1st Impression Post- Mental Illness

For this week’s first impression blog post, I chose to write about option one. This option was about what daily life is like for a person with schizophrenia. From watching movies and seeing different news on the media, I thought it was going to be a lot worse than the video actually was. Movies and the media always show people with schizophrenia to be very violent towards others. In this video, however, the voices in the person’s head were sort of just arguing with each other. They would say one thing and then contradict themselves. One second they would talk about what the person was seeing, but then you could hear a bunch of random words in the background. Before the schizophrenic episode, they seemed normal. They were just going about their normal morning ritual, just like everyone does. They heard kids playing outside and it was bright and sunny. Once the episode started, they could not think clearly. They thought it was storming when it really was not. They started thinking that the tv host was talking directly to them and that people were coming to get them. As soon as the woman arrived to house and spoke to the individual, they sort of snapped out of the schizophrenic episode. Things started to return back to normal. I think the media gives people misconceptions on what schizophrenia really is. Not everyone reacts the same way and experiences the same symptoms with this mental illness. The media should do a better job at depicting the illness and what it means for people that have it.

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3 thoughts on “1st Impression Post- Mental Illness”

  1. I agree that the media gets dramatic when talking about or trying to depict schizophrenia. People who have this disorder are no different than everyone else and while they may be dangerous depending on the severity of their condition, they’re usually very peaceful. There is definitely a misconception on what schizophrenia is and I think that people need to be more conscious about this disorder. It isn’t fair for those suffering to have people label them because of the stigma around their condition that they can’t control. I also agree with you that everyone experiences this disease in a different way and I think that we shouldn’t generalize all the dangerous symptoms and aspects to every person with it. The first step to fixing the problem starts with the media and the way they portray different diseases in movies and tv shows. People need to get the right information about the diseases that the average person faces.

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  2. I agree, the media definitely needs to do a better job portraying mental illnesses. The only time I see schizophrenia being portrayed in the media, is when patients that suffer from the mental illness are in a mental hospital. Not all people with schizophrenia are medically treated the same way. Some are actually very successful like Elyn Saks. The media has to start doing a better job at correctly portraying what people with mental illnesses go through on a day to day basis. Why are insane asylums typically a setting for horror movies? I find it sickening that some people might only think of horror movies when thinking about mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. The more of a negative connotation of mental illness in media result in an increase of suppression. People might try to hide their mental illness which might make the situation worse. In order for more people to feel comfortable in talking about their mental illness, there has to be a change in the portrayal of mental illnesses in the media.

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  3. Alana,

    You did a very good job identifying what aspects of the video were realistic towards schizophrenia! As we discussed in class, schizophrenia is characterized by losing contact with reality, as if one is living in a completely other world than everyone else. A few of the examples you used to support this would be when the person with schizophrenia was seeing and hearing thunderstorms that were not actually happening, as well as when the person with schizophrenia seems to be experiencing the television speaking directly to him or her. Another form of support you could have included was when the person first saw the newspaper heading as normal, but later on could only view it as a message that people were out to get him or her, and that it would be dangerous to leave the house.

    On a similar note, each of these examples could be considered positive symptoms of schizophrenia, as something bizarre is being added to the reality of the person in the video. More specifically, I believe that the storm, television, and newspaper, are all forms of hallucinations as they are sensory experiences that only the schizophrenic person is experiencing. This would also include the voices that you mentioned were constantly in the person’s head, further proving the point that auditory experiences are the most common form of hallucinations.

    As well, I believe that the overall idea that people are out to kill the person in the video can be considered a delusion of the person as it is a constant belief, even when the pizza man shows up to deliver the pizza and inflicts not harm to him or her. However, instead of realizing that the pizza man was in fact not trying to kill him or her, the person in the video creates a hallucination that the pizza is posioned and very gross looking.

    Overall, you did a very good job portraying the characteristics of schizophrenia, and I agree that the media should take some notes and revise how they portray psychotic disorders.

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