Sometimes when you and your mom occupy different realities things can get a little silly.

My mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was about 5 and she was about 32. In a nutshell, schizophrenia is a brain disorder that distorts reality. In television and film, people with schizophrenia are portrayed as everything from violent offenders, to spooky transients who to talk to themselves to magical beings who have the ability to see other worlds and of course, to the classic conspiracy theorist with a tinfoil head wrap.

None of these representations demonstrate who my mom is: an artistic, kind, and funny person who happens to hear and see things that other people can’t.

There is no universal experience of any mental illness, and schizophrenia occurs in wide and varied ways. It affects individuals and families with profound, and sometimes devastating, consequences. Mental health should be taken seriously by institutions, governments, and healthcare practitioners — but that doesn’t mean things always have to be so serious. Sometimes when you and your mom occupy different realities things can get a little silly.

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

Imaginary friends:

Imaginary friends:

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

Medication:

Medication:

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

TV night:

TV night:

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

Thinking out loud:

Thinking out loud:

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

And at the end of the day:

And at the end of the day:

Emerald Pellot for BuzzFeed News

Emerald Pellot is a writer and illustrator. She founded GRL TRBL, an intersectional feminist brand that creates pins, art, and accessories to make sense of the 2016 election. You can see more of her work on Instagram @GRL_TRBL.

To learn more about schizophrenia, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here.

Follow along at BuzzFeed.com/MentalHealthWeek from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, 2017.

Follow along at BuzzFeed.com/MentalHealthWeek from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, 2017.

Lixia Guo / BuzzFeed News

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