Effects of Schizophrenia in The Snake Pit

Schizophrenia is a mental or psychological disorder which involves the breakdown in the relation between thoughts, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings. As a result, an individual with Schizophrenia may experience withdrawal from reality into fantasy and delusion. It is usually characterized by inability to recognize what is a real and abnormal social behavior. An individual with this disorder show the following symptoms; auditory hallucination, unclear or confused thinking and false and weird beliefs. The individual also experiences separation and reduced interactions with others and high levels of inactivity. The greatest contributors to this disorder are social processes, environmental changes and genetic disorders. Careful prescription should be taken towards this disorder as some inappropriate prescription leads to worsening of the situation.


The recommended treatment is an antipsychotic medication which leads to the suppression of the activity of dopamine receptors. The disorder causes chronic problems in the behavior and emotions of an individual. Other problems associated with schizophrenia are anxiety disorders and major depressions. Social problems related to the disorders include; long term unemployment, homelessness, poverty among others. Most people suffering from this disorder do not live long and have a life expectancy of twenty-five years. If they manage to live longer, they live suffering and depression lives. High depression and suicide cases are reported to people with this disorder.

The movie "The Snake Pit" has a clear demonstration of schizophrenia disorder. It is an American drama about a semi-autographical novel of Mary Jane Ward. It narrates the tale of a female who recognized herself in an insane asylum and cannot explain how she found herself in that situation. The main character who will also be our main point of focus in this review is Virginia Cunningham. Virginia is a mental inmate at an institution called Juniper Hill State Hospital. She is so insane to the extent that she cannot recognize her husband Robert. Virginia however does not understand how she got into the hospital. She cannot even recall her childhood experiences and other interesting things that could have happened to her life before suffering from the disorder. Virginia Stuart Cunningham is a perfect actor and plays a crucial role in the movie "The Snake Pit". She replaced Gene Tierney, who was supposed to play her role, but could not manage out of her pregnancy. She engaged in much research, watched many hydrotherapies and shock treatment activities prior to the play a thing that equipped her towards her central role . She also attended social functions, dinners as well as dances and also sat for long individual therapy treatments when requested.

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Virginia demonstrates certain traits that act as a clear illustration that she was suffering from Schizophrenia mental disorder. These characteristics include; mental illusions, confusion, forgetfulness and inability to recognize her husband among others. She cannot recall any experience with her husband despite attempts by Dr.Kik to remind her. In addition, she cannot recall what happened before she found herself in a mental hospital. Another instance that reveals that Virginia was suffering from Schizophrenia is the inability to recognize voices. For instance, it was difficult for Virginia to recognize her husbands voice despite that they had stayed with him for a long period before he got ill. However, Dr. Kik helped her to recover from the disorder, and they later reunite with her husband after her mental state improved.

According to the movie, it is evident that Virginia was not born with schizophrenia disorder. Through the use literary stylistic devices such as flashback, viewers come to know of Virginia and Roberts's past relationship and their ultimate wedding. It is also evident that Virginia drifted away from the truth and reality on her wedding day and the processes that happened to her up to the mental hospital. Therefore, Virginia developed this disorder out of his exposure to the environment but not genetically through her family lineage. The movie expresses a romantic touch of how Virginia and Robert found each other until their marriage on 7th May. However, despite Dr. Kik attempt to explain to her how they met, she cannot recall anything showing how far she had lost contact with the reality. Dr. Kik thus puts her under shock treatment, and some others mental related treatment with the aim of getting to the cause of her unconsciousness. His attempts however succeed, and Virginia finally regains her conscious and reunites with her husband as the movie come to an end.

The film engages the audience in many flashbacks that bring the image into their mind about Virginia's life. For instance, there is the earlier engagement to Gordon and other childhood concerns. In the mental hospital, Virginia is taken to level one but expelled after a short instance in a strait jacket. The reason behind her expulsion is the severe treatment that Nurse Davis gives her after discovering Dr. Kik's interest over Virginia. He does so out of jealous. Despite these challenges and the severe treatment by Nurse Davis that almost left Virginia dead, Dr. Kik continues to subject Virginia into treatment until her mental state eventually improves. She is eventually discharged from the hospital after report of her progress is provided.

The movie shows dedication and ignorance among many health workers in the mental hospital, as well as, their relationship with patients. For instance, Dr. Kik was dedicated towards his work thus his tremendous effort to save Virginia from the mental illness.

Mental disorders are common challenges facing many people today. Dealing with mentally challenged persons is also a challenge and care and understanding should play a key role in such instances. As evidenced in the movie, dedication and patience with mental patients is a key issue towards their mental recovery. Dr. Kik is committed to Virginia until she regains her consciousness. Personal interest and ignorance as demonstrated by Nurse Davis only leads to deterioration of the condition as evidenced through Virginia expulsion out of level one in a strait jacket.

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In my opinion, Virginia can be helped through counseling and social interaction in an effort to eliminate instances of future illness. This is because most of the mental disorders require monitoring of the patient's progress until she can discharge her normal roles. In addition, counseling will enable Virginia come to realize her awkward behavior before she recovered. This will greatly encourage this patient to associate with other society members regardless of her shameful behavior and acts during her sickness. To this end, Virginia will come to appreciate anybody can get such a mental disorder hence eliminating chances of isolating herself from other people.

In conclusion, the movie, the character and the mental disorder is a clear illustration of the suffering that many people undergo in the modern society. The ideas and insights in this analysis will help an individual in such state, that is, mentally challenged and those who care for them on how to address the issue. In overall, patience, understanding and dedication are keys towards helping those with schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

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