From reading “Macbeth”, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth shows a lot of signs of mental illnesses. Macbeth could possibly be diagnosed with Bipolar Disease or Borderline Personality Disorder. Anxiety Disorder- Obsessive Compulsive or Panic Disorder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or a Sleep Disorder. Schizophrenia, or Paranoia. The real question is, which does he have? Bipolar disorder (Manic-Depressive Illness) is a disorder within the brain that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and their ability to carry out day-to-day tasks( Typically people with Bipolar disorder tend to have “episodes” described as manic or depressed episodes. Manic episodes show signs of an increase of energy/activity levels, feeling very “jumpy” or “weird”, difficulty sleeping, more agitated, irritable, or “touchy” etc. Depressive episodes may show symptoms similar of an overwhelming feeling of sadness, feeling down about themselves, empty or hopeless. They may have very little energy/ decreased activity levels. They may develop an irregular sleep/eat schedule, they may sleep, or eat, too little or too much. They could begin to forget things and have trouble concentrating. In extreme cases they may begin to think about death or suicide. Borderline Personality Disorder is described as an ongoing pattern of various moods, self-image, and behaviors. People who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety. Symptoms often result in impulsive actions and difficulties with relationships( They go through multiple mood swings and display uncertainty about how they see themselves and the world, causing them to change their minds multiple times. Other signs of Borderline Personality Disorder may include; efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, a pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, a distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, self-harming behavior, recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats, chronic feelings of emptiness etc( Panic disorder is a type of anxiety characterized by unexpected panic attacks, which could possibly feel as if you’re having a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of panic attacks include, a pounding or fast heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered, chest pain, a choking feeling, a feeling of unreal or detached, a fear of losing control or going crazy, and even a fear of dying( Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is very common. It’s described as a chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts, and the feeling of having to repeat an action multiple times. People who struggle with OCD may have possess symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both, which interfere with all their aspects of life. Some obsessions may include the fear of germs and contamination, aggressive thoughts towards others or themself, and requiring that things be symmetrical, or in a perfect order. Compulsions include the need to clean things excessively, arranging things in a particular way, repeatedly checking in things, and compulsive counting( Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is developed from a shocking, scary, or dangerous experience. It is very different from the typical feeling of fear from a certain event. Ongoing PTSD is classified as Chronic, and short-term PTSD is Acute. Not everyone develops PTSD, yet some may develop it from events like unexpected deaths. Symptoms of PTSD can be classified as re-experiencing, avoidance, arousal and reactivity, and cognition and mood. Re-experiencing symptoms: flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts, and physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or sweating. Avoidance symptoms: excluding oneself from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience, and avoiding thoughts or feelings that are in relation to the experience. Arousal and reactivity: include being startled easily, a feeling of being tense or “on edge”, difficulty sleeping, and having angry outbursts. Cognition and mood: include trouble remembering key parts of the experience, negative thoughts about themselves and the world, distorted feelings of guilt or blame, and a loss of interest in enjoyable activities( Schizophrenia is very chronic and severe. It affects you thoughts, emotions, and actions. People with schizophrenia may seem like their surroundings are not real. Although it is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. Symptoms are categorized as positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms include psychotic behaviors such as hallucinations, delusions, unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking, and agitated body movements. Negative symptoms include disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors such as reduced expression of emotions via facial expressions and voice tone, reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, difficulty beginning and sustaining activities, and reduced speaking. Cognitive symptoms include poor ability to understand info and use it to make decisions, trouble focusing, and problems with “working memory”( Paranoia is the irrational and persistent feeling that you are constantly in danger, or that you are subjected to be harmed. Paranoia can be broken down into three different types. Paranoid personality disorder which is considered the mildest type, sufferers have very little trust of the world but continue to function well with their surroundings. Delusional (paranoid) disorder is described by the dominance of one delusion but show no signs of mental illness. Their behaviors are based upon which delusion is present at the moment. Paranoid schizophrenia is the most severe type. Strange delusions and hallucinations, especially bizarre ones, are common to the condition. Paranoia symptoms range from mild to severe, including; difficulty to trust others, aggressive and argumentative behavior, and giving harmful meanings to others remarks etc.( Some symptoms that stood out to me was that Macbeth had multiple hallucinations and began to lack sleep due to troubled dreams. He has held a guilty conscience due to his actions. In Act 2, Scene 1, Macbeth has hallucinations of a floating dagger pointing towards Duncan with blood on it, representing the murder of King Duncan. In Act 3, Scene 4, Lady Macbeth holds a feast, but during the feast Macbeth begins to have hallucinations due to grief. He begins to see Banquo’s ghost sitting in his chair with everyone else. Throughout the play Macbeth is constantly disturbed by a feeling of guilt, and soon begins to have difficulty sleeping at night due to bad dreams of his victims seeking revenge on him. Based on the research I have done, Macbeth has Paranoid Schizophrenia and PTSD.  The hallucinations and feeling of guilt show that he has severe symptoms of Paranoia, more so classified as Paranoid Schizophrenia. And the constant feeling of guilt and the recurring bad dreams are both common symptoms of PTSD, showing that Macbeth did indeed suffer from not just one, but multiple mental illnesses.


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