"Anderson Cooper Tries a Schizophrenia Simulator" is a well-written example of a paper on the disorder. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects a person's cognitive ability. A person who has schizophrenia is not able to think, act, or feel clear. Altered brain chemistry is thought to be part of the reasons for the disease, in combination with genetic and environmental factors. Schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, negative symptoms, disorganized speech, and disorganized behavior. (Castle D. J, Buckley P. F, 2014). In her speech, Cecilia McGough notes that about 1.1 percent of the world's total population suffers from schizophrenia.
Life is increasingly difficult for people with this mental disorder, especially if they are not given support. It feels like a waking nightmare. McGough notes that there is a lot of stigmatization of the disease. From her experience, her mother was afraid that Cecilia might miss out on getting a job, or worse, that people might think that she is crazy and dangerous. Most people with schizophrenia have triggers. Cecilia notes that it is incredibly crucial for people with schizophrenia to seek the correct medical attention, citing that it was the best decision for her. Anderson Cooper's experience that perfectly describes the life that a person with schizophrenia is subjected to from time to time is eye-opening.
In his simulative experiment, the auditory hallucinations that he experiences are distractive and depressing. He is unable to concentrate on anything and feels helpless because he cannot help it. According to Anderson, he cannot wait to take off the earphones, primarily because of the negative comments. He feels as if some people are watching his every move and negatively commenting on it.
This experiment teaches me that a person with schizophrenia goes through a lot of mental trauma, which they are unable to escape. They need love, care, and understanding, rather than stigmatization. If I am newly diagnosed with schizophrenia, my first reaction would be denial. The stigma in the world around the disorder is most likely to way me down. Schizophrenia being a chronic disorder, I would need to make a lot of deliberations on how to accept and live with it. The first person I would disclose my diagnosis to would be my mother.
I feel that she would be more accepting of me than any other person. The people I would not want to find out about are my peers and friends. This is because I feel that I would be risking losing their friendship based on their stigmatization, misconception, and fear of my mental disorder. Living with schizophrenia would completely change how I do things and interact with people. My education would be more centered on mental health issues. I would probably choose a career in psychiatry or psychology, with the main aim of gaining as much knowledge and helping myself and people like me, to live a life as close to normal as possible.
I would not be in any particular rush for a romantic relationship or family. If I do, I will choose not to have any children, because my main focus would be on my career. I would possibly choose a romantic partner with a mental disorder as well, and one who is passionate as I am, about helping other people. Going forward, I will be more accepting of people living with mental disorders.
I will show more compassion, love, and understanding. I will listen more often with the aim of understanding and meeting their needs. When called upon, I will gladly offer my help to people living with mental disorders. I will offer my support through donations or through any other material or non-material ways that ensure that the truth on mental disorders gets out. Most importantly, I will remind myself and others each day that we are all candidates of mental disorders, and if we are not currently suffering from any of them, it is because we are merely lucky.
Anderson Cooper tries a schizophrenia simulator [Video]. (n.d.). YouTube. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yL9UJVtgPZY
Castle, D. J., & Buckley, P. F. (2014). Schizophrenia. Oxford University Press, USA.
TEDxPSU. (n.d.). I AM NOT A MONSTER: Schizophrenia/Cecilia McGough [Video]. YouTube. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xbagFzcyNiM