Schizophrenia like this could be hard for someone who


            When I was younger I would often
hear my family talk about my great uncle Lonnie. They would talk about how
crazy he was and how he always would hear voices in his head. I was around the
age of 5 so I did not truly understand what was going on with him. I thought
the voices in his head were the same is the voice in my head (which is my own).
I had seen him go in and out of jail and mental institutes for about 10 years
after that. He did get a lot better when he got older and started taking his
medication more regularly.  I do not know
if the voices totally disappeared because he never really talked about it. He
passed away last October. His passing really made me want to do my final paper
on Schizophrenia. It seemed like something that weighting on him for most of
his life. I feel like people looked at his disorder more then they looked at
him as an actual person. I feel like most of his life he was a problem to be
dealt with.

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            I am a person that is always full of
questions so it was not hard to come up with the questions. I was actually
afraid that I might have asked too many questions. But Dr. Peterson was very
friendly about it. The only problem was that I felt like I was asking the same
questions over and over again just in a different way. Dr. Peterson is my mom’s
therapist so it was not hard for me to find her and get her to do the interview
with me. I feel like this could be hard for someone who does not know any one
that works in this field of study. My mom started going to her earlier this
year because she was having personal problems. She knew me prior to this
assignment because sometimes I do group therapy with my mother and her. She is
extremely friendly and sweet and I think she really enjoyed the interview. She
said it was great for students to get first hand experience.

            The first question that I asked Dr.
Peterson was how she felt about the how DSM portrayed people with Schizophrenia.
She stated ” The DSM-IV portrays Schizophrenia in a very general/generic way. I
feel like Schizophrenia has so many different symptoms that it could be 3 or 4
different disorders in one. Schizophrenia is viewed as one disorder with many
different symptoms. I believe overall that the DSM is doing a good job at
putting out information for this and many other disorders.” When I first learned
about Schizophrenia I thought it was just hearing voices. After taking this
class and talking to Dr. Peterson I learned that it is so much more. It is
literally the brain playing tricks on the mind. I agree with Dr. Peterson that
it is a disorder with a lot of symptoms. Some of these symptoms are
hallucinations, delusions, catatonic behavior, disorganized speech, and

            The next question that I asked was
“What is the most common type of delusion?” She answered, “For Schizophrenia,
Persecutory is the most common type of delusion. This is when someone believes
that someone is stalking or sabotaging him or her. This can cause them to act
irrationally and maybe caused a scene or get the police called on them.”  I was not surprised of this answer because
when I was younger and my uncle would come in the room with me. He would always
look around the room and stare out of the window like someone was watching him.
I do not even blame people with Schizophrenia for acting irrational. If I
thought someone was following me and trying to harm me I would probably act
that way too. When I was younger I use to watch this show called The Last Air
Bender. In the show there was a character called Azula. She was in her late
teens or early 20’s (usually when schizophrenia appears) when she started
having persecutory symptoms. At first she would talk to the voices in her head
but she never followed their directions. But when she went though emotional
trauma. This caused her symptoms to get worst. By the end of the show she had
fired everyone close to her and ended up losing everything and everyone that
she held dear. I feel like having a mental disorder does not mean that you
would lose everyone close to you. But having schizophrenia can cause a person
to be paranoid and push everyone away. The average person with Schizophrenia is
not walking around talking to the voices in their head. This is usually only in
extreme circumstance when the disorder goes untreated for a really long period
of time.  

            Another question that I asked was
“What is the best type of therapy for people with Schizophrenia” Dr. Peterson
responded “The best type of therapy for people with Schizophrenia is Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy in my opinion. Behavior Therapy is a type of therapy that
deals with different issues and improves happiness by modifying negative
emotions and thoughts.  It is very
different from Freudian psychoanalysis in which the therapist works with the
patient to get to the root of the problem. Behavioral Therapy is focus on
getting positive solutions. It also improves destructive behaviors.” I feel
like both Behavioral Therapy and Freudian psychoanalysis can help it just
depends on the situation and the person. Sometimes getting to the root of the
problem may help some people cope with the disorder. I feel like the type of
therapy depends on the person and how severe their Schizophrenia is. I believe
she answered Behavior Therapy because it is more so focus on getting passed the
disorder then actually getting to the root of it. But it might not even be a
root and just be caused by some chemical imbalances in the brain.

The media makes Schizophrenia seem like
some like some of disorder when a person cannot live a normal life. The media
portrays a person with Schizophrenia as someone who is violent and crazy. It
makes them seem like their mind is not their own and that are being controlled
by something evil. They never really portray people with Schizophrenia as
normal people just trying to live a happy life. They usually show them in
mental institutes trying to fight to keep in touch with reality. A good example
is Harley Quinn. She is often seen doing violent acts to others. Her thought
process seems much distorted and all over the place. She is often talking to
the voices in her head and telling people what the voices are saying. The
voices are usually saying something about escaping or murdering people. Some
time she will ignore the voices and other times she will give into their
demands. This may make the average person think that everyone with
Schizophrenia may have the same mindset as Harley Quinn. 

The interview really gave me a one on one
experience with a health professor who works with those kinds of patients every
single day. I feel like I could have read most of these things in a book. But
it felt good to have someone with first hand experience. I like seeing the
passion in her eyes while she talked about the different topics. The interview
gave me some first hand experience that I would never get from reading a
textbook or watching a video. Most of the themes were about the effects of the
disorder and being able to live a normal life with disorder. I feel like at the
end of the day everyone just wants to be accepted. Before taking this class I
always thought that people with Schizophrenia were “crazy”. I feel like a lot
of people feel this way based off of the media. I did a lot researched before
because the interview so that I could be very prepared so nothing in the
interview really surprised me. I did find it interesting how pregnancy can have
a huge effect on how their bodies react to the medication.

Overall I feel like this interview was a
very eye opening experience. I feel like the interview really helped me get
some first hand experience on how to help and understand what is going on
inside of their head. I feel like I did not learn anything new mentally but I
feel like I got a more emotional connect with the disorder by hearing someone
speak about it who actually worked with people with that type of disorder. I do
wish that people had a better understand of mental disorders and did not write
everyone with a mental disorder as “crazy”. They just take whatever the media
says and run with it. Once someone is considered insane its like his or her
opinion does not matter anymore to society. If anything having a mental
disorder makes a person stronger. I feel like changing ones mindset on this
subject is one small step to changing the world.