Margery Kempe Schizophrenia Analysis

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Schizophrenia and OCD: The Troubled Mind of Margery Kempe
The mind can be a very fragile thing. Too much stress, too much trauma, and a person can be left as a mere shell of their former selves. Once a person’s psyche is shattered there is no guarantee that they will pull themselves back together again or whether the victim will come back the same. Mental disorders can be tricky, they do not always affect one person the same way that it might affect another. Some are left irrevocably changed by their trauma and come out so differently that not even their loved ones can recognize them anymore, their old personality is destroyed and an entirely new one rises from the ashes. This is what ends up happening to Margery Kempe, her pregnancy nearly
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From the very beginning Margery’s fanatic attempts to reach forgiveness from some unknown sin can be labelled as a clear sign of obsession. She cannot help herself, she is constantly praying and fasting in a fruitless attempt to be forgiven that slowly drives her into madness as it becomes more and more obvious that she cannot escape the guilt that she feels. This feeling of guilt is recognized as a sign of one with OCD for their inability to control their own actions and just like many other patients, Margery’s battle with her compulsion sends her into a downward spiral of depression. Her depression grows into a maddening darkness within her that eventually just makes her want to give up entirely and end it all. Her husband’s interference and role in keeping her alive only made her feel even worse, and as she was trapped within the empty room she truly went mad. A complete psychological break and schizophrenia was the result. The two disorders meshed together and somewhat balanced her, especially when her mind produced the hallucination of Jesus coming to her and granting forgiveness. She lives the rest of her life with one foot in reality and one foot in a fantasy of her own creation. Her life is plagued with signs of her disorder, ranging from her strange beliefs that leave many people that speak with her confused or angered, her constant visions of biblical characters that insert her into important religious events, and the distance the grows between herself and other people, even her own family. She grows eccentric in her views and is widely shunned for it. Margery Kempe’s story is a sad one about a woman who is all but guaranteed to have suffered from mental disorders throughout her life. She could never receive any help though simply because

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