Schizophrenia: A Misunderstood Illness
“Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder marked by severely impaired thinking, emotions, and behaviors” (qtd. in Gulli and Rosick 1). Many people are confused or misinformed on this mental illness. 85 percent of Americans are aware of Schizophrenia, however, only 24 percent actually understand what this disorder is (Tartakovsky 1). Awareness and knowledge on Schizophrenia can help lead to public acceptance. While this disorder is currently incurable, an increase in national funding can help researchers to find more effective treatment methods for those diagnosed.
It will always be difficult for those who are mentally well to even remotely understand what it is like to live with Schizophrenia (Frith and Jonestone 2). Schizophrenics may hear false voices, believe others are reading their minds, controlling their actions, or are plotting to harm them (“What is Schizophrenia?” 2). Rebecca Stancil, age nine, suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia. Her experiences with the disorder are as follows:
[She] has been haunted by images of wolves, men with monster faces, and shadows and
shapes that scamper around a darkened room at night since she was three years old. Her
hallucinations have driven her to act violently toward her mother, Cinnamon Stancil.
She’s pulled knives on her before, hit her with whatever random things she can get,
grabbed the lid off the back of the toilet seat and come after her with that… One of
Rebecca’s recurring hallucinations is “the man,” a six foot vision that can be a friend or a
foe. He follows her everywhere… But sometimes he does more than watch Rebecca. She
sees him, and he’s putting a gun to her head telling her she has to run away… In
November 2008, to quell voices in her head, Rebecca tried to kill herself by slitting her
wrists with a hairclip… Stancil took Rebecca to a private doctor, who suggested trying a
new psychotic drug, Saphris. Since she began taking the new medication,...
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