Mark was a freshman at the University of Colorado, thousands of miles away from his parents who lived in Connecticut. He was the younger sibling to his brother who was also attending college. He had never had any vast problem with the law except for a speeding ticket when he was in high school. Overall, Mark was a well-behaved college student. His parents, Diane and Chris, were a joyous couple throughout their marriage. Chris worked for a computer software company which required him to spend most of his time traveling. Due to this, Diane was a little more attached to her kids then he was. She was one of the first people to notice Mark slowly changing and becoming ill.
Mark’s first peculiar behavior started near his college. He had chosen a place where he knew people would notice him bearing a microwave across the campus. He hurled the microwave straight at a glass window at a deli. After doing this, he ran to the salad bar inside the deli and dumped all the toppings and dressings to the floor. The unusual thing about this is that after the chaos he created, he patiently waited for the police to come and arrest him. Following the incident, his mother was contacted causing her and others to wonder whether he was being affected by the ‘college life’. What no one knew about Mark was that he heard voices inside his head that told him what to do, and that he was slowly becoming a victim to one of the many mental illnesses present in this world.
Mental illnesses had not been recognized as a medical problem until the late 18th century. They are usually considered “familial disorders” because many people have gone through the experience before with a parent, sibling, or child. In this book, Mark was the only person in his family known to have a mental illness. The thought that his behavior was because of an illness seem perplexed to his family. When mental illnesses were first discovered, the most common treatments were convulsive therapy, fever therapy and prolonged sleep treatment. At that time, they were considered to be a “phase” in the person, which would sooner or later go away. Through time, we came to learn more about mental illnesses and the way that they are all classified into different groups depending on the severity.
Due to the incident near his college, Mark was compelled to perform 40 hours of community service and to visit a health professional as well. His mom begged him to come to the family’s summer house in Idaho for a family reunion on thanksgiving. Mark decided to join all of his family members including, some of his aunts and his grandparents. At night, the family would come together to talk and enjoy themselves. Mark would start speaking louder than usual making him sound crazy and receive alarming attention from his family members. He would leave the house at any time and come back past midnight. Usually he would sneak out while everyone was asleep, and walk around in the streets alone. When everyone was...