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Oct 10, 2014

Was Felicia Chen Schizophrenic?

So with all that said, are you still having doubts about the reality, and real trauma of schizophrenia? Well, this might bring it home to you. Do you remember the case of Felicia Chen? The young woman killed three of her children, held them under the water at Belizean Beach, and then tried to kill herself. Was she suffering from schizophrenia? We knew the question would make Nursing Administrator Eleanor Bennett somewhat uncomfortable, but we asked anyway.

 

Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator, National Mental Health Program

Eleanor Bennett

“I am bound by confidentiality limitations I can only describe what they symptoms are of schizophrenia and from that you can make your own determination. somebody who has schizophrenia has periods where they hear voices, they see strange things, they believe that people are out to hurt them so they get really paranoid. They act as if they are being persecuted. So they get really paranoid. They act as if they are being persecuted. You see similar symptoms on somebody who has smoked a lot of weed and then they get really paranoid and then they think that people are out to hurt them. That’s paranoia. These people may also have difficulty sleeping; they hear voices that keep them up at night. The might get very agitated, can’t sit still. It’s a severe disorder, if people don’t get help the symptoms stay with tem and their function deteriorate slowly and it is unfortunately it leaves them into homelessness, unemployment and poverty. I don’t remember what the sentence was, you are saying that she was put in jail without any treatment. I think that is beyond what I can comment on because that is what the magistrate ordered but I can tell you that the Ministry of Health has a bimonthly clinic at the Kolbe foundation and the wardens are very good with who needs assessment. Many patients there are sent by the courts for assessment but it’s the people at Kolbe who usually refers patients to us for treatment and as I said they are good at it. We have quite a number of people there receiving psychiatric treatment because of this relationship that we have.”

 

Chen is serving an eight year sentence at the Belize Central Prison. She has indicated that she would like to be reunited with her surviving daughter when she is released.

 

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