Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
During my previous duty and training at the Davao Mental Hospital, I handled several cases of patients. Most were suffering from schizophrenia – a serious mental disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. And because of his or her abnormal interpretation of the reality, it results in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.
In that old Hollywood movie entitled “Shutter Island,” with Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead actor, he portrayed the role of a US Marshall named Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing.
Teddy’s new partner, Chuck Aule went to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island located in Boston Harbor. They are investigating the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando, who was incarcerated for drowning her three children. Their only clue is a cryptic note found hidden in Solando’s room: “The law of 4; who is 67?” They arrive just before a storm hits, preventing their return to the mainland for a few days.
However, from time to time, Teddy has disturbing dreams of his wife, Dolores Chanal, who was killed in a fire set by Andrew Laeddis, a local arsonist.
The thrilling part of the story escalates when the partner of Teddy was missing, and what’s more surprising was when Dr. John Cawley, the lead psychiatrist, was calmly waiting for him at the lighthouse.
Dr. Cawley ex-plained to Teddy the truth behind the mystery: Teddy Da-niels is actually Andrew Laeddis, “the most dangerous patient”, incarcerated in Ward C for murdering his manic depressive (or bipolar disorder) wife, Dolores Chanal, after she drowned their three little children – that explains the law of 4. Edward Daniels and Rachel Solando are only anagrams of Andrew Laeddis and Dolores Chanal, and Laeddis is the 67th patient at Ashecliffe; furthermore, the little girl from Laeddis’ recurring dreams is his daughter, Rachel.
The hospital staff were just doing their role playing in order to somehow help Teddy come back to reality. Hospital staff, including Dr. Sheehan posing as Chuck Aule (Teddy’s partner) and a nurse posing as Rachel Solando, were part of the test. The migraines that Laeddis suffered were withdrawal symptoms from his medication, as were the hallucinations of the “real Rachel Solando”.
What was not real in that story was the smoking of cigarettes by patient Teddy. Any mentholated substances are not allowed during the hospital treatment as this will only make the patient’s condition worse.
Another false treatment mentioned in that movie was the intra-orbital lobotomy, which was not acknowledged by the psychiatrists nowadays. Instead, prescribed medications and psychosocial therapy can help manage the condition. In some cases, hospitalization may be needed. And for adults with schizophrenia who do not respond to drug therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered. ECT may be helpful for someone who also has depression.
The goal of treatment with antipsychotic medications is to effectively manage signs and symptoms at the lowest possible dose. The psychiatrist may try different drugs, different doses or combinations over time to achieve the desired result. Other medications also may help, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. It can take several weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms.
Because medications for schizophrenia can cause serious side effects, people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to take them. Willingness to cooperate with treatment may affect drug choice. For example, someone who is resistant to taking medication consistently may need to be given injections instead of taking a pill.
HEALTHWATCHING: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10