Monday, February 28, 2011

Chapter 12 Reflection

Alyssa Brandt

Psych 220 Winter 2011

Chapter 12 Reflection

February 28, 2011

Schizophrenia is another one of those misunderstood disorders. The media portrays it as if it has one level- the level where people have voices in their heads telling them to kill other people or people that are somehow involved with government conspiracies. Although these are both possible outcomes of schizophrenia, the more common cases are less harmful and more tame, including people who hear Jesus talking to them to do his work (like with Ben’s case study), or other equally unharmful things. What really stuck out to me in this chapter was the hypotheses that a virus or other teratogenic source causes schizophrenia. There is still a lot of things in this world we’re only just figuring out, and I do think that we could potentially get rid of schizophrenia (or at least quall a lot of it) if we, in the nearish future, developed a vaccine to prevent it. This, of course, raises many, many more questions, like why families with schizophrenic prevalence are more likely to be schizophrenic – it could be genetic, or perhaps (if it’s possible) a genetic virus (is this like a mutation?). So many questions!

Another question that kept bothering me was what it is like to experience hallucinations and not realize that they are, in fact, not real. I don’t understand the irrational anymore, and I almost wish I could trade places with a schizophrenic individual so I could communicate with them and see what it’s like to have no control over your own reality and how it relates to the “real” reality, our world. Reality is a funny thing to play with.

One last thought about schizophrenia is the socioeconomic facet of it. Half the homeless people around here are most likely to be schizophrenic, and the public health system and other organizations aren’t doing a lot to help these people. It’s always more difficult than it sounds, but helping the mentally ill could be a potential prevention measure in homeless prevalence.

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