Schizophrenia - TV Show Blog

Some people consider schizophrenia the most debilitating of mental disorders, and indeed, if you ask almost any unaffected person to describe the disorder, they will probably rattle off symptoms like paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, bizarre outbursts and the like. However, when diagnosed, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be kept at arms length with support from family and friends, medication and therapy. Bill McPhee is living proof that schizophrenia can be controlled, and those with the disorder can live productive, loving lives.
I love to pop some popcorn and watch an unassuming protagonist discover that his friends, his family, his whole life is not quite what it seems, and then go about the dangerous business of solving the mystery that has become his reality. Others may try to convince the hero that he’s confused or delusional, but part of what I love about a good psychological thriller is that the hero is always vindicated in the end. And while there are real people whose lives are as filled with conspiracy and intrigue as a box office hit, many of them are living in a false world made up of schizophrenic delusions. And it’s not a glamorous world. It’s a world fueled by mental illness, by the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Childhood schizophrenia can be very difficult to diagnose. It mimics other illnesses and becomes even harder to distinguish if alcohol and drug abuse become part of the picture as well. Our guest on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, Randye Kaye, knows all about this firsthand.
"Who are you and why are you doing this to me?" Those are the words Sandra Yuen MacKay wrote in block letters across her family's porch when she was 15 years old. She knew someone was spying on her; she could hear voices outside her house, talking about her and commenting on what she was doing.
Dr. Frederick Frese is an amazing man with a great sense of humor. He was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966. During this week's HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, Dr. Frese recalls his first run-in with schizophrenia while guarding nuclear weapons at a naval base and subsequent hospitalizations where he was declared by the state to be "insane."
For most Americans, our experience of someone living with Schizophrenia comes via seeing some street person who appears "out of their mind" or watching tv news and finding out a person with schizophrenia has killed someone or wrecked havoc (Schizophrenics Find Stigma Is Even Worse Than the Disease).  That's why it was amazing to watch our interview with this week's guest, Kristin Bell, who sat there calmly sharing her story like anyone else.
Susan Inman's daughter suffered from severe psychosis and was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Susan discusses the toll Molly's severe mental illness took on her and her family, finding the right treatment for psychosis, and the tools she used to save her daughter's sanity as well as manage her own. Watch the interview with Susan Inman at Schizoaffective Disorder in the Family: Saving My Daughter's Sanity.