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.


2 Replies to “First Impression- Mental Illness”

  1. The video was very eye opening to what people diagnosed with schizophrenia go through on a regular basis. It’s frightening to think these people cannot control when or how strong there hallucinations are and how inescapable they are. I think it’d be interesting to find out how doctors diagnose schizophrenia because, like you said, there are so many different experiences that we cannot see or hear. I agree that it’s very strange and haunting that people with schizophrenia hear voices that are threatening and saying that people are after them. I wonder if they hear voices saying positive things or if it’s just threatening voices. I too have seen Donnie Darko and I think that it’s a pretty good representation of how disturbing and harmful schizophrenia is and how it can drive people to do dangerous things.


  2. The unique cases of schizophrenia is one thing that I think makes it so fascinating but also so scary. The fact that everyone could be having different hallucinations must be a very isolating experience for people suffering. Watching the video I started to wonder where a persons hallucinations come from (is there a sort of Freudian origin for them?) and if so could you take advantage of knowing that information in combating schizophrenia. On the topic of Donnie Darko, which is also one of my favorite movies, I suppose you could say it’s a pretty good representation of schizophrenia during the times he sees things in his waking life, but I’m not sure it tends to manifest in someones dreams which seems to bring the most common visions for Donnie.


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