Schizophrenics and Schizophrenia: Drugs are NOT the Solution

Satisfactory Essays
Schizophrenics and Schizophrenia: Drugs are NOT the Solution

Last month, I shadowed a physician for four days. When I arrived at her office on the first day, she said to me, "Prepare yourself, we are going to the Provident." The Provident is a nursing home for the severely mentally ill. Many of the patients living there are under fifty years old, some are as young as thirty. None of the residents have any money. All are receiving welfare and are on Medicare.

We entered the building into a room where approximately 15 people were sitting in chairs. Most were staring straight ahead, eyes glazed. Some were chattering quietly to themselves, some were walking around with an awkward gait. As I walked further through the floor looking into rooms, I saw many people sleeping in their beds.

I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if the people living at the Provident were suddenly not taking any medication. Would they be out of control? Was it possible that beneath all of the drug-induced stares, shakes and speech impediments that an alert person existed? Perhaps their diseases had prevented them from interacting with other people in what would be considered a "normal" way. But are they better off now that they are too drug-altered and often depressed to interact at all?

As a society, we try to get rid of things we are afraid of, things which make us nervous and things we don't understand. Perhaps mental illness is not so much a problem for the mentally ill, but for their communities who can not and will not empathize with them. I wonder if people suffering from a mental illness are not really suffering at all, but are simply a behavioral minority. Their behavior prevents them from being accepted by the majority. They can not find work or often even a place to live, as these things are controlled by the majority. Instead, for those that are ironically considered lucky, the majority gives them medication and often sends them away to a locked facility.

For this second web-paper, I will try to explore these questions by learning about schizophrenia, a common diagnosis at the Provident. Some have argued that people "afflicted" with schizophrenia have a damaged I-function. That is, schizophrenics are not capable of responding appropriately to their environment because their I-function is not fully grown or as well-developed as a "healthy" person.
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