Join 3,372 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Virtual reality schizophrenia.
August 29, 2002 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Virtual reality schizophrenia. Ever wonder what it may be like to experience madness? Coming soon to DVD.
posted by TskTsk (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I smell a first person shooter in the making...

Don't you think it would make a cool game to try and figure out what was reality and what wasn't and try to navigate your way through a hellscape made of schizophrenic delusions and hallucinations?

You don't?

Fuck you then. I always knew you were all against me.
posted by drgonzo at 7:12 PM on August 29, 2002 [2 favorites]


I'm totally with you on that idea, drgonzo.



Now kill them all.
posted by Dirjy at 7:36 PM on August 29, 2002


That freaked me out. It must be awful to have to live this way.
posted by bas67 at 7:38 PM on August 29, 2002


I always knew I was schizophrenic, but then again so did I.
posted by spungfoo at 7:39 PM on August 29, 2002


Its like a really bad trip, but all the time
WHat a bUmmer MaN.
posted by Dr_Octavius at 7:46 PM on August 29, 2002


Why aren't these hallucinations ever good? I'd love to maybe see some naked women that weren't really there.. Does anyone know why they are always scary, murderous, etc. Or is that just in the movies.
posted by ac at 8:19 PM on August 29, 2002


So I guess the "information age" has found a non-invasive way to supersede one of the good old arguments for LSD's medicinal purposes...impressive, imo.
posted by jbrjake at 8:22 PM on August 29, 2002


Don't you think it would make a cool game to try and figure out what was reality and what wasn't and try to navigate your way through a hellscape made of schizophrenic delusions and hallucinations?

Ever see eXistenZ?
posted by nyxxxx at 8:22 PM on August 29, 2002


Or is that just in the movies.

Having spent a couple of stints in the "bin," from all of the schizos I ended up conversing with-- they're not always all horribly frightening, or an all the time thing. They are never good, though. Unless you count the delusions part that drove one particularly scurvy fellow to ask me with all sincerity, "Say. Do you want to have sex?"

I guess that's why they call it a mental illness.
posted by precocious at 8:29 PM on August 29, 2002


One story I remember being told of a schizophrenic, was of a mother of two children who hallucinated two angels coming and making love to her. She was mormon, and when her church elders found out, they got her on medication. Later, she admitted coming back off the medicine because she was lonely. It's quoted in almost every beginning college psychology book in existence.
posted by stoneegg21 at 8:32 PM on August 29, 2002


Don't you think it would make a cool game to try and figure out what was reality and what wasn't and try to navigate your way through a hellscape made of schizophrenic delusions and hallucinations?

Eternal Darkness on GCN had a feature pretty similar to this. When your character started to go insane, he/she would have hallucinations like entering a room and finding it upside down, being unexpetedly shot (only to find out moments later that, no, it wasn't real), and one time I believe I tried to pick up an item only to find my character sliced neatly into two halves. They also threw in some of these illusions purely for the person playing the game--a few of which I remember were what appeared to be bugs shadows crawling across the screen (which actually worked because it was 3AM and we had no lights on), an intercut scene that claimed "to be continued -- eternal darkness two in progress", etc. A good game, that.
posted by The God Complex at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2002


So some parts of the brain contain bad things, and the schizophrenia fluids go into that part and make things appear and...
who am I kidding. I'm no neurologist.

posted by ac at 8:45 PM on August 29, 2002


When you first walk into the pharmacy, you’re walking through the aisles and there are people staring at you, just staring at you from every aisle. And there’s one instance where there is a woman sort of protecting her children from you when you walk through the aisle.

This has happened to me. Helpful hint: check that zipper!
posted by SPrintF at 8:59 PM on August 29, 2002


Schizophrenia is a terrible illness that is only scantily understood, and much debated. There are, of course, those who think that it has a purely physiological basis, and those who think it has a purely psychological basis, and every combination in between.

The best and most lucid account of schizophrenic personality disorder I have ever read is in the work of Dr. R.D. Laing, who is commonly associated with a movement in the 1960's and 1970's called 'anti-psychiatry' and although his experiments with free-form schizophrenic communities, where patients lived side by side with doctors in a non-restrictive environment, were disastrous, his writing still resonates with a profound humanity, and a desire to reach the fractured human trapped inside schizophrenia's prison. His most affecting work is his book "Knots", where he sets the thought-patterns of illness (and the thought-patterns that lead to illness) down in a series of frightening, twisting poems. This site features several sections of the book, which is still in print.

Laing's other books are worth reading as well, varying in their levels of clinical technicality. The best one that is specifically about schizophrenia is called "The Divided Self", and postulates that schizophrenia is a defensive gesture to protect the "true self" from annihilation, by hiding it and fracturing it into "false selves". The hallucinations, generally auditory, are just a part of that process of fracturing. More on Laing's view of schizophrenia here

And, though people who manifest schizophrenic symptoms in their outward actions may seem scary, they're statistically unlikely to be violent. Schizophrenia is an illness about and an obsession with self, NOT a violent behavioral disorder. As Laing put it, 'going crazy' is "A sane response to an insane situation".
posted by evanizer at 9:21 PM on August 29, 2002


Thanks for another lucid, educational post Evan. It was needed in a thread based mostly on sarcastic, caustic comments regarding mental illness.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:34 PM on August 29, 2002


"Mental illness or serious emotional problems affect one in every four families in the United States; it could happen to any of us. Each of us at one time or another will be affected by marital problems, delinquent children, drug- or alcohol-related stress, the inability to deal with death or a serious accident or illness, or simply by low self-esteem ... Admitting to a mental health problem can be not only socially embarrassing, but also threatening to one’s family and livelihood. I wanted to take mental illness and emotional disorders out of the closet, to let people know it is all right to admit having a problem without the fear of being called crazy. If only we could consider mental illness as straight forwardly as we do physical illness, those affected could seek help and be treated in an open and effective way." - Rosalynn Carter
posted by sheauga at 12:07 AM on August 30, 2002


Has anyone here ever heard of Operators and Things by Barbara O'Brien? It's one of the scariest books I've ever read. From the back cover of the 1958 Ace paperback crumbling in my hands right now: "Is ther really another race of "people" who control us by telepathy, hypnotic suggestion, thought projection, or even rays of a nature unknown to man?"

It's the story of a self-cured schizophrenic. She was the "thing" the others in her mind were the "operators."

Here's a review I found, not much, but it will tell you a bit.
posted by gametone at 4:54 AM on August 30, 2002


I heard this on npr on my drive home yesterday. they played a rether lengthy sample of it without warning at the end of the story. It was freaky and less than pleasant. I don't think I'll be making any schitzo jokes about anything anymore.
posted by tj at 6:18 AM on August 30, 2002


"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (the book, not the movie) is a brilliant depiction of schizophrenia. Those of you who have seen the movie but not read the book will be most surprised that the narrator is Chief.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:49 AM on August 30, 2002


"Has anyone here ever heard of Operators and Things by Barbara O'Brien?"

Wow, I have a copy of that crumbling paperback, myself. No-one else I know has ever heard of it.

I've often wondered exactly how accurate it is, but it scared the bejeesus out of me when I first read it, nonetheless.
posted by mkhall at 3:15 PM on August 30, 2002


I tried to read "Operators and Things" some time ago, but I gave up on it because it didn't really jive with my understanding of schizophrenia and it seemed really Freudian - which I distrust.
posted by rks404 at 3:22 PM on August 30, 2002


"Mental illness or serious emotional problems affect one in every four families in the United States; it could happen to any of us. Each of us at one time or another will be affected by marital problems, delinquent children, drug- or alcohol-related stress, the inability to deal with death or a serious accident or illness, or simply by low self-esteem"

Including marital problems, delinquent children, and low self esteem with "mental illness" seems like a cheap way of raising the percentage to 25%.

But, hey, that's what all those drug companies are for.
posted by The God Complex at 4:50 PM on August 30, 2002


spungfoo; schizophrenia is very different from multiple personality disorder.

drgonzo; try wearing it for a day, it's one game you'll get sick of pretty damn quick.

mkhall; i haven't read it, but i'm guessing it's fairly accurate.

there are three different kinds/degrees of schizophrenia, i have the mildest, being paranoid schizophrenia. once while on a bus, it turned invisible for five minutes, along with every one on board. once i woke up two find myself covered in insects and strange basketball sized lights floating around my house. at one apartment, i was too terrified to go into the living room because i knew the ceiling was going to collapse on me(i moved out after seven months without spending more then two minutes total in that room). the voices, they know my name, they know my life, and they can sound like anyone i've ever heard(or imagine someone would sound like), they've threatened to kill me, they've mocked me when i was at my worst, laughed at me as i tried to kill myself. i can never know if any or all of my friends actually exist, if i'm really having a conversation or just talking to a stop sign or into a dial-tone. the fear is omnipresent and near crippling, be it of conspiracy, rejection, tornados, food-poisoning or whether the railing i'm leaning against even exists, there are allways a hundred things to be afraid of, there are allways voices of loved ones tormenting, there is never, ever any certainty.

still think it's funny?
think it'll make a cool game?

remember, i have the mildest form of schizophrenia, i shudder to think(literally) what those worst off then me must suffer.

(sorry about the rant, it's just rare that schizophrenia gets much publicity, and even rarer for it to gain some understanding)
posted by Aleph Yin at 5:00 AM on August 31, 2002 [5 favorites]


That sounds a lot like what is described in Operators and Things. Thanks Aleph Yin for grounding us in your reality. I have heard of schizophrenia being helped by nutritional approaches. Things like avoidance of sugar, alcohol and caffeine, getting therapeutic doses of B vitamins, and checking for food allergies (especially wheat) etc. Check out the chapter on schizophrenia in Get Healthy Now by Gary Null
posted by gametone at 5:36 AM on August 31, 2002


« Older You may be incompetent ...  |  Apple doesn't seem to think th... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments