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MENTAL ILLNESS, SCHIZOPHRENIA, "THE SNAKE PIT"

Discussion in 'Community Off Topic' started by Walt Oleksy, May 9, 2014.

  1. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    “THE SNAKE PIT,” a movie released in 1948, was the first time schizophrenia was the main subject of a motion pictire and it is a fine film to watch for anyone dealing with mental illness and how childhood trauma can be repressed for many years until it causes mental illness in an adult.

    Olivia de Havillans gives a riveting performance as a woman who loves her husband and he loves her, but he can’t handle her emotional outbursts.. She complains of hearing voices and then seems not to recognize him, while deepening schizophrenia engulfs her. Realizing that his wife needs constant psychiatric attention, her husband commits her to a mental institution. There she comes under the care of a gifted and sympathetic psychiatrist. The husband tells the doctor that his wife, shortly after their wedding, began to manifest erratic behavior that deteriorated into her complete nervous breakdown. In the long and laborious treatment administered to de Havilland, she is subjected to electric shock, hydrotherapy and drugs in order to loosen the recollections that might reveal her phobias and fears. The psychiatrist slowly learns from de Havilland that she had been raised by an uncaring, dominating mother and that the only person who truly loved her was her father. When her father died, she found herself without any positive emotional foundation, and, in seeking stabilization, clung to her father’s memory for emotional support. When she became a young woman, she fell in love with a man, but he was killed in an auto accident while she was with him in that crash. By then, de Havilland subconsciously believed that she was a fatal jinx to all men, and that, after marrying, concluded that she would soon somehow bring about his death, too. While discovering all this, the psychiatrist begins to reconstruct for de Havilland her past so that she can better understand her problems. De Havilland gradually sees and understands the causes of her mental illness and that her path to sanity and mental security lies in becoming a responsible person, as well as a wife and eventually a mother. Now cured, she reunites with her husband.


    A preview of “The Snake Pit” is at:



    A short version of the radio broadcast based on the film is at:

     
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like your tenant from California named Fran who saw "spiders in the bath tub" in Chapter 5 of your and Eric's God Does Not Want You To Be In Pain (2014) that we'll be discussing the afternoon-evening of Tuesday, May 13th on the online chat-Fuze meeting.
     
  3. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    My daughter is schizophrenic and I like the theories of Dr. Clancy D. McKenzie who wrote "Babies Need Mothers" to advance his theory that separation in the early years can lead to devastating mental illness later on. At first, I couldn't recall any such incidents in my daughter's life but he explained that even separation from home can affect some children. Then I remembered a two week vacation we took (from Quebec to Nova Scotia) when she was six months old. She hated that trip and bellowed her displeasure the entire time we were away!

    Later, when she was a year old, we moved to British Columbia which was "coming home" to us but nothing of the kind for her. While we looked for jobs and a house, the kids stayed with their grandparents who were delighted to have them. Now that I think about it, she was never the same after that. Until about age one, she was an extremely contented and happy baby (except for that trip, of course) and after one she developed a very odd need to control her environment which has never left her. One result, according to Dr. McKenzie, may have been schizophrenia when she turned 23 and gave birth to her son.

    Btw, Dr. McKenzie never suggests that mothers are intentionally harming their babies. His purpose in writing the book is to make parents aware of the possible consequences of seemingly innocuous separations. He says mothers oftne need far more support than they get and everyone needs to be aware of ways to mitigate any damage. For example, children will fare better in their own homes and with caregivers they know well, if circumstances dictate that they must be left for a time.

    If Dr. McKenzie is right, schizophrenia probably is a severe form of tms. Most psychiatrists and psychologists would disagree, of course, feeling that there is no point in blaming the parents. Personally, I am excited to hear there is something that can possibly be done to reduce the incidence of this awful disease. I hope it's true.
     
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    enjoy, It would really be wonderful if there can be a way to reduce schizo symptoms.
    I'm sure you did all the best mothering you could.
     
  6. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy did you get a chance to watch the TED talk in the link I added above? Here is what Elenor Longdon said in an interview about her recovery:

    JR: OK. Let's get onto the worst part – how bad things got for you. I was telling someone your story a few months ago. His brother had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was apparently in a terrible state. When I told him about my friend Eleanor who had basically recovered for this reason and that, I could tell what he was thinking: 'Well, if this woman recovered the way Jon says she did then she can't have been THAT bad to begin with.' But things DID get that bad for you, right?

    EL: Oh yes, unfortunately, things got very bad indeed. At one point, my parents had to prevent me trying to drill a hole in my head to "get the voices out". (My mum still finds it very distressing to think about – in fact that was one of the reasons it was so wonderful to have her at TED, as it felt like a real shared triumph.)

    JR: So as extraordinary and shocking as your decline was, your recovery and subsequent successful life has been even more so. How the hell did you go from a person who was trying to drill a hole in her head to where you are now?

    EL: I don't think there was a single, defining turning point, more an accumulation and fusion of positive changes. Primarily, I was very fortunate to have people who never gave up on me – relationships that really honoured my resilience, my worth and humanity, and my capacity to heal. I used to say that these people saved me, but what I now know is that they did something even more important: they empowered me to save myself. My mum, for example, had an unconditional belief that I was going to come back to her and was willing to wait for me for as long as it took. I also met an amazing psychiatrist, who absolutely didn't subscribe to the idea of me as 'schizophrenic' – or any other label for that matter. "Don't tell me what other people have told you about yourself," he would say, "Tell me about you." Along with his nursing colleagues, he was incredibly proactive, pragmatic, creative, and empathic. Their approach was all about active coping rather than passive adjustment. Crucially, they also helped me get in touch with the UK Hearing Voices Network, which was an absolute revelation.

    For the first time, I had an opportunity to try and see my voices as meaningful – messages and metaphors about emotional problems in my life – and in turn begin to relate to them more peacefully and productively. I began to understand the voices (as well as my other experiences, like self-injury, anxiety, and paranoid beliefs) in a more compassionate way. Not as symptoms, rather as adaptations and survival strategies: sane reactions to insane circumstances. The voices took the place of overwhelming pain and gave words to it – memories of sexual trauma and abuse, rage, shame, loss, guilt and low self-worth. Probably the most important insight was when I realised that the most menacing, aggressive voices actually represented the parts of me that had been hurt the most – and as such, it was these voices that needed to be shown the greatest compassion and care. Which of course ultimately represented learning to show compassion, love, and acceptance towards myself.


    And here's the rest of her interview:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/08/ted-talk-eleanor-longden-schizophrenia
     
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    One of my nieces was a schizophrenic since she was a teenager. It was a life unlived.

    We can consider ourselves blessed not to have that symptom.
     

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