This is very long and I apologise, but I'm trying to put together a more or less complete picture, so I don't embarrass myself or write something hideously otherising and ableist.
1. How does schizophrenia actually manifest? I don't think the character in question has visual hallucinations, if that helps -- so what else is there? Auditory hallucinations and delusions? What delusions are common?
2. More importantly -- I know delusions are very tied to the culture and the era, so what would've been either likely or common in the 1920s?
3. How does it begin? What's a "typical" course for late-onset (so, say, late 30s to early 40s) schizophrenia?
4. What are periods of lucidity (or remissions) like? Are they common, in general? Do they resemble a return to pre-onset personality or is it just the symptoms taking a back seat?
5. How bad is the impact on the personality of the patient? Does it "return", if there is anything resembling remission (is there in the first place? See 4.) or is the person irrevocably changed?
6. What's the impact on the family and caretakers?
7. How feasible -- and wise -- is it to take care of the affected individual at home? It probably depends on the severity of the case, I suppose. (Originally the character in question is at an asylum, but later he may end up living back with family -- how smart is this? Would they regret it? Would he end up worse off than before?)
I've looked it up on wikipedia and on websites aimed at informing family members, but so far, all I found was general trends and symptoms, not actual case studies and individual courses of the condition. I looked up the schizophrenia-related questions in this comm, too, but all of them seem to present thus:
- list of symptoms, including delusions
- "what diagnosis would apply?"
What I need are case studies or, if possible, personal experiences. I would like to write a believable, sensitive portrayal of it.
Further -- what was early (pre-lobotomy, pre-ECT -- not sure if this was around in the 1920s -- and pre-anti-psychotics) schizophrenia treatment like? Was there any? I know about insulin coma and shock therapy, but only in that they were used, not exactly how and for what.
Thanks in advance! My sincere apologise if any of the questions are intrusive or insensitive.