This is what schizophrenia *really* looks like

There’s this video that’s gone viral, and I can see why. It’s baffling, it’s disturbing, and I watched it several times.

I found a transcription of this guy’s rant, and cleaned it up a little. I’ll post that below.

But before you watch it, or read the transcript, you should know what a screenwriter acquaintance of mine said on FB when he posted the link.

To my actor and screenwriter friends, many of you know of my pet peeve of mental illness being portrayed wrong on-screen. In fairness, doing it right is REALLY difficult; even I have a hard time, and mental health is my job. I was blown away but how perfectly representative this is. This is what schizophrenia frequently looks like in real life. He doesn’t look disheveled or “crazy”, but his paranoid delusions and formal thought disorder are clear once he starts talking.

In a later comment, he added:

…while [schizopphrenia] frequently looks like this, it doesn’t always. Frequently people with schizophrenia are more avoidant of people because of their level of anxiety, delusions, and/or hallucinations.

Reporter. What’s your name?

Man. My name? Oh. Let me tell you my name. Ah… I’m confused. Because, uh… you know… we’re supposed to believe in the ministry, right? So, is… is… is the church and state supposed to be separate? I’m confused cause I never went to school. Right? Is a confused person get a resolution? I don’t understand. You see, when you go like that (holds up crossed index fingers), right, you have a cross. Two sticks. Right? And that’s how I felt, when I was in Waterloo. Because when I walked, in Waterloo, and smiled at people, they treated me like a vampire. They used the cross, and they went like this (again holding up two crossed index fingers), by not smiling at me. In Toronto – oh, hi guys (waving at camera), you know me, Steve Spiros, easy going? Those who know me, I’m a nobody. You understand? And you can’t kill a person with no body. So… why am I afraid? I’m not afraid. I’m afraid of the Boogeyman! Who’s the Boogeyman? You figure it out! I’m getting outta here! I’m going back to Waterloo where the vampires hang out! And I’m gonna wear my sunglasses at night! You know why? Because women show their tits… have short skirts, and then they feel violated when I look at them! Why? Because I have sunglasses on and I’m weird.

Uh… I’m from Humberside. I’m sorry if, uh, I made a fool of Humberside but, all those people who called me a sleepwalker… I woke up. Now I’m going back to sleep because I’m gonna be committed in an isolation room because I’m going to go back to the Ministry and allow them to perceive me as I am. A FUCK-UP!!! (Starts to go, turns back.) GOOD-BYE!

(Cut, as man presumably walks away and comes back.)

Hey Toronto the Good, look at, look at this square. It was a shit hole when I worked here. Now it looks like New York, Manhattan.

Where are the bums? There’re no bums here. Toronto doesn’t have bums. But Waterloo, they’re creating bums! They created me! Why? I don’t know! Maybe it’s the Church. Talk to the Pope, he knows everything. I’ve had it! I’m gonna die. How can you ki– die when you’re dead?!

Oh wait a second. I’m going to be crucified right? (Tears open shirt, wipes back of right hand across forehead.) I’m not gonna raise my voice. Because I’m committed to the Lord.

I love you.

(End of video.)

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