Friday, 16 October 2009

So What Do You See?

A friend has a son who suffers from schizophrenia. The condition seems to be more pronounced during the full moon. This will be the time when he becomes delusional: thinking that people are out to poison or murder him, and he becomes aggressive towards others. At other times he is a brilliant designer, meticulous and detailed. However his condition is now controlled with medication.

I might hazard a guess that his condition is probably due to a chemical imbalance in the brain that manifests during the full moon, like the ebb and flow of tides being also influenced by the moon. What's fascinating is that a schizophrenic cannot be fooled by optical illusions known as the "hollow mask" illusion. The brains of "normal" people tend to work by forming expectations based on prior experience i.e they see what they expect to see, whereas schizophrenics see things as they are.

Wired Science explains it:

In healthy viewers, the illusion is so powerful that even when aware of the illusion (see video below), they are unable to see the concave face — the mind just flips it back. Though the illusion is strong for faces, it doesn’t work well with other objects, or even with upside-down faces. This bias is likely due to the special relationship we humans have with faces. Many neuroscientists believe we have brain regions dedicated to processing faces, and some brain injuries can leave patients unable to recognize faces, even though their vision and other memories remain intact.

(Please hit the Stop button on my mix-pod to listen to the explanation of the illusion)

Schizophrenics aren’t the only ones who see the concave face — people who are drunk or high can also ‘beat’ the illusion. A similar disconnect between what the brain sees and what it expects to see may be occurring during these drug-induced states.

I certainly cannot "see" the back of the mask as what it is. I see a face. Therefore I can happily conclude that I am not schizophrenic or drunk or high.

But what irks me is that if a sufferer sees things as they are, wouldn't that mean that his delusions are not delusions, that he could really "see"or perhaps sense that people harbour ill-feelings towards him? And that those people might not really know it themselves?

Gives me the creeps this.

I'm so sad for my friends and their son. I pray that his condition be cured eventually.

So what do YOU see?



Tommy Yewfigure said...

G’day Zee, all of us is a schizophrenic hidden deep within us, just like my buddy said;

I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year
All of the faces and all of the places
Wonderin' where they all disappeared
I didn't ponder the question too long
I was hungry and went out for a bite
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum
And we wound up drinkin all night

It's those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane

Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I've been
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again
If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son of a bitches
I've seen more than I can recall

It's these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and through all of the hi-lands
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane

I think about Paris when I'm high on red wine
I wish I could jump on a plane
So many nights I just dream of the ocean
God I wish I was sailin' again
Oh, yesterday's over my shoulder
So I can't look back for too long
There's just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just can't go wrong

If we weren't all crazy we would go insane.

Stay CALM for a lovely weekend & Cheers,


P/S – Hey u have u taken your medication yet this morning? Bet Capt did, but what abt u SAYA?...heheh

Zendra said...

Tommy, psst I think all those who pass by here and don't leave comments are schizo's. So you and I are not hehe. Only problem with us is that we think we are sexy yo but actually we're ugly kakaka!!!

Like my friend's son, he refused to take his medication at first, he says he's not crazy, it's the therapist that's crazy... and in a way he was right, the therapist had some kind of condition previously himself which makes him an ideal dr in a way for having that first-hand knowledge.

So what was your exotic lunch today? And to which song does that lyric belong to?

LadyMarko said...

I see a blogger probably questioning her sanity and therefore posted that little charlie face test to convince herself she's alright and thus feel better about herself heheheh.... :-p

Have a good weekend!

Zendra said...

LadyMarko: you're in with us.... hahaha

Happy makan and karaoke this weekend to you

Naz said...

I see...I see Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Macamana tu? :P

Zendra said...

Naz: You'll be back! ... sooner than you think hehe

Oldstock said...

Crap... I better leave a comment, otherwise I'll be thought of as a schizo.

I need to look for a real mask tomorrow and see the illusion for myself.

anneaziz said...


Glad I'm not a schizo..

But since we all see what is not there...aren't we all a bit crazy?

Again...glad I'm not alone!

Zendra said...

Hi Oldstock, the mask's on your face. Take it off and hop on board. We're all normal people here :D

Zendra said...

anneaziz, welcome... I guess it's a thin line between here and there hehe
But wait seminit, is that the drone of the lawn-mower I'm hearing... or am I hearing things??

YESSSS!!! It is the lawn-mower!!!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Eerrr..speak for yourself on the 'ugly' part ok, Do I need to remind u the T.L.C part? (as in LENG CHAI)

Had Caesar salad & quiche for lunch (n.b. NOT QUICKIE ok)+ a banana & kiwi fruit & Latte.

Hehehe, u managed to rope in a few guilt ridden lurkers.

Soli gotta go, now this is a quickie comment only...muahaha.


DrSam said...

That's how powerful our mind is. Sometime 'normal' things that we see (and perceive) will be interpreted differently by our mind which was used to be conditioned by the norm (either right or wrong).

Probably we need another sense (a sixth sense) in order not to be fooled or deceived by our own mind?

Zendra said...

'Ello,'ello,'ello TLC, eating healthy now aren't we? Any meat in the quiche?

Aiyah usually you write me a long essay one, today only quickie? Felt macam kena "wham-bang thanque ma'am" saja hahaha.. What match you watching?

Who guilt-ridden? Here only balanced people masuk mah...

Zendra said...

Dr Sam, funny thing is; that particular optical illusion fools us through and through but if you are not fooled, then they brand you a schizo. Something doesn't quite jive here.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Zendra and all hehehe ??

"Schizophrenics aren’t the only ones who see the concave face — people who are drunk or high can also ‘beat’ the illusion"
...bloddy well its confirmed that am crazy-lah, can clearly see the con. face hihihi !! so I must be schizo/drunk/high all at the same time yaa??. wow bless me molly all for free since I had only Milo all day long so far plus my green apples.


Tommy Yewfigure said...

All u crazy (Schizo), put your hands up and says; 'Om Shanti Om'...muahaha u like or not; Bollywood Shahrukh Khan & his sexy!

Soli for the quickie huh, tadi kena rush to 'Kai Sing Nor' mah. Shee toh fu let kum mun!! Oh well u can't win them all mah.

No meat in quiche lah, just vegetarian. Caesar salad got roast chicken & bacon pieces + croutons only. Dinner had nasi campur & beef rendang, yes at the K.S.N.too.

Hello Capt, u go crazy on Meelo & apples kah :)Gee those bollywood damsels really turn me crazy with their belly dancing & gyration ;)!!!


Zendra said...

Capt: you're the one and only crazy pirate who willingly confirms he is schizo, drunk and high.... drunk on milo fermented with green apples, and high on Astrowood fame hahaha :D

Red Alfa said...

I think I am a schizo!

All that beautiful lush dark green grass got mowed, that's why!

Or is it the constant whining (finally, long grass, cool alfafa drink, yes, that salad did taste funny!) that got to me!

Capt's Longhouse said...


,,,those who work heartily have no stress or worry. Whenever you are unhappy or worried, try some gardening, grass utting, home beautification,,,and feel the difference !!.
...mind you, happiness, i have always discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work. hehehe.??.
...walks on busy feet, free from grass !! hahaha.

Zendra said...

Gardening is therapeutic I am told Capt, I should try it sometime hehehe in the future, and a trim lawn, like a trim goatee is indeed a joy to behold :D

Capt's Longhouse said...


,,guess am teaching grandmother to suck eggs yaa but when household chores are shared, many hands make light work and everyone's burden is lightened-lah..get RA to carry some weight around the house rather at the gym hehehe. There shouls be an equilibrium that brings the best to everyone-kan??
A balanced commitment in time, attention, efforts and spirituality is best !.
,,,the happiest moments of my life have been the few which ihave passed at home in the bosom of my family. hahaha Bib's.
,,,mind you peace n joy in the home are priceless commodities and they build some kind of paradise to earth...o.k. am in my island paradise right now hehehe.
,,,yoo a happy family is but an earlier heaven andboth you/RA has it !!..congratulations !!, keep the fire burning hehehe..but keep the grass trimmed too RA like your janggut hahaha don't let it grow wild like you know what-lah.

Red Alfa said...

Ahh Capt

I see you are the one having the life!

Sandy beach/no grass, fun overnight /everynight , neonlit city /moonlit island , wild company/solitary calms, anything and everything merest of interludes, going with your moods/getting it on tap, anytime /everytime!!!

Now,isn't it the life for the well heeled retiree? Nothing illusionary /delusionary, just living it without being/knowing a schizo. Wish I could!

Every the best to you, Tok Uban, you very happy guy!

Anonymous said...

Nice header Zen, cute :)

Tommy, just say you miss me blind lah like that culture club song..."i know you miss me, I know you miss me blind"...hehehe

Women are also suceptible to hormones and full moon how ah? Hehehe...

Who's to say who is crazy? We have sane leaders massacring human beings, with flimsy excuses that everyone believes (the terrorists are after us, various bogeymen etc etc)...How come no one ties em up and throws away the keys meh?


Everyone goes a little crazy sometimes...simple diet changes also help...mind altering drugs sometimes rewire your brain...I don't know...I don't agree with it, but if it works, what can I say.

Here read this...the other view and that of those who were "crazy" and got well...

Surah Yassin kalau dalam perubatan Islam, a translation by Abdullah Yassin, is one of the ayat to amalkan by those afflicted


Anonymous said...

Watch these interesting vids on mental illness (i experienced PND...I know what it feels like :) and the process of rediscovering your self is crucial...drugs only numb your thought processes, so I didnt take any :)

Zendra said...

Wow Saya, didn't know PND can be that serious. I've got to look it up.

Yes, Surah Yasin, but why, may I ask, specifically Abdullah Yassin's translation?

Hey thanks for taking time away from FB hahaha, memang miss you blind...

Anonymous said...


Hehe..malas nak update blog...buntu idea

What i meant was Ustaz Abdullah Yassin's translation of a book on Perubatan Islam..very good..lupa title dia nanti i look it up in my shelves.

BUt do take a look at the videos


Zendra said...

Saya, yup I watched that utube you posted, basically what the therapist is saying is that extreme states of mind eg depression and schizo respond well to psychotherapy - Key thing is sufferers have a lot terror, fear going on - so therapists ought to come to them in a relaxed state, attempt to connect, assume there's a history, there's a meaning/reason to the state, not just a quirk of dna. Recognise that these extreme states are necessary states to work through in terms of transformation and change. Causes of such extreme states of mind can be physical, medical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relationships, toxic body, deranged organ system function.

I watched some other vids too and mostly the sufferers say they see demons which instigate them to do bad things. Wah scary. Are these things real, as in jins or are they all in their minds?

Betul kesian lah. My friends think their son is still suffering mental trauma from being bullied at school for being too clever. I'm not sure whether he sees demons though.

Problem is am not too sure whether thay are receptive to perubatan islam lah though they are muslims.

Anonymous said...

Alah, tu sambil2 jer bace Quran..tu kan memang kita kena buat hari2..he can go on wth modern med, tapi spiritually we all still need to strengthen ourselves..kalau gangguan jin, lagi lah jin recede kalau iman kita makin kuat, kan?


Zendra said...

Saya betul hehe