Schizophrenia in Paradise

Science News reports on Trouble in Paradise – how feelings of “social defeat” could be responsible for triggering schizophrenia, which might explain why the otherwise idyllic tropical island nation of Palau has nearly double the schizophrenia rate of the rest of the world (and, incidentally, why dark-skinned immigrants to light-skinned nations are also exceptionally prone to schizophrenia). The mental illness may have a close relationship to feeling excluded from privilege. Being an outsider. One of the factors researchers thought was significant was that many Palauan men still live at home.

Of course, it may also have to do with the genes the first Palauans carried, but still… there’s something resonant about “unattainable expectations” and “constant reminders of… failures” when comparing oneself with that glamorous in-crowd, and having that lead straight to feelings of being controlled by space aliens and hearing “hectoring voices.”

Or maybe it’s just me.