comfort to family members. If only one could have a practical acceptance of schizophrenia as such, but the last thing we need is an new amelioration of general ignorance in the first place, on TV or IRL.