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An Insight to the Relationship between Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relating to American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns

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Rachel McGreevy

on 18 August 2013

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Transcript of An Insight to the Relationship between Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relating to American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns

Alice Liddell
Alice Liddell is the main character of the video games 'American McGee's Alice' and its sequel 'Alice: Madness Returns', which are both more sinister portrayals of Lewis Carroll's original novels: 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There'. The reason I have chosen this subject is due to my prior interest in Lewis Carroll's Alice, therefore this was my immediate choice when I heard of this project.
Survivor's Guilt and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Schizophrenia
POSITIVE SYMPTOMS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA
Positive symptoms of Schizophrenia appear to reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions and include the following:
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Delusions: Although bizarre delusions are considered to be especially characteristic of Schizophrenia, "bizarreness" may be difficult to judge, especially across different cultures. Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible and not understandable and do not derive from ordinary life experiences. An example of a bizarre delusion is a person's belief that a stranger has removed his or her internal organs and has replaced them with someone else's organs without leaving any wounds or scars. An example of a non-bizarre delusion is a person's false belief that he or she is under surveillance by the police. Delusions that express a loss of control over mind or body are generally considered to be bizarre; these include a person's belief that his or her thought have been taken away by some outside force, that alien thoughts have been put into his or her mind, or that his or her body or actions are being acted on or manipulated by some outside force. If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, only this single symptom is needed to satisfy Criterion A (noted above) for Schizophrenia.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Hallucinations: Hallucinations may occur in any sensory modality (e.g., auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile), but auditory hallucinations are by far the most common. Auditory hallucinations are usually experienced as voices, whether familiar or unfamiliar, that are perceived as distinct from the person's own thoughts. The hallucinations must occur in the context of a clear sensorium; those that occur while falling asleep (hypnagogic) or waking up (hypnopompic) are considered to be within the range of normal experience. Isolated experiences of hearing one's name called or experiences that lack the quality of an external percept (e.g., a humming in one's head) should also not be considered as symptomatic of Schizophrenia or any other Psychotic Disorder. Hallucinations may be a normal part of religious experience in certain cultural context. Certain types of auditory hallucinations (i.e., two or more voices conversing with one another or voices maintaining a running commentary on the person's thoughts or behavior) have been considered to be particularly characteristic of Schizophrenia. If these types of hallucinations are present, then only this single symptom is needed to satisfy Criterion A.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Disorganized Thinking: Disorganized Thinking "Formal Thought Disorder" has been argued by some to be the single most important feature of Schizophrenia. Because of the difficulty inherent in developing an objective definition of "thought disorder," and because in a clinical setting inferences about thought are based primarily on the individual's speech, the concept of disorganized speech has been emphasized in the definition for Schizophrenia. The speech of individuals with Schizophrenia may be disorganized in a variety of ways. the person may "slip off the track" from one topic to another ("derailment" or "loose associations"); answers to questions may be obliquely related or completely unrelated ("trangentiality"); and, rarely, speech may be so severely disorganized that it is nearly incomprehensible and resembles receptive aphasia in its linguistic disorganization ("incoherence" or "word salad"). Because mildly disorganized speech is common and nonspecific, the symptom must be severe enough to substantially impair effective communication. Less severe disorganized thinking or speech may occur during the prodromal and residual periods of Schizophrenia.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Grossly Disorganized Behavior: Grossly Disorganized Behavior may manifest itself in a variety of ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation. Problems may be noted in any form of goal-directed behavior, leading to difficulties in performing activities of daily living such as preparing a meal or maintaining hygiene. The person may appear markedly disheveled, may dress in an unusual manner (i.e., wearing multiple overcoats, scarves, and gloves on a hot day), or may display clearly inappropriate sexual behavior (e.g., public masturbation) or unpredictable and untriggered agitation (e.g., shouting or swearing). Care should be taken not to apply this criterion too broadly. For example, a few instances of restless, angry, or agitated behavior should not be considered the be evidence of Schizophrenia, especially if the motivation is understandable.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Catatonic Motor Behaviors: Catatonic Motor Behaviors include a marked decrease in reactivity to the environment, sometimes reaching an extreme degree of complete unawareness (catatonic stupor), maintaining a rigid posture and resisting efforts to be moved (catatonic negativism), the assumption of inappropriate or bizarre postures (catatonic posturing), or purposeless and unstimulated excessive motor activity(catatonic excitement).
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS
The negative symptoms of Schizophrenia account for a substantial degree of the morbidity associated with the disorder. Three negative symptoms are included in the definition of Schizophrenia.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Affective Flattening: Affective flattening is especially common and is characterized by the person's face appearing immobile and unresponsive, with poor eye contact and reduced body language. Although a person with affective flattening may smile and warm up occasionally, his or her range of emotional expressiveness is clearly diminished most of the time. It may be useful to observe the person interacting with peers to determine whether affective flattening is sufficiently persistent to meet the criteria above.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Alogia (Poverty of Speech): Alogia is manifested by brief, laconic, empty replies. The individual with alogia appears to have a diminution of thoughts that is reflected in decreased fluency and productivity of speech. This must be differentiated from an unwillingness to speak, a clinical judgement that may require observation over time and in a variety of situations.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Avolition: Avolition is characterized by an inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed activities. The person may sit for long periods of time and show little interest in participating in work or social activities.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
Although common in Schizophrenia, negative symptoms are difficult to evaluate because they occur on a continuum with normality, are relatively nonspecific, and may be due to a variety of other factors (including positive symptoms medication side effects, depression, environmental understimulation, or demoralization). If a negative symptom is to be judged to be clearly attributable to any of these factors, then it should not be considered in making the diagnosis of Schizophrenia.
(http://www.biopsychinstitute.com/psychiatric-disorders/schizophrenia)
During the games you learn of Alice's institutionalisation, as a result of being the primary survivor of a house fire that consumed both her parents and her older sister, leaving Alice an orphan. It was also described (within the games and in other related media) that Alice was having clear signs of catatonic schizophrenia.
When I hold a flame to her eye, nothing in her vacuous gaze betrays the faintest glimmer of response. I clap a pair of blocks at her ear. Nothing. Neither her sight nor her hearing appear to be damaged; still she registers nothing at all. The rumor (passed on by Reverend Mottle amongst others) alleges that she feels nothing — not pain, or fear or other torments — is neither credible nor kind. Still, she is far, far gone, this one. - Wilson's Casebook.
Schizophrenia and PTSD
An Insight to the Relationship between Schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relating to American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns
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