Mental Disorders influencing my story

In the UK about 1 in 5 people will need treatment for a mental disorder in their life and at some point during their life 1 in 100 people will suffer with an episode of schizophrenia. It strikes most often in late teens and early twenties.

Schizophrenia – Some of the signs of this mental disorder are as follows:

  • Abnormal social behaviour
  • failure or difficulty to understand what is real
  • false beliefs
  • hearing voices that others do not
  • reduced emotional expression
  • lack of motivation

The main reason I have chosen this mental disorder for my character to suffer with is because of the second point, failure or difficulty to understand what is real. My character believes there has been a zombie apocalypse and that the doctors and police who are actually out looking for her aren’t the monsters she thinks they are.

There are over 250,000 diagnosed cases in Britain. People with this condition  have a 50 times higher risk of attempting suicide. People with schizophrenia are far more likely to harm themselves than be violent toward the public. It is a misconception that violence is a symptom of schizophrenia.

Insomnia – This is a disorder where you find it difficult to get to sleep or remain asleep  long enough to feel a benefit in the morning.

Signs of insomnia:

  • find it difficult to fall asleep
  • lie awake for long periods at night
  • wake up several times during the night
  • wake up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep
  • not feel refreshed when you get up
  • find it hard to nap during the day, despite feeling tired
  • feel tired and irritable during the day and have difficulty concentrating

Mental health conditions such as depression or schizophrenia can cause insomnia.

Paranoia is when you think and feel as if you are under constant threat even there is no evidence of there being any or next to no threat around. “In paranoia, your fears become amplified and everyone you meet becomes drawn into that web. You become the centre of a threatening universe.”

Just suspicion or paranoia? suspicious thoughts are likely to be classified as paranoid if :

  • no one else shares the suspicious thought
  • there’s no definite evidence for the suspicious thought
  • there is evidence against the suspicious thought
  • it’s unlikely you would be singled out
  • you still have the suspicious thought despite reassurance from others
  • your suspicions are based on feelings and ambiguous events

It was important that I did some research on different mental disorders to decide which fit the story best. My character constantly think someone is after her (paranoia). She struggles to sleep but always feels tired (insomnia). She has created a whole new world in her head and believes that she is living in a zombie apocalypse (schizophrenia).


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