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Schizophrenia Case Study

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My friend's aunt is a paranoid schizophrenic. According to Bernstein, schizophrenia is defined as, "a pattern of severely disturbed thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior that seriously impairs the ability to communicate and relate to others" (489). From the stories I have heard, Tracy believes her husband will die from cancer and she will marry a man from her church whom she has never met. She also believes her and Tommy (the man from church) have two children together (a boy Bradley and girl Suzy) even though she had her tubes tied about twenty years ago. Tracy believes that this is all in Gods plan for her and the voices she hears in her head is a gift given to her to read the minds of others. Further, as a result of her disease she is completely unaware of others and self absorbed. If anyone thinks poorly of her they are only persecuting her out of jealousy because God has chosen her for such a luxurious life. Tracy talks to Tommy frequently and has loud vocal arguments with him at 6 am, at 10 pm, when friends and family are over, at the store, even in front of her husband. Since she believes this is reality she is never embarrassed but instead she is rather proud and does not hide her "affair." Tracy has been on numerous different medications and this is the result of them working. She believes strangers, even people she knows, are planning to harm her. She sits by the radio for endless hours waiting for Tommy to play a song for her. If she believes the songs dedicated to her she sometimes goes as far as to have "sex" with him. Tracy believes that George Bush is second to Christ, because he is against abortion. She also believes that God has spared her from the embarrassment of bodily odors. Therefore she does not bath; change clothes, wear deodorant, or use and sort of feminine hygiene products. She started hallucinating recently believing Tommy is lost and looking for her. A person with schizophrenia is a hard person to love. It is important to remember that they are their disease. In this particular example I believe the neurobiological model best explains the disorder for Tracy. The neurobiological model explains, "Psychological disorders in terms of particular disturbances in the anatomy and chemistry of the brain and in other biological process, including genetic influence" (Bernstein 466). From what I know Tracy's mother heard voices throughout her life but never got help; leading me to believe it was passed down genetically. She too, like her mother, did not begin having these delusions and hearing voices until her mid twenties.

Another story I remember watching was about a girl on the Oprah show who had one of the worst cases of childhood schizophrenia doctors had seen. In one segment of the show Oprah asks the girl, January, were her imaginary friends live. Januarys reply was, "They live on the border of your



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