February 26, 2013By Jocelyne Aguilar of South Houston High School
Bipolar disorder, autism, multiple personality disorder, and schizophrenia .These are some of the many mental disorders people deal with, including some students here at SHHS.
What is bipolar disorder? What is autism? What is multiple personality disorder? What is schizophrenia?
Bipolar disorder is when a person experiences abnormal mood shifts. For example they could be happy one second and depressed and crying the next. This is a serious mental illness that can damage relationships and social life. Sadly there is no cure for bipolar disorder, but it can be treated.
Autism, is in some cases considered a mental disorder, is something we most likely have heard of. This is when a person has difficulties with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and/or verbal and nonverbal communication. Autism is found in many children, and many become social outcasts. Like bipolar disorder, there is no cure for autism, but can be treated.
Multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder, is a mental disorder in which a person has multiple personalities. One case of this disorder involved a woman who claimed to have 17 different personalities. In another case a woman claimed to have 7 different personalities, two in which she claimed to have made her cut herself, and drink constantly. People who have this disorder sometimes don’t even know which personality is their own. They could have the personality of a four year-old and even talk and act like one. This disorder can affect the person at any time. They could be walking down the street and all of a sudden shift to a child-like personality. Just like the other two mental disorders, there is no cure, but can also be treated.
Schizophrenia, this mental illness is considered the most dangerous mental illness of all. It usually begins in early adulthood, between the ages of 15 and 25. It is said that men develop schizophrenia earlier than woman. Schizophrenia is rare in children under the age of 10. One case involves a now 11 year old January (Jani) Schofield who was diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia at age 6. She was said to be born a schizophrenic, showing unusual signs of schizophrenia even as a young baby. Jani admits to hallucinating rats, and cats, an even a little girl with names like 400 the cat, 24 hours the teenager, and many more. She says her hallucinations hurt her, and make her hurt her five year old little brother, Bodhi if she doesn’t do what they say. Jani also said that all her hallucinations live in her imaginary world named Calalini, which according to her from and interview with Oprah Winfery, is on the “border of
her world and our world".
There are many types of schizophrenia. The following are the different known types of schizophrenia.
Paranoid schizophrenia-When a person experiences auditory and visual hallucinations, and delusions, like thoughts about persecutions or conspiracies. Unlike the other types of schizophrenia, people who have the paranoid type are more functional in social life and in work. They are able to keep a relationship better, and focus on their work and live fairly normal lives.
Disorganized schizophrenia-This subtype’s main feature is disorganized thoughts and actions. Like in all types of schizophrenia, this subtype also consists of hallucinations and delusions, but is less pronounced. People with this subtype struggle with routine tasks such as dressing, bathing, etc.
Catatonic schizophrenia-This subtype is when a person has symptoms of schizophrenia that are not specific enough to be classified as the illness into the other subtypes. They pretty much experience mild symptoms, but not strong enough to be classified as a major subtype of schizophrenia.
There is also schizoaffective disorder that is also a type of schizophrenia but with mild symptoms.
People with any type of schizophrenia also face depression and for some people they isolate themselves form the social world. Schizophrenia also cannot be cured, but can be treated. Charles Manson is a well know man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Although these mental illnesses are pretty rare, there are many people around you with one of these illnesses and you might not even know it.
Senior Robert Garcia was diagnosed with a minor case of schizophrenia at a young age.
“It was around freshman year when I was diagnosed with minor schizophrenia”, said Garcia. “I heard a lot of voices telling me to ‘do your best’ or ‘don’t eat that’. When I was in middle school, I would look at the wall and see purple claw marks. My parents just said I was imagining things, or that I had imaginary friends. When I was finally diagnosed it felt like I was diagnosed with any other illness. It wasn’t that big a deal to me. I never needed any medication because it was a minor case. To this day I only hear voices like every other week. Other than that it pretty much went away."
If you know anybody with any type of mental illness, don’t treat them like they’re different. It’s hard enough they have to live with what they have, so they don’t need anybody making them feel bad for that reason. They may be a bit different. But they are still human.