In my village, there was a man used to talk to himself and children would make fun of him. Apparently, he never cared to respond to any of the criticisms or laughs.
As I grew older, I got curious as to why people will have a conversation by themselves. One neighbor I had in Kenya used to wake up around four or five in morning and talk to himself. Instead of using the Luo dialect, he would speak very good English compared to his daily conversations. One day I gathered courage and asked his wife why her husband wakes up very early and talk to himself. She responded that an uncle of her husband drowned in the lake many years ago and his body was never recovered. She continued to mention that her husband will need to slaughter a sheep, throw it in the river to appease the dead uncle spirit. I was curious why her husband had to go through that and she reported that-that was the only way the spirit of the uncle (apparently speaks through him) will disappear.
Schizophrenia is a severe, lifelong brain disorder. According to Diagnostic Statistical Manual Four (DSM-IV) People who have it may have the presence of characteristic symptoms that involve a range of cognitive, emotional, social, occupational, language and behavioral dysfunctions. The active phase involves: affect, perception, impaired interpersonal functioning form of thought, sense of self, psychomotor, behavior changes, content of thought, difficulty speaking and expressing emotion, disorders of movement, problems with attention, memory and organization and volition. These people may hear voices, see things that are not there or believe that others are reading or controlling their minds.
Individuals with this disorder may develop significant loss of interest or pleasure. Likewise, some may develop mood abnormalities (for example, inappropriate smiling, laughing, or silly facial expressions, depression, anxiety or anger). Some of these people may stay up late and sleep longer into the day time. The individual may show a lack of interest in eating or may refuse food as a consequence of delusional beliefs. Often movement is abnormal (i.e., pacing, rocking, or apathetic immobility). Frequently there are significant cognitive impairments (i.e., poor concentration, poor memory, and impaired problem-solving ability). The majority of individuals with Schizophrenia are unaware that they have a psychotic illness. This poor insight is neurologically caused by illness, rather than simply being a coping behavior.
It is uncertain what causes schizophrenia, but genetic and brain chemistry probably plays a role. I have worked with three schizophrenic patients and the challenges continue until such a time that doctors will hopefully find a cure. Contrary to medical terms, in the Bible, these people were seen as demon possessed and Jesus on several occasions drove those demons out. For those who believe in God, prayer and exorcism is the first step, but seeking professional help is important. Good mental health everyone.