Name: Nadia Rahman
Index Number: 04
Independent Learning Log 3
Date: 9th June 2016
Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm
What I did:
I was interested in Psychopathology, the study of mental illnesses, and I wanted to find out more about how people overcome them. After some research, I found out about Eleanor Longden who suffers from schizophrenia but has learned to live and benefit from her situation. I decided to watch a video by TED Talk and read a short article about her.
What I learned:
I learned that schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by abnormal social behaviour and a failure to understand reality. A common symptom is to hear voices. Eleanor Longden was tormented by the hostile voices in her head which gradually lead to one of the worst periods of her life. She felt humiliated and hopeless.
When Longden first started hearing a voice, it was neutral and passive and as an example once said, I quote, ‘She is opening the door’. Occasionally, its tone would mirror her own hidden anger or frustration. It was not a huge problem until Longden decided to tell a friend about it. Her friend was alarmed and asked her to seek medical help. There was an implication that normal people did not hear voices. Later at the doctor’s appointment, the voice made a dire prediction, ‘She is digging her own grave’.
Two years later, the number of voices would increase and become menacing. I learnt that Longden’s mental health only began to deteriorate once she was told that normal people did not hear voices. Her voices seem to mirror her own feelings and turn against her when she suppresses them, and the more she feared and pushed them away, the more detrimental they became. She said ,“A vicious cycle of fear, avoidance, mistrust, misunderstanding had been established.”
To conclude, I learnt that schizophrenia can provide insight to the emotions of those who suffer from it. It is important to find out the meaning of the voices and accept them in order to learn more about them. Longden’s mental state only started to improve when she listened to and reassured the voices in her head.
Eleanor Longden talks about her experience with schizophrenia and how she has coped with it.