1st Impression Post- Mental Illness

For this week’s first impression blog post, I chose to write about option one. This option was about what daily life is like for a person with schizophrenia. From watching movies and seeing different news on the media, I thought it was going to be a lot worse than the video actually was. Movies and the media always show people with schizophrenia to be very violent towards others. In this video, however, the voices in the person’s head were sort of just arguing with each other. They would say one thing and then contradict themselves. One second they would talk about what the person was seeing, but then you could hear a bunch of random words in the background. Before the schizophrenic episode, they seemed normal. They were just going about their normal morning ritual, just like everyone does. They heard kids playing outside and it was bright and sunny. Once the episode started, they could not think clearly. They thought it was storming when it really was not. They started thinking that the tv host was talking directly to them and that people were coming to get them. As soon as the woman arrived to house and spoke to the individual, they sort of snapped out of the schizophrenic episode. Things started to return back to normal. I think the media gives people misconceptions on what schizophrenia really is. Not everyone reacts the same way and experiences the same symptoms with this mental illness. The media should do a better job at depicting the illness and what it means for people that have it.

First Impression Week 14

This video was very interesting to me. I remember watching it before, but this time it hit me much harder. I did not realize how intense schizophrenia is and how much it impacts a person constantly. I have known several people who have committed suicide from schizophrenia and the whole idea of it never really made much sense to me. This video made things come full circle for why, and how it can impact someone’s life. It was shocking to me how intense it was and even the schizophrenic’s environment also seemed to change not just their thoughts. I really appreciated being able to see the persons daily life and how they go about doing things with this constant mental illness. This really puts into perspective how impactful it can be.

When considering how the media portrays schizophrenia I personally think that they do a poor job. I think whenever the topic is considered there is a sense of “crazy” that the person with the illness is considered. I do not think that the media portrays it as seriously as they should because this is serious and much scarier than people realize. I think that like a lot of things the media has glamorized schizophrenia and there is no understanding of how intense it can be. Overall I think that schizophrenia is a very serious illness and should be taken more seriously. This video really helped to open my eyes to the intensity of the illness and how scary it is.

Schizophrenia: Media vs. Reality

Although I have never had a real-life interaction with a person who has schizophrenia, I have been made aware of many of the symptoms schizophrenia due to the special education course I am enrolled in this semester. Just recently in that special education course, we watched a video of a young girl diagnosed with schizophrenia. Even though most cases of schizophrenia appear later on in life, this little girl was experiencing voices in her head, some good and some bad, that would not only guide her actions, but would prevent her from sleeping at night. Many times the voices in the girl’s head would cause her to be violent. The little girl’s actions became so violent that the parents were forced to buy two separate apartments: one for the little brother to live with the mother in, and one for the little girl to live in with her father.

Even though the video I watched on the girl with schizophrenia did portray many of the negatives of her mental illness, it was nowhere near the negative portrayal of schizophrenia in the media of today. In many movies, schizophrenia is depicted as a “crazy” person that rocks back and forth in the corner of a room in tattered clothing, or goes on a psychotic killing spree because the voices in their head are tell them that “everyone needs to go.” Although people with schizophrenia do commonly hear voices in their heads, often times telling them negative things, this does not mean that they should be treated as psychotic killers or mindless lunatics.

In fact, after experiencing the video that simulates some experiences that schizophrenia produces, I am not surprised that violence can sometimes result from these experiences. While I did know that the voices are often demeaning towards the person who has them in his or her head, I did not fully understand the extent to which this concept could go. It is one thing to imagine voices and people in your head that are speaking to you, but it is another whole ordeal to take real-life people and things and completely shift what they are saying to you. For example, what shocked me the most during the video was not the voices in the person’s head warning of poison and the weather; the thing that shocked me the most was the change in the headlines of the newspaper and the change in dialogue of the weather man and the news reporter. These were concrete things happening in real life, and for the person to not only fail to see these things for what they were, but to then fabricate messages and words over them was a real eye-opener for me. If that video alone caused me as much anxiety as it did, I could never begin to fathom the amount of anxiety really having schizophrenia could produce.

Mental Illness: Week 14 First Impression

Starting this blog I had a very general idea of what schizophrenia was and how it affects people. I have never seen the movies listed in the prompt so I haven’t seen any type of display of the mental illness until the video Types of Schizophrenia – a day in the life of. Searching for more information on schizophrenia I found very strict descriptions with specific side effects. Although, the video described how each case is unique to every individual. I also learned how there can be positive and negative symptoms. Also schizophrenia can affect body movement, emotions, and mental functioning.

I was quite shocked by the video. It gave a real world sense of schizophrenia. It is difficult to describe many types of illnesses and disorders without having any relation to it yourself. But the video truly showed what people can go through without anyone noticing what’s going on. I learned from the video that certain hallucinations or delusions can be negative towards the person; it was as if they were being bullied by the voices in their head. This was new to me because I thought a common symptom of schizophrenia was simply voices in their head and not actually speaking to that individual.

From this new insight to schizophrenia I think the media is too direct and strict when talking about this illness. Many just focus on the hard facts that can relate to large groups of people. But in reality it is a very unique mental illness that is different for every person who has it. There are different symptoms and different experiences people go through. No one seems to take into account how everyday is a struggle for someone diagnosed with schizophrenia. I think better awareness is needed of how personal this mental disorder is to each individual rather than just the common knowledge and facts of it.

First Impression- Mental Illness

I decided to do the first option for this first impression post since I have a fairly detailed understanding of Schizophrenia from Intro to Neuroscience, however, I don’t know what the symptoms are actually like to experience. I’ve seen Donnie Darko also and that is one of my favorite movies ever. I knew before the video that there are positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and that positive symptoms are hallucinations (tactile, vision, auditory, and smell) but I don’t really know what it’s like to experience that. It’s pretty hard to understand the illness if you don’t what it’s like to actually have it. This video seemed like a good opportunity to do that.

The video was really eye opening for me. It’s insane to think some people really experience things like that or hear voices telling them terrible things or that people are after them. It’s hard to think what it would be like to experience these symptoms and be able to tell what’s real and what’s not real. It would be really scary to be with someone while they’re having a delusion or hallucination because they aren’t aware that it’s not real. It is so real to them and we don’t usually see it as such in film and the media. Usually people think they can control it, like start and stop whenever they way or it’s for attention and not really happening. A lot of people don’t have a detailed idea of what it is since it’s such an individualized illness. The video also said that there is no typical or normal case of schizophrenia.

After watching this video, I really want to know how doctors diagnose this mental illness, since it can be so different between everyone and we can’t experience what they are seeing or hearing. Also, I really want to know why when they hear voices it’s about people after them or things like that, it seems so strange that their minds can make this up and they believe it and why is it that. Them hearing voices saying the government is after them and that God is speaking to them is what I’ve heard from class and media, anyways.


I took Psychology in high school and learned little about schizophrenia and watched A Beautiful Mind in the class. My first impression that came to mind was that it would be freaky to see people that you can only see. Also you ca hear voices tell you things like the angle and the devil on your shoulders. People will think you are crazy when you really aren’t. Something new I learned from the video Types of Schizophrenia – A day I the life of (scary) is that the voices can be negative. I thought that is was only like a bickering voice in your head. The voices can be harmful and negative towards you and influences you to do thing. In the video he doesn’t eat the pizza and talk on the phone because of hat he’s being told. I also learned that people with schizophrenia can take medicine to help with it and not go through episodes. I always found schizophrenia to be unique ad interesting that your mind can do this and I’m glad I got to get more information on it. Overall the video helped a lot with understanding more about what people who have schizophrenia go through on a everyday life.

Mental Illness

For this post, I watched a video of a day in the life of someone who suffers with schizophrenia. This video really frightened me and opened my eyes to a little bit of what someone with schizophrenia goes through. In the video, I saw things that weren’t actually there but were being seen by the person. I heard voices in the persons head. The newscasters on the TV were saying things to the person, which someone who doesn’t have schizophrenia wouldn’t have heard. I was frightened for a majority of the video, mostly because I had no idea what I would see or hear next. I couldn’t help but relate this to Donnie Darko, because it is the only movie I’ve seen from the three listed in the assignment. In the movie, Donnie sees and hears Frank the bunny, who isn’t actually there. I  do and don’t believe that Donnie Darko is an accurate depiction of someone with schizophrenia. It does a good job of showing someone seeing and hearing things that aren’t actually there, and shows what terrible things could happen when someone listens to the bad voices in their heads. I also think it’s not a good way of depicting someone with schizophrenia because we only see and hear one being that comes along with Donnie’s schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is such a terrifying disease and is something I believe should be shown accurately more often so others would be able to see what people diagnosed with schizophrenia deal with on a regular basis.

Spotlight Blog 3 Prompts

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below. The spotlight post is due at 2pm on Sunday, 12/10.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Social”

People are often told to resist peer pressure and think for themselves, but as we’ve learned, this is more easily said than done. Too often, especially for teens, this advice is not followed with concrete recommendation about ways to resist pressure from others. I want you to identify three websites that provide methods for resisting peer pressure and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Mental Illness”

Television shows like My Strange Addiction, Intervention, True Life, and others have turned some mental illnesses into entertainment. In particular, the shows Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive showcase people with hoarding disorder trying to get their lives, homes, and relationships back in order. What do you think about this type of show? Is it ethical to do? Does it exploit people with mental illnesses? Here is a sample clip from Hoarding: Buried Alive in case you’re not familiar with how these shows work. Find at least two sources that argue these shows are helpful for the people on the show and/or the general public and at least two sources that argue these shows are harmful. Discuss the evidence each source provides, assess the credibility of the sources, and explain your own perspective on shows like this. Make sure to include links and/or citations for your sources.

Option 3 – Use the tag “Mental Health Treatment”

One of the biggest questions when deciding to seek treatment for a mental health condition is to pick between seeking psychotherapy (e.g., counseling, therapy) and medication. Major depressive disorder is the most common mental illness in the US, and can be treated effectively using either method. Find at least two sources that argue psychotherapy is a better treatment option and at least two sources that argue medication is a better treatment option. Discuss the evidence each source provides, assess the credibility of the sources, and explain your own perspective. Make sure to include links and/or citations for your sources.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Week 14 First Impression Prompts – Mental Illness

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Illness.” The first impression posts will be due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, 11/29. The refinement posts will be due at noon on Tuesday, 12/5.

Option 1

Schizophrenia is often depicted dramatically in the media, and has been the subject of many major films like A Beautiful Mind, The Soloist, and Donnie Darko. Less frequently, however, do people get the chance to think about the daily life of someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions. Watch this video which simulates the experience of a person with schizophrenia, share your reactions, and compare this to how you typically see schizophrenia in the media.

Option 2

People often associate schizophrenia with the homeless population or mental hospitals, but rarely do we think about people who are professionally very successful. One person who is thriving despite her schizophrenia is Elyn Saks, who received her law degree from Yale and is a professor at the University of Southern California. In her TED Talk, she describes how she struggled with her disorder and was eventually able to manage her condition and take control of her life. Share your reactions to the video, discuss how her story compares to the “typical narrative” of schizophrenia, and discuss why you think she turned out differently than other people with this disorder.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator