My apologies

Sorry for being absent and not updating as of late. I’ve been doing other things — nothing in particular, but stuff like playing Sims 3 and Civilization. Just chilling out. I’ll update today, I promise.

In the meantime, yesterday I did update my missing person of the week. It’s Margaret Unger, a middle-aged woman from Missouri with late-onset schizophrenia who, in 2010, ran into the woods during a fit of paranoia and never came out.

And I had another Executed Today entry posted: Marianne Kurchner. I don’t know the date of her death, but she was condemned for sedition in Nazi Germany on June 26, 1943. She made a joke at Hitler’s expense, and that is quite literally all she did, but that was enough.

Missing people and schizophrenia

I seem to be in a list-making mood tonight, and thought I’d make up a list of MPs on Charley who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or were thought to have it but were not officially diagnosed. I believe it may be most common mental illness diagnosis among my cases, although depression and bipolar disorder are more prevalent in the general population.

For the uninitiated, schizophrenia is a terrible mental disorder that usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood, although it can strike later or earlier in life. People who have it may have delusions of various kinds, and/or hallucinations, hearing voices and so on. But it goes beyond that; their whole personality and thought process are shattered, and they have a very high rate of suicide.

Schizophrenia is a profoundly disabling condition. Although the person’s intelligence is unimpaired, many of its sufferers aren’t able to complete their education or live on their own successfully, and many of them wind up homeless or in jail. However, contrary to popular belief, they are usually NOT violent and are much more likely to become the victim of a violent crime than to commit a violent crime, because other people take advantage of them.

There are psychiatric drugs to control the symptoms, but they have mixed results as far as how well the work, many of them have bad side (even potentially life-threatening) effects, and it’s often a job to get the person to take the meds at all, since a common symptom of schizophrenia is not believing you are sick. And on top of everything else, you will see from my MPs that the illness is frequently co-morbid with other mental illnesses as well as alcoholism and drug addiction.

If you want to learn more about it, you can of course check out the many and various mental health websites, but there’s a lot of writings on personal experience out there. I’ve been following the blog of Michael Schofield, whose daughter January has severe childhood-onset schizophrenia, and am slowly reading my way through six years’ worth of posts on the blog Schizophrenia: A Carer’s Journal, written by a British man whose adult son has the disease and has been in and out of hospitals and other institutions.

I’ve also read The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, a memoir by Elyn Saks, who is a very high-functioning schizophrenic. The doctors basically wrote her off after her diagnosis, but she got degrees from Vanderbilt, Yale and Oxford, became a successful lawyer advocating for the mentally ill, and won a McArthur Genius Grant a few years ago.

Anyway, back to Charley’s schizophrenic MPs, in the order which Google spat them out at me. There are over a hundred of them:

Audrey Lyn Nerenberg
Rachel Louise Rice
Clifton Patrick Leonard
Adam Christopher Kellner
Steven James Needham
David Ristovski
Jennings Lee Hart
Merle LeRoy Ryan
Margaret Ann Unger
Richard Burks Hart
Penney Faye Cruser
Faith Marie Van Nortrick
Arlene Day Abbas
Jerald M. Gelb
Paulette Susan Jaster
Kevin Edward Lenting
Jeffrey Lynn O’Carroll
Joseph John Formica Jr.
Elizabeth Turvey Brown
Alvin P. Bradshaw
Stacey Jane Morrison
Dedrick Bernard Smith
Destiney Ann Hicks
Neal Louis Boware
Mouy Tieng Tang
Abril Marie Magdaleno
Faime Lynette Francis
Lucely Aramburo
Gerald William Carroll Sr.
Rita R. Rahn
Robert Albert Ahtonen
Julia Christine Aul
Ricky Laverne Bethea
Terry Lynn Hattaway
Robin Joy Heitger
Gabriel Ovando
Laura Lee Alber
Matthew Nolan
Aaron Michael Torres
Travis Bingham
Travis Jeremy Wilson
Elmer Coron
William Charles Jones
Jennifer Jean Gordon
Raul A. Martinez
Ricky Wayne Anderson
Ruth Sharon Hoffman
Edith Margaret Claver
Wendy M. Kimura
Elizabeth Ann Lande
Beverly Ida Harrington
John Chocha Jr.
Jennifer Marie Peters
Mark David Zeichner
Brenda Nell Dearing
ReJean Joseph Bowman
Barry Keith Douglas
Laura Ann Breding
John Clifton Butler
Pamela Pendley Biggers
William Ensley Hipp III
LaTonya M. Hill
Salvador Bonadona
Marilyn Lanier
Vickie Ramona Baliel
Gaudencio Cazarin Carbajal
George Alfred Davisworth III
Calvin Ray Deets
Cathy Dickson
Lisa Lee Chandler
Edward James Terrebonne IV
Bonita Landi
Maurice Tyrell Cammon
Louis Jefferson Wills
Steven William Branston
Kamau Jawara
Robert T. Hiney
Arturo Nunez
Donald Beams Wallace
Jack Eugene Waller
Alfredo Gonzalez
Elissa Rachel Martin
Mary Alice Cox
Yu Chin Chang Goodson
Wade Michael Aughney
Cris Tademy
Luke Robinson
Carl Joel Swinney
Thomas Patrick McLaughlin
Rossana Miliani
Robert Carl Rock
Dennis Lee Anderson
Sherline Johnson
Stephen Wayne O’Neall
Michael Allen Jarvi
Sherry Audrey Walker
Tracey A. Jessup
James Johnson Jr.