Elyn Saks: Fighting the Greatest Battle of All Essays

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Abnormal Psychology 152 Section 23(Shelly) Ellen Kuo Fighting the Greatest Battle of All According to Elyn Saks' autobiography, she was born in Miami during the 1950's. She grew up in a happy family where she had very loving middle-class parents and two younger brothers (Saks, 2007). Because she was the oldest child, Elyn wanted to excel at everything, be the perfect model for her brothers, and make parents proud. She started having OCD tendencies when she was eight years old, which later developed into paranoia. As her obsession got worse, she started having recurring delusions of a man standing outside her house waiting to kill her and her family. Aside from OCD and paranoia, she also struggled with anorexia - a eating disorder…show more content…
(N. Natsuaki, personal communication, February 26, 2013). Elyn would mix random words and phrases in response to other people with no coherence at all. Negative symptoms are different from the other four, which we call positive symptoms. Negative symptoms refer to a lack of emotion, speech or motivation, whereas positive symptoms refer to the presence of active symptoms including the first 4 symptoms (N. Natsuaki, personal communication, February 26, 2013). Negative symptoms are usually the main reasons why patients can't live independently and hold jobs, or maintain personal relationships. It is necessary to note that medication can effectively reduce positive symptoms, but much less effective against negative symptoms. Elyn suffers from multiple negative symptoms. For example, when she started law school, she had trouble speaking in public because she was too afraid, and therefore she did not talk too much to people neither. This is a negative symptom called Alogia, which is defined as a reduction in speaking (N. Natsuaki, personal communication, February 26, 2013). Oftentimes, she felt very worthless and these false thoughts led her to severe depression as well. Schizophrenia in most cases are episodic, which means the patient's psychotic disorder presents itself only sometimes, and other times they can function just fine. (N. Natsuaki, personal communication, February 26, 2013). Elyn in her early stage had a few episodic symptoms where she suddenly started

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