Love works wonders. With no foolproof cure, the trauma of many psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders namely, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and even drug addiction can be surely lessened through compassionate care and efforts to reintegrate the victims into society.
Our actions make each one of us unique. Going a little deeper into what makes an action to occur, it dawns that every single action is preceded by a thought. Deeper still, it seems that thoughts arise due to physical sensations that stimulate the human body, well, the human mind can also create sensations in the body through what we imagine, which in turn, may generate thoughts. Now what would happen if our mind in haunted by weird thoughts? Surely, our actions would then become weird and unacceptable to the so-called real world.
This exactly happens to the unfortunate victims of a mental disorder. Popularly called Schizophrenia, who have a seriously disintegrated thought process. Affecting about one per cent of the human population, the thought process of the victim manifests itself as spine chilling paranoid or bizarre delusions and fearful auditory hallucinations Responding to such delusional thoughts, the action outcome is in the form of disorganized speech and absurd behavior with complete disconnection from the world we live in Paul Valery has indeed rightly said that, “a man who is ‘of sound mind’ is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.”
The Shocking Symptoms
It is deeply saddening that the onset of symptoms, typical of schizophrenia, occurs in young adults, commonly in the age group 16-32 years. Late adolescence and early adulthood are peak years for the onset of Schizophrenia, as these are the formative years critical to one’s social and vocational development. Thus, what most parents might mistake as teenage problems could actually be the signs of a serious mental disorder, which is why immediate medical help is necessary. Normally, young adults who develop Schizophrenia experience non-specific symptoms like social withdrawal and general irritability before the actual symptoms of psychosis begin to show more prominently.
Commonly, schizophrenics experience hallucinations in the form of hearing strange voices. The disordered thought process also gives rise to a host of delusions that have devastating effect on the social lives of schizophrenics. Delusion a fixed wrong belief could be of various types. A bizarre delusion is one that is not only very strange but its occurrence is almost impossible. For examples, a Schizophrenic person may have a delusion that some parts of his/her body have been removed by strange beings or the world is coming to an end.
A non-bizarre delusion, on the other hand, could be possible but for a normal individual the belief is surely mistaken, like an unfounded belief of being under constant police surveillance. A delusion could also be a reflection of one’s mood like the grim thoughts of rejection by all while being in a state of depression or having strange manic thoughts like being the Prime Minister of the country. A schizophrenic may also strongly believe that he/she has special powers or abilities and is a famous personality.
Some of the common delusions that most schizophrenics experience include the false belief that some external force or an unknown person is controlling their thoughts and feeling. Called the ‘delusion of control’, victims of such a delusion feel helplessly imprisoned and have absolutely no control whatsoever over their bodily movements. Such unfortunate victims are constantly troubled by the false belief that their thoughts are being heard aloud or someone is trying to insert/ remove thoughts from their minds. Most schizophrenics also have a very disturbing delusion that other people can know their thoughts.
Another common delusion that schizophrenics and even most otherwise normal persons, have is the ‘delusion of infidelity’ that makes one strongly believe that one’s spouse or lover is having an affair. On the contrary, some victims may suffer from ‘erotomania’ that makes them believe that another person is in love with him or her. The victims of this mental disorder also may have a ‘delusion of guilt’, due to which they hold themselves responsible for a crime they have never committed actually or consider themselves the cause of a natural disaster like earthquake or floods.
Similarly, such persons may wrongly believe that an environmental event may have a special message for them. Other delusions that ruin the lives of schizophrenics include the belief of being cheated, harassed or attacked by others. This delusion plunges the victim in a state or constant fear from the unknown ‘other’.
Schizophrenics may also suffer from chronic depression and anxiety disorder, besides some of them being under the grip of a substance abuse. Due to their inability to take good care of themselves, many victims suffer from physical health problems and remain unemployed. A disorder in thinking invariably results in social isolation. In some cases however, victims become mute and remain motionless in bizarre postures, which is a clear-cut sign of a condition called ‘catatonia’.