In this addition of Continue the Conversation, we are taking a look at news report of Anderson Cooper, a CNN news reporter, who goes through a normal day using a schizophrenia simulator.
The video, which is called Exercise in Empathy: Hearing Voices, shows Cooper attempting to do typical tasks with the simulator playing voices through headphones that change in volume and pitch. During a number of exercises, Cooper had difficulty concentrating, answering simple questions, and concentrating when someone was speaking to him. He admits to being frustrated when the voices tell him that he cannot do a task, stopping multiple times while attempting to make an origami boat during the video.
Later, while walking down the street, Cooper pauses to explain how difficult and distracting it is to have the voices whispering to him while he walks. It made him feel isolated from everyone around him, and that he would rather engage in a conversation with the voices instead of the people on the street. He admits that the experiment is not only eye opening, but an unpleasant experience.
While Cooper saw the experiment as eye opening, and able to give you an idea of what people who have schizophrenia suffer from on a daily basis. He finishes the video by stating that he ‘can’t wait to take the headphones out…it’s creepy.” Unfortunately, people who have schizophrenia can’t just turn the voices in their head off. They suffer, with little or no relief, for a very long time. They don’t have the option to unplug the headphones, and have it all be over.
These types of news stories are important to making people realize the struggles people suffering from mental illness go through, because it makes us all realize just how hard it is to do everyday activities. It puts us out of our own comfort zones, and forces us to rethink how we would do activities that we don’t think twice about doing.