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Schizophrenia Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

Imagine every second of every day being told by unknown voices what to do and what to say. Controlling every thought and how you behave. Perceiving the world differently than one might normally see it, or not being able to tell the very difference between fantasy and reality. This is how one might say it is living with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally and is characterized by the breakdown of thought processes and emotional responses. Some symptoms include hallucinations (normally auditory), paranoia, and disorderly thinking. Although the word itself means “split mind”, schizophrenia is not a split personality or multiple ...view middle of the document...

However he did not see it as this at first. No matter what doctors diagnosed, no matter what troubles came toward him, he always had a different explanation for his dilemma. Was it the abandonment he felt when his parents split, and when his grandmother took him and his older siblings in she later sent them away? Was it the beatings he and his siblings endured at Childhaven, a residential facility near Cullman, Ala., between the ages of 3 and 16? Or maybe it was the lack of family attachments he faced having never talked to, or being able to see really, his family growing up? He could never be too sure… So he asked himself, “Am I mentally ill or environmentally damaged?”
He began to notice something a bit strange, however, one afternoon in 1996 (almost 10 years after being diagnosed), when he was invited to go to lunch with his boss. At first, the two seemed to be having a great time- they were laughing and celebrating about the promotion his boss wanted to give him, and near the end she (the boss) leaves to go to the ladies room. However, as Joe says, “But just before she leaves, I hear her say something awful, just terrible — she insults me. Loudly.”
Confused, he stood in place until she returned and asked her about it. She was astonished, and he soon was too. He sat down and tried to contemplate what had just happened. He had had this happen before, but now he was coming to the realization that maybe, just maybe, all these years those insults were nothing but something created purely from his mind? All those times he accused his wife- Patsy- and 16 year old stepson of lying. All of those lost jobs- librarian, chef, bodyguard, welding, etc. More than 30 of them, gone because of his sudden outburst because he thought someone had been insulting him. He sat and cried to himself in a parking lot until dark, then later apologized to his wife when he got home. It was then when he came to the realization of what was going on, and what he had.
After an incident in the late 1990’s had him thinking once again about suicide, his wife talked him out of it and he enrolled himself in marriage and family counseling, and in preparation to be a therapist, he felt obligated to talk about himself. “The hardest part is that just to stay in the game, I have to scrutinize my every thought, every attitude, every...

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