I can remember my first case regarding a schizophrenic woman, she believed that someone was after her and trying to kill her, she had a 7 year old and a 14 year old. Her descriptions of events were vivid and as I found out real to her, she “showed” me bullet holes in her wall where they shot at her, tire tracks of government officials and many other “proofs” that it had happened. I could help but think of the movie “a beautiful mind” as I listened intently to my client. Very quickly I realized I was not equipped to deal with her mental illness, I knew she had schizophrenia but nothing prepared me for her descriptions and actions she believed were justified. That day I decided that child protection workers need a lot more training on mental illnesses.
Schizophrenia has long been an illness that has baffled doctors, early on people were believed to be possessed by the devil or by demons and were frequently locked up forever or killed. Many people struggle with the illness and for the majority of persons, it is easier to cope with a loved one or friend with cancer than it is to understand the complex nature of schizophrenia with its hallucinations and delusions, voices in their head. Many persons with schizophrenia have delusions and hallucinations, which to them are real, they are distorted perceptions of reality. Frequently paranoia is a symptom of schizophrenia, fear that others are out to get them at all times.
Some of the warning signs for schizophrenia are:
• Irrational beliefs
• Having less emotion
• Insomnia or sleeping too much
• Lacking personal hygiene or not caring about appearance
• Social Isolation
Schizophrenia is thought to be a combination of a thought disorder, mood disorder, and anxiety disorder which makes it difficult to medicate due to having to use a combination of antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anti anxiety...