As I watched this, childhood memories floated back to me. I had many imaginary playmates who stayed with me even when I was nine or ten. Did you? I doubt I had 200, but this little girl is cursed with a diagnosis, so of course she won’t let go of her pals. If you watch to the end, the parents give us a clue into why this has become not only exaggerated, but permanent. “It never goes away,” they say.
I believe that’s what they want, deep down inside. Any of you who have taken a childhood development class know that having imaginary playmates is very normal for children. Children often converse with their pals, and it’s not unusual to have many such playmates. I’m thinking it’s likely most common among children born first, since there are no siblings initially. My mom told me I was very easy to raise because I could play alone so well and was great at amusing myself. She said I could go on and on for hours, yapping away in my room.
That sure wasn’t schizophrenia. It was Mom realizing I was a well-developing child. Later, I loved to read fairy tales. These days I can keep myself amused just fine, with or without external structure. I can’t recall being bored for years, likely a full decade.
The ability to self-amuse is a skill, not a disease!
The child’s rejection of Oprah is understandable. Imagine how many shrinks have insisted she “talk” instead of what kids want to do…play.
Do you really see psychosis in this child, or normal childhood stuff? Clearly, making this into a disease has caused exaggeration of problem behavior. People who are psychotic are in some way irrational. Their stories might seem believable at first but you can see, eventually, that they don’t add up. The person might explain about an encounter with aliens, or involvement with top levels of government, etc.
There’s a wonderful story about peer respite staff who make a point of meeting the psychotic person where they are at. The person was frantic over an alien invasion at a certain time and place. The staff took this very seriously instead of trying to “treat” the person or push the person into accepting some fake illness. Instead, the person and the staff went to that place, at that time, and waited for the aliens. They did not come.
I love that story. This wasn’t done to shame the person or to “prove” him wrong. This was done to honor him. You won’t see this happening anywhere in traditional MH “treatment.” The guy would have been locked up and drugged, solving nothing.
The child’s imaginary playmates are perpetuated by diagnosis. She gets attention when she highlights her pals. Note again the end of the film. The parents pay attention to her because her “symptoms” overwhelm her when they don’t. Poof! She knows how to play this game. Sadly, the reinforcement of game-playing inevitably ends up in disaster.
The YouTube was published last year. I wonder if we’ll get an update. Note the comments also.