It is much more difficult to understand the pain of mental illness than that of physical illness. We all have a reference for physical pain: we have all suffered, to one degree or another, some sort of physical anguish. We all know that someday we too will face death. Our own experience allows us to empathize with physically ill and dying patients. However, when faced with the pain of schizophrenia, the most serious of chronic mental illnesses, we not only lack a frame of reference, but actively try to distance ourselves from its victims.