Taye Diggs and his sister discuss living with schizophrenia in a new campaign

Taye Diggs and Christian Diggs share the impact schizophrenia has had on her life in a new awareness campaign.

Taye Diggs, Christian Diggs, schizophrenia, Black mental health, Black health and wellness, Black women with schizophrenia, theGrio.com
Screenshot: Live Your PosSCZible (YouTube)

Taye Diggs is opening up about his younger sister’s schizophrenia diagnosis and how proud he is of her for embracing her mental illness.

In a new video for the campaign “Live Your PosSCZible,” the actor, 53, and his sister, Christian Diggs, 48, discuss her journey with her mental health candidly and how it has impacted them both.

“When I was first diagnosed, it was very shocking and a bit scary,” Christian Diggs tells her famous brother in the video. “But of course, after receiving my diagnosis, I felt a little bit calmer about the whole thing. And I actually had hope because I could put a name on everything that was happening.”

Taye Diggs’ little sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her 20s and has since gone on to live a fulfilling life as a carpenter. During the video the two are staged around a carpenter’s table.

“Funny that we’re dealing with carpentry because I saw you kind of rebuild your life, and I was rebuilding my perspective,” Taye Diggs said.

The campaign is, in part, to challenge others’ views on what’s possible for those with a positive schizophrenia diagnosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It can cause hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior.

“I couldn’t rely on my intellect, my mind, or my thought process at all anymore,” Christian Diggs explained. That was a really difficult thing to grasp and accept.”

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Roughly 1% of Americans suffer from schizophrenia and it often appears in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their early 20s or early 30s.

While discussing his involvement in the campaign with People magazine, Taye Diggs admitted he was “embarrassed” by his initial thoughts about the condition, which can range in severity.

“It’s really easy to just make a judgment. It’s so easy to just kind of put people in a certain box,” he told the publication. “I feel silly because I thought it was so black and white. But now I know better.”

He added, “I’m almost embarrassed to admit what I thought of her when we first heard this news, but she’s such an inspiration.”

The actor continued noting that those with this condition “just need support.”

“They need a team around them that knows what they’re doing, and they can literally achieve whatever they want. And I didn’t realize this at the time,” he explained.

Part of his journey with accepting his sister’s illness involved him realizing she had to figure it out on her own. 

“I was frustrated because it felt like I couldn’t help her out in any way because I’m not a doctor. But once I put my ego aside and just kind of listened to the therapist, that was the role that meant the most to her. The most I could do, and the best I could do was be as supportive and patient as possible,” he said. 

Since then, the actor said his sister has told him “how important that was.”

He said, “Even though it seemed like I wasn’t doing much. She let me know that it meant a lot and that put me at ease.”