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Why It's Important This 'Girls Trip' Star Is Opening Up About Her Mom's Mental Illness

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By now, we know Tiffany Haddish by her famous line, “She Ready,” her hilarious character portrayal of Dina from the movie “Girls Trip” and her hosting of Saturday Night Live. Haddish recently shared her story about raising her siblings, being homeless, getting divorced, being in foster care, and her brief time as a member of The Church of Scientology. In an interview with People Magazine, she reveals that her mother battled schizophrenia, a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves.

Haddish experienced abuse by her mom and writes in her book, “The Last Black Unicorn,” “She would say the worst things to me, like, ‘You look like your ugly ass daddy, I hate him. I hate you.’”

The actress experienced physical abuse in addition to verbal. She wrote,

She couldn’t get all her words out, so she’d just punch me. Just full on. Because of her, I can take a punch like nobody’s business. Teachers would ask, ‘Why’s Tiffany’s lip busted?’ I didn’t say anything. As bad as she was to me, I still couldn’t help but love her.

Haddish desires to see her mother mentally healthy, is committed to properly caring for her mom and with her newfound success, she can support her financially. Haddish will release her new book on December 5.

According to a study on race and risk of schizophrenia, it was found that African Americans are about three-fold more likely than whites to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Just like any other mental illness, people with schizophrenia can thrive and live a successful life with proper treatment. Treatment for this mental illness includes medication, psychoeducation, family, behavior and cognitive therapy.

If you think someone is struggling with schizophrenia, please provide support with encouragement and going with him/her to see a psychiatrist. By Haddish sharing her story, it highlights the compassion and understanding we must have for people struggling with mental illness. Despite the mental and physical pain caused by Haddish’s mom, it’s important that she is advocating for her mental health and providing a support system as it is imperative for mental health recovery.

Photo via Tiffany Haddish Facebook page

Originally published: December 4, 2017
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