May 21, 2014

​Oregon Hospital Shows What it's Like to be Schizophrenic

What is it like to schizophrenic?
How does the schizophrenic mind process information? What are the implications
for healthcare providers?

These are just some of the
questions that employees of Portland Adventist Medical Center in Oregon sought
to answer when they got a taste of schizophrenia experience. With the help of a
virtual reality machine, some employees experienced a simulated demonstration.

The demonstration was conducted at
the hospital during Mental Health Awareness Week.

As the machine floods the viewer
with multiple images and noises, it simulates the activity of a schizophrenic

“We believe they need to have a
better understanding of mental illness so they can provide better care,” Dr.
John Custer told KGW TV in an interview. The stigma of mental illness is
horrendous. It keeps people from getting help.”

“There’s a lot of stimulation and
you don’t know where to focus,” said Adventist employee Scott Conlee. ”Every
voice seems to say something valid, but it’s negative.”

Conlee says he’s gained a new
perspective on the condition and believes that care givers must make sure the
patient knows there in a safe environment.

To watch the related video, click here.

--Adapted from a report by Cathy Marshall, KGW staff. Reposted
with permission of KGW TV. All rights reserved.