Psychological Disorders In Susan Vaught's Freaks Like Us

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Psychological disorders can be as debilitating as physical illness, even though they are far less common. This is proven to be true for Hamlet in the well-known Shakespearean play, “Hamlet”, as well as for Jason in Susan Vaught’s novel, Freaks Like Us. Hamlet struggles with bipolar disorder while coping with the loss of his father and his mother’s betrayal. Jason, a teenager with schizophrenia, struggles to see clearly due to the voices in his head. Hamlet and Jason struggle with different psychological disorders, but both face challenges because of them. Jason is a teenager living with schizophrenia who is in a special program at his school for students with physiological conditions. Instead of recognizing the students as individuals by…show more content…
Hamlet shows many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as: “major depression, mania, and manic episodes” (Noll 2). Similarly to Jason, Hamlet contemplated suicide many times. During his famous soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates the pros and cons of living by asking himself: “to be or not to be” (Shakespeare 142). Depression is a common link between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and is common in many psychological disorders. Hamlet also has manic episodes, one of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder. His first manic episode occurred shortly after the ghost visited him. This is when he spent a long period of time contemplating what he should do next. While trying to make up his mind, Hamlet thinks of himself as a “villain and a worthless wretch” (Shakespeare 135). This exemplifies Hamlet’s poor judgment and racing thoughts that occur during a manic episode and his reoccurring depression. Another one of his manic episodes occurred during the time he confronted Ophelia and told her that he “loved [her], once” (Shakespeare 147), but then later in the conversation told her that it was not love. Hamlet was not thinking clearly during this time, which may be why his thoughts were scattered during his conversation with

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