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Taye Diggs is shining a spotlight on schizophrenia after his younger sister Christian was diagnosed with the condition in her 20s.

In an interview with CBS News, Diggs said he didn’t know what to do when he first found out about her diagnosis. 

“I’m the older brother. Chris and I were very close,” he said. “I was born first and then she was born, so we had a certain type of bond, and I had always thought I was there for her in whatever capacity she needed. And then we were hit with this, and I had no idea. I had no understanding of what schizophrenia was.” 

Schizophrenia affects about 24 million people worldwide. Of those 24 million people, three million have the condition in the U.S. Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. The mental illness “may result in a mix of hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking and behavior,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Diggs said the revelation rocked the family, but it answered why there were changes in Christian’s personality. The 48-year-old went from energetic, lively and bubbly, as Diggs described it, to depressed and lackluster. So, they immediately expected the worst. However, they pleasantly surprised.

“I didn’t know if she was going to be able to hold down a steady job,” Diggs said. “If she could be in a relationship and have kids. But once Christian got with a good psychiatrist and found her right meds, it was the exact opposite.”

There is no cure for schizophrenia, so both Diggs and his sister are trying change the misconceptions around the disease. Schizophrenia is often publicly stereotyped as “craziness.” 

Diggs and his sister recently partnered with global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb to launch the Live Your PosSCZible campaign. They’re working to bring awareness to the condition and reduce stigma for those living with it. Diggs believes the campaign can work as he’s seen his sister blossom despite having schizophrenia.

“It’s in no way an easy thing to deal with, but it’s not the end of the world by a longshot,” said Diggs.

 

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Taye Diggs’ Champions Wellness Campaign After Sister Diagnosed With Schizophrenia  was originally published on elev8.com