This past weekend, 20/20 featured an expose on children living with Schizophrenia. Not really knowing anything about schizophrenia (other than it's a serious psychological disorder), I decided to tune in.
What I learned was shocking. The symptoms elicited by the children in the documentary included hallucinations, beliefs not based in reality, and extremely disturbing meditations, including inclinations to hurt close family members.
Experts of the disorder express that for whatever unfortunate reason, schizophrenia puts the mind into an extreme defense mode when it inaccurately perceives the dangers of the world to an extreme level. They speculated that deficiencies in brain grey matter may be correlated to the disease. Also, there is a genetic factor that plays a role.
It's obvious the disease has a huge impact on families, both emotionally and financially. Parents grapple with the disorder as they live in fear of their children, witness the strain of dark delusions on their children, and juggle enormous medical expenses.
The horrific toll this disorder takes on a family is unimaginable. What I found inspiring was the unconditional love and support these parents had for their children. It really struck a chord with me that it is of great importance to be compassionate and sensitive to people impacted by psychological disorders.