1. Aviandalek

    Aviandalek New Member

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    Schizophrenia Characterization?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Aviandalek, Oct 24, 2016.

    So I'm writing one of my characters as schizophrenic, but I don't want to characterize him as like "ooooh I hear voices telling me to kill all of you ooooh". I'd much rather have him be a more realistic representation of it. I searched a few videos about it and even found a simulation video (here in case you're interested ) but not much of it showed how a person might react or be while not experienceing an episode (I think that's the right term?;;). Also as a slight side note, the person in the video stops seeing things when the woman walks in. Is that realistic, everything stopping when the person with schizophrenia experiences outside stimulation from someone else?
    I guess in short what I'm asking is how does a person with schizophrenia feel on a regular basis and what do they look like to a neurotypical person?
    (My character is a 21 year old cis male. He started out on medication but stopped being able to take it for the rest of the story, if that helps any)
     
  2. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Depends on the severity. Most schizos you wouldn't even notice.

    The severity and type would depend on how they feel on a regular basis. Some are paranoid, some are manic, some are depressed, some are angry and violent. It usually gets worse as time goes on.

    I would more precisely define your character first. What kind of schizophrenia do they have? I have a character with disassociative identity disorder in on of my stories and a bipolar schizophrenic in another, they're based on real people and couldn't be more different.
     
  3. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    What kind of schizophrenia does he have?
     
  4. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I don't know about the person this character is based on, but bipolar schizophrenia isn't a thing (at least going by the DSM; maybe you live somewhere it's not used?). BD and schizophrenia can't be comorbid. There's schizoaffective disorder, which is diagnosed when someone has features of both BD and schizophrenia. Is that what you meant? I'm just curious.

    DID also has very little, really, to do with schizophrenia, so there's no reason why those people would be especially similar because of their disorders.

    eta: Honestly, I've always felt like this is the type of question that's probably better to pose to people with schizophrenia (or even similar disorders like schizoaffective or schizotypal personality disorder) than other writers ;) I'm glad you're taking a research-based approach rather than relying on those "ooh the voices tell me to kill" pop culture renditions of mental illness (especially schizophrenia, since it's still very stigmatized against), but I'd urge you to double down on that. Look at diagnostic criteria, but more importantly look for personal accounts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  5. Aviandalek

    Aviandalek New Member

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    Izzy, I was kind of thinking the same thing about where you said to ask someone who has schizophrenia about it, but I don't know anyone with it and it seems weird to try it probe a stranger's brain like that over the Internet;;

    New Jersey, I was thinking that he would be more paranoid. He grew up in a lab environment from the age of 6, so I would think that most stuff kind of freaks him out.

    Sorry I'm being so unspecific about this;; I'm still trying to develop his character and I feel like this is a big part of him, so I want to get it right. Thank you guys for your help and bearing with me, though! :D
     
  6. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Googling "personal accounts of schizophrenia" seems to come up with a fair few blog posts and the like. Those are invaluable since, yeah, it can seem weird to personally question someone about their mental illness, but since they're out there in public on the internet, I'd assume these are people who'd rather we read their blogs than get it wrong! I think it might be best to read up on the symptoms as they're understood diagnostically beforehand so that you have a sort of framework to put individual cases into, since 'thematically' different behaviors/beliefs can be caused by the same underlying symptom.
     
  7. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    Many years ago there was a girl I worked with who suffered bouts of some personality disorder, though not multiple personalities, and she did not behave strangely otherwise. One afternoon she just had a nervous breakdown at work. While talking to God she stabbed herself in the eye with a scissors. Being very young myself at the time, and perhaps not as sensitive as I should have been, I sketched a quick drawing of Jesus being crucified on a pair of scissors and tacked it to the community bulletin board. I thought it was funny. Our Human Resources Department, not so much.
     
  8. Aviandalek

    Aviandalek New Member

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    Ah, cool, thank you for the tip, Izzy! And you too, Carly, for the different accounts of episodes.
     
  9. Konan

    Konan Banned

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    Hey @Aviandalek - I was diagnosed with schizophrenia about six years ago. And you're welcome to ask me any questions if you want.

    However, I may be a bit of an exception. It seems I have a milder case of it. First, as you may know, the symptoms of schizophrenia are having hallucinations, hearing voices, and delusions -- I just had the delusions ... and some pretty bizarre ones. Doctors weren't sure if it was schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Second, I'm pretty normal when I take my meds -- the delusions stop. My psychiatrist has commented that I'm lively in our conversations and I'm a great conversationalist. Apparently most people who suffer from schizophrenia are fairly unresponsive and don't communicate well. You know, staring off blankly into space and whatnot -- which could just be from the meds, though. I'm not sure.

    Anyway, if you got any questions, feel free to ask.
     
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  10. Aviandalek

    Aviandalek New Member

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    Oh cool this really helps! And thank you so much for the offer. :D
     

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