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March 31, 2024

Schizophrenia Discussion

Schizophrenia Discussion

Getting Started

Imagine you are sitting on an airplane, having just lifted off on a three-hour flight, and you strike up a friendly conversation with the person next to you. This person seems easy to talk with and is interesting. As the conversation unfolds, he tells you more about his life, including being diagnosed with schizophrenia. You pause, not certain how to respond to this disclosure. Your thoughts start racing. You don’t really know much about schizophrenia beyond the tidbits you’ve heard about in movies and the media, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t safe to be sitting next to someone with this condition, especially for the next three hours! You look for a break in the conversation, say you are tired and need to sleep, put in your earbuds, and hope you make it to your destination alive.

Schizophrenia Discussion

While this example might seem more reactionary than the typical response, it drives home the point that most people just don’t understand schizophrenia. Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split or multiple personality. It is listed as a psychotic disorder in the DSM-5. A psychotic disorder is defined as a condition where a person loses contact with the here-and-now reality of what is happening. For example, a person may hear voices or have a strong belief in things that are not true. The person might believe that someone is trying to communicate with him through the television, or that she has superpowers, or that the FBI is bugging his home. The behavioral results of this jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds can be disconcerting to those who don’t understand that the person is not able to control these breaks with reality. It doesn’t help the stigma we attach to schizophrenia when we learn that a number of people who have committed high-profile mass killings later went on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is true that those with schizophrenia can be unpredictable, and some might be dangerous if their symptoms are not treated. But it is not the case that most are violent.

Schizophrenia Discussion

Another myth about people with schizophrenia is that they are intellectually inferior to the average person. They might struggle with attention, learning, and memory issues, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t smart. You may be familiar with the film A Beautiful Mind, which followed the life of Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash. Nash struggled for years with symptoms of schizophrenia before being accurately diagnosed and treated. Or Brian Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys music group, whose journey with schizophrenia was depicted in the recent film Love and Mercy. Even the brilliant Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, had a son with schizophrenia.

In this discussion, you will have the opportunity to learn more about schizophrenia, debunk some of the myths that surround this condition, and hopefully emerge with greater compassion for those struggling with this serious but highly treatable condition. The great news is that the vast majority of those who are properly treated can live normal lives.

Upon successful completion of the course material, you will be able to:

  • Describe common characteristics and misconceptions about schizophrenia.

Background Information

Read Chapter 13 in the textbook and the assigned article, then watch the video to be adequately prepared to participate in this discussion. Because there are so many negative stereotypes in the collective imagination about schizophrenia and psychotic disorders in general, you are encouraged to enter this study of psychotic disorders with an open mind and see it as a disease of the brain instead of something that was self-inflicted or brought about by poor parenting. This type of open-mindedness is usually a good starting point for facilitating empathy.

Schizophrenia Discussion


Review Chapter 13 in your textbook.

Read the article, Schizophrenia.

Review the video, Elyn Saks, A Tale of Mental Illness . . . From the Inside.

A transcript is available on the website.

Navigate to the Discussion page and respond to the following prompts:

How do you think most people in the general population would define schizophrenia?

What percentage of the general population do you suspect think that those with schizophrenia are violent or a potential danger to others? Why do you think they have this perception?

Have you ever known someone who was diagnosed with schizophrenia? If so, what was your experience with that person?

In your opinion, how should the church, and Christians in particular, view those with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders? APA.

Your initial post:

  • Should be between 400 to 500 words.
  • Your postings should also:
  • Be well developed by providing clear answers with evidence of critical thinking.
  • Add greater depth to the discussion by introducing new ideas.
  • Provide clarification to classmates’ questions and insight into the discussion.