True Life: “I Have Schizophrenia”

The episode of True Life that I decided to watch was “I Have Schizophrenia.” This episode followed three individuals who are all suffering from a type of Schizophrenia and who are attempting to get their lives back on the right track.

The first individual was a guy in his early twenties named Josh. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and says that he hears animals talking to him and at one point in the episode, he tells his mother that the sun had talked to him. Josh refuses to take any kind of medication and claims to self medicate by smoking pot; he refuses to accept the sick role. He talks about how he likes his illness because it gives him someone to talk to when he is alone. He shows a chaos narrative because he refuses this treatment which causes social suffering. His mother tells him that he has a choice between moving out of her home, or entering into a rehab center and he choses to move in with some of his friends. After about a week he returns home to his mother but still refuses to partake in any kind of treatment. His mother agrees to this because she thinks that if he wasn’t living at home with her, then he would end up living on the streets and he would end up getting killed.

The next individual is name Ben and he was diagnosed with Schizo-effective Disorder. He expresses a restitution narrative as his main goal is to restore his health and be stable enough to return to school. His first symptoms was when he heard a voice of a man named Marcus who was telling him to kill himself. Now that he does not hear Marcus anymore, he still has major anxiety problems. He takes many pills a day to help balance his anxiety and stress. He feels that with his grandpa and his father both having cancer, that the stress it causes will cause him to have a relapse.

The last individual on this episode is a nineteen year old girl name Amber. Amber was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia as she thinks that everybody is always talking about her. She also shows a restitution narrative as her goal as well is to improve her health. She wants to be the high achiever in school that she once was but she knows her illness is now part of her new identity. She visits a psychiatrist and takes medication in hopes to get over her paranoia. Unfortunately I cannot speak for a whole culture, however I believe that America is becoming more accepting of mental illnesses. I think that organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an extremely useful form of narratives as lecture 4.2 states that for the listener, it can help them feel less isolated (ANP-204-video lecture 4.2/ Knowing that there is a group of people around you who are suffering from the same illness, can help others realize that they are not alone in their struggle.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Josh Williams says:

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    The narrative I chose to analyze is called “Types of Schizophrenia – A day in the life of.” This narrative was written from the chaos narrative perspective to determine what an individual experiences when dealing with this disease. These two narratives are both similar because they seem to depict a personal experience from the chaos narrative, they do not attempt to treat (in the case of josh the first schizophrenic patient in Ashley’s narrative). I think culture plays a major role in the peoples experiences they seem to have these ticks or a psychosis that is exacerbated by others opinions of what they experience to wrong or abnormal, which could in turn cause extreme stress and contribute negatively to their condition. one major difference though is that the narrative i reviewed was simply describing the experience to the individual with schizophrenia, not those around them. I also think that the way family reacts and manages the issue with the victim plays a major role in the person’s experience. If an individuals family is able to positively embrace or manage the illness I think that it could have more of a positive affect on their personal management of the disease and allow them to live a less stressful, more fulfilled lives while coping with the illness.

  2. Meredith Joseph says:

    The Youtube video that I picked was call “Talking about my Schizophrenia” about a college age guy that was put into a mental hospital for a year. He had difficulty making everyday choices, always hearing something in the back of his mind telling him to pick differently than how he felt. He also could not handle a lot of tasks at once, he got stressed out easily. If he did get overwhelmed he would have an “episode” has he called them. He would get very angry and violent. Knowing these episodes were going to happen he would remove himself from people and go into the woods. After have constant episodes while living at home he lived in the woods for a few months. Than finally decided to turn himself into a hospital. He is like Ben who seeks help to be able to live a normal life again, but gets stressed easily. After a year in the mental hospital he is now on a positive track to having a more active life. Getting a job and starting school back up has made him feel like he has a purpose and now he does not just want to sit around. I think that he had trouble dealing with his family because his family did not understand his condition and how it should be treated so they were just trying to treat him like normal, when he needed to relax and regroup. Also he was probably scared to turn himself into a mental hospital due to our culture judging people with mental illnesses.

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