Don’t Get It Twisted: Being Schizophrenic 101: | Crooked Media
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September 23, 2022
Don’t Get It Twisted: Being Schizophrenic 101:

In This Episode

The ladies of Imani State of Mind are going inside the mind of a schizophrenic to reveal what it really means to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

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Dr. Imani Walker: This show is for general information and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific health care or medical advice and should not be construed as providing health care or medical advice. Please consult your physician with any questions related to your own health. [music break] Hey, y’all, welcome to Imani State of Mind. I’m Dr. Imani. 


MegScoop Thomas: And I am MegScoop. Megan Thomas. You know your homegirl. [laugh] 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. We’re your home girls. We’re here to talk, as always, about mental health and super fun things like mental illness and pop culture stuff. So we are in the almost last week of September, which is crazy. Crazy. 


MegScoop Thomas: Exactly [indistinct] like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know I always say this. 


MegScoop Thomas: The year’s almost over. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know. Now, hold on. You’re in Atlanta. I’m in L.A. It is now not it doesn’t feel like the inside of like the devil’s booty hole out here. It’s actually like a normal temperature. Um. Has it cooled down in Atlanta at all? 


MegScoop Thomas: You know, it has. And I would say, like the last week it was maybe like high like 80, 85. But now today and like the next few days, it’s like 90, but then it’s going to go back– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Oh! 


MegScoop Thomas: –To like mid eighties. So we. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: Not in the clear from summer just yet. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. From. Yeah, well, listen, I’m just happy because even though I do wear like basically like short shorts all year round, [laugh] um I’m just happy that I’m not like literally sweating buckets every time I open my door. Like, it was– 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Legit. It was so it was so, so hot out here. But anyway, anyway, um I’m really excited about today’s show because we’re going to be talking about some super fun topics. But before we get into that, I just wanted to just jump into current events because I read something that was really kind of wild um this past week. Okay, so I read a bunch of stuff. I always, I’m always read the news. My news app apparently has taken over anything social media as far as like usage on my phone. So I’m really proud of myself. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. [laugh]


Dr. Imani Walker: Uh. Right. So I basically end up reading a lot of news. There was an article that I read this past week that is about let’s see, this is about smart dildos and sex bots. Are you a secret digisexual. Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh my gosh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. So um I learned about I learned a few new terms um– 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. [laughing]


Dr. Imani Walker: –From this article. One of the terms that I learned is something called Teledildonics. 


MegScoop Thomas: What the heck is that? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Teledildonics. Teledildonics are high tech sex toys that can be connected to the internet. Like any other smart device, they can be used as part of a sexual experience with a faraway partner. Or with yourself. 


MegScoop Thomas: Ohh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Now I’d heard of. Yeah. Like I remember, like years ago. I mean, not that long ago, but that there was a sex toy or a dildo where you could like, you could attach it to the Bluetooth on your phone. And so it would, it would vibrate in time with like, like any music you were listening to. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. So that was apparently the the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure that all of our listeners and you are aware of people who have some people, even like some people will have like sex toys that they will say they’re in a full relationship with. There are men I don’t know of any women who have done this, but there are definitely men who have married sex bots. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. There. So that’s not that wasn’t surprising to me. There is something that I did read recently about a Japanese man uh in 2018. He married um he married a holographic singer and it and I get and listen mental health wise it it helped him because this relationship had saved him from depression, anxieties from work, and fear of rejection. However, the issue was that the marriage is on the rocks. I don’t know how it’s even possible. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh gosh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So the marriage is on the rocks since March of last year, March of 2020, because the company that made it possible to hold conversations with his holographic singer wife. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um the AI stopped supporting the service. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh, my gosh. So now he’s over here– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: Now he depressed for real. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I mean, he depressed for real. I was blown away by this article. There are also apparently therapists– 


MegScoop Thomas: Uh huh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Who coach people about how to separate from someone that they may have like invested a lot into online. So, for example, let’s say, like you meet somebody on, I’m making this up, Tinder um and you know, y’all chattin back and forth. Y’all are really excited like, oooh, we gonna each other and the person disses you or ghosts you or whatever. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Or let’s say you meet them in person and the person is not like what you expected or what they portrayed themselves to be. You built up an idea in your head of how the person was going to be. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So now you need therapy basically to disassociate yourself from the idea you had in your head versus what this person like really is like IRL, like in real life. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So I learned a lot. I learned a lot from this article. This shit was crazy. Um. I uh– 


MegScoop Thomas: Have you ever come across a patient like that, that had like. I don’t know, they had some delusion when it came to their relationship or something that went like, or, a relationship with like a bot or something? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Definitely I’ve encountered people who were delusional about a relationship, like not a bot, um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I think pre, I think prior to bots, maybe what might have, maybe what was bigger was like someone believing they had like a real, for real relationship with a celebrity. Like that was, that was kind of very popular for decades. And then um, you know, I mean, but I guess like if you buy the bot and because I’ve even been on websites where you can design your bot. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Down to like what kind of nails they have, what kind of hair they have and they, you know, on their like, you know, like little genital region. What eye color, what like whether you want their mouth open or close like closed. [laughter] I mean, it’s it’s obviously not for me, but they’re people. I mean, listen, I will I will be very frank and say that I do think that for some people who have um, like, issues with pedophilia or hebephilia um. Hebephilia is is essentially when someone is attracted to someone um who is still under age but not a child. So like, let’s say like teenager. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh. Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Uh. So so for example, a better I, a better example would be like if someone were 18 and they were attracted to somebody who was 14, you know, legally it depends. I guess it depends upon like the region that you’re in. But in any case, let’s say you’re you’re you’re into pedophilia and you just, you know, you have a hard time, you know, just stopping yourself from having, like, fantasies and stuff. I always thought that it would be a good idea for those people to have, like, a doll. Like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Really? 


Dr. Imani Walker: [indistinct]. 


MegScoop Thomas: But what happens if the doll? Like. Isn’t that like, wouldn’t you rather heal whatever causes them to feel like that as opposed to just placate with a doll? 


Dr. Imani Walker: That’s the thing, though. It’s you. You can’t really heal it. Like you’re– 


MegScoop Thomas: Really? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Like it’s because. Yeah, because if you think about it, I mean, think about like 200 years ago, like grown men were marrying 12 year olds and it was fine. Like– 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Nobody tripped. Grown men were marrying like they 14 year old cousin or, you know, it wasn’t it wasn’t a big deal. The big deal came, obviously, because we think it’s gross. But when laws were passed saying that this was bad. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So there is genetically a component that is involved in pedophilia. And these are people I mean, yes, you can, like you can do something that’s called um penile plethysmography. I hope I’m saying that right. But essentially, it’s when you like you attach a sensor. I think it wraps around like the penis and you and in in order to gauge if the person who’s the ped– who has been engaging in pedophilia, um if the pers– if the if the treatment or the therapy is working, you can show them sexually explicit images and test to see how erect their penis gets. If their penis is still getting erect with the same, you know, at the same rate, then you know that the treatment still isn’t working. 


MegScoop Thomas: Wow. 


Dr. Imani Walker: It’s a whole. It’s a whole. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s crazy. 


Dr. Imani Walker: It’s a whole thing. Yeah. It’s crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah. So it’s um– 


MegScoop Thomas: What if someone was just like look guys, it doesn’t even matter. The wind blows, my penis gets hard. It’s not fair. Like, what if that’s the case? Like. [laughing] 


Dr. Imani Walker: I mean, with that–


MegScoop Thomas: How effective is that? 


Dr. Imani Walker: But this is specifically with kids, um, I honestly, I haven’t seen it done. I, it was, it was something that I had to know about when I did my forensic psychiatry fellowship. But I don’t. That’s as much as I know about it. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s crazy. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I just know that that is a way to gauge. Yeah. If therapy is working for, for, for some of these patients. Yeah it’s wild. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: I you know what, I that’s why I don’t, my hats are off to you and everybody in this field because I am too judgmental to be a psychiatrist. Okay? I am way too– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –judgemental, so I’d be like, No, sir, you’re a pedophile. You need to get out of here. I’m not helping him, bye. 


Dr. Imani Walker: No. 


MegScoop Thomas: You know, like, I just I’m too judgmental for this field. 


Dr. Imani Walker: No, I get it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s and we’ve talked about this. There’s times when I’m like like me, Imani, internally, I’m like, this is gross. Like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I want to run out of here. But I also know the data and I’m like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Well, damn, if you’re, if this is genetic, like, I feel really bad for you. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right, right.


Dr. Imani Walker: Like, like how do you break that? You know, so it’s, um. Yeah, it’s. It’s, um. It’s a lot. I mean, it’s it’s– 


MegScoop Thomas: It is. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –That that part of psychiatry is not something that I encounter frequently. I certainly don’t have to, you know, wrap any sensors around anyone’s penis um or prescribe that or anything– [laughing] 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay good. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Or anything like that. 


MegScoop Thomas: Good girl, mm mm. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, but um, but yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot. So so [laughing] that being said uh we kind of, you know, came in hot. But what uh are there are there any have there been any stories that you read over the past week or so or over the past week? 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. So actually. Okay, you remember um that story out of L.A.? There was a nurse who crashed into all like the– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –And killed six people. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Nicole– 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. Nicole Linton. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah Nicole Linton. 


MegScoop Thomas: And there was all this stuff. People are like, you know, she’s had 13 wrecks before. She’s, you know, she was suicidal over a breakup. There’s all these things, right? Well, her sister put together a website to kind of, like, clear up some misconceptions. And I went to the website and I was reading it and it is like profound. As far as like seeing the other side of things. So apparently Nicole Linton has is a bi has bipolar disorder, diagnosed. And–


Dr. Imani Walker: And and psychosis and psychosis. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right and she has, she goes into, um, she’s had a few manic episodes and her sister like kind of details each one of them. So she’s like, I just want to lay the picture. I hear that like, my sister’s a normal person. She’s just had a few manic episodes and none that we would have ever thought would have resulted in her killing people. She didn’t do it on purpose. So everything that’s out there, people saying she’s been in 13 wrecks is a lie. She’s just had like I think 13 things where they call the police. But it was for like uh uh when you’re on the side of the road, you know, calling for, I guess, to get like tire replacement, um need more gas, ran out of gas. There is an old speeding ticket. But she was like, none of this stuff that’s ever like had to do with car related incidents has is a crash. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She did jump on a police cruiser though. 


MegScoop Thomas: She did. But I’m saying as far as like uh people I guess people were saying, like, why does she have a license? And she was just like, I want everyone to know. Like, it’s not because like it she had crashes, she didn’t it was really just because. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: You know, I guess I guess the way the the patrolman that was there kind of recorded it, like there was 13 incidences, but it was like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: One was a speeding ticket, you know. So she cleared that up and– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: Then she said, you know, my sister has, you know, I want to shed light on mental health and why it’s so important, because she said every time her sister had a manic episode, the doctor cleared her the next day and she was right back at work and she was like, I’m not a professional, but if someone has a mental— 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –You know, a break like that, I would think that you would probably say, hey, you’re not cleared for work. I’m sorry. Like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: You just. And then she goes into catatonic states and so her– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Sister, you know, she said, I looked at my call log, my sister was on the phone with her at the time this was happening. She caught, my sister calls me and says, Nicole’s having a mental um a mental break right now. She’s she’s–


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Looks like she’s having a manic episode. And when she said she looked at that call log and the time that Nicole was in a crash, it was like 4 minutes before she got in a crash. So she was like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: It has nothing. She wasn’t you know, I want people to know. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: That she didn’t do this because she was angry at her boyfriend or, you know, she had an episode and she was like, I really want her to get tested because I have a feeling a doctor has said before it might be like frontal lobe um. What is it? Yeah. Imani’s like no. I’m just saying this is this is what she said. This is what she said, I’m not saying it is true. She said–


Dr. Imani Walker: No, no, no. I know. 


MegScoop Thomas: She said it might be something with that where it’s like can, you know, she said there’s multiple times documented that she’s been in a catatonic state after she has these these episodes and like– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Literally she’s just staring into space. Nobody can do anything. And then she comes back to so she was like, I honestly, I believe that’s what was going on during this time, like she was because she doesn’t remember it. So I was like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s interesting because you never– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Heard about that beforehand. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, so let me tell you. So okay. So not to not to be like little miss know it all. But as soon as I so, I was actually I was at like a recording for a podcast. One of the guests was like, yo, like she was like I was late come coming over here because, you know, there was a crash. And so she was like, oh. So she was looking at her phone and she’s like, oh my god. So everybody in the room, we were like, what are you looking at? And she showed the you know, there was video. So the first thing I thought, I was like, okay, this is somebody who just like, you know, people be driving crazy all over the place. People be driving– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Crazy in L.A. Like I’ve seen just some wild shit on the street. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: This was on the street. So then I was like, okay, what part of town was this in? And it’s in the baliggity Black part of town. Okay? 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But then she she said, oh, she was like, yeah. It’s supposed to be a woman who did this. And I was like, okay, now I know that intersection. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yep. Same.


Dr. Imani Walker: Not I mean, I don’t live out. I don’t live over there. But I know that intersection well. You have to in order to be going that fast. You have to because you’re going down a hill, you have to basically speed up super– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Fast. And she was like, when I first saw the video, I was like, that person is doing at least a hundred. They said she was doing 95 or whatever. Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: No 130 girl. She was doing 130. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. It was I mean, it was like you could barely even see the car. And then you just saw like a burst of flame. When the story came out the next day and they showed, like, who it was. I was like I was like, I’ve got. Something tells me this person is bipolar and manic because. 


MegScoop Thomas: Wow. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So you had mentioned that like I read, I read the story. I don’t remember if the family said catatonia per se. Um. They may have because I just kind of glanced over it. So when you are manic and when you have a manic episode and or a very severe psychotic episode, you don’t remember what happened. So her sister was saying in that article, I do remember this, her sister was saying that for hours after, like even when she was still in the hospital, and her sister was talking to her. She still didn’t like she still wasn’t with it, which makes sense, because they either hadn’t given her medicat– like like anti-psychotic medication yet to kind to bring her down or she had taken medication and it hadn’t really kicked in yet. But it’s it’s really like it’s really like you you kind of I guess so. You know, to find. To to say it better, you kind of dissociate. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right, right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And so there have been a lot of cases and I said this last episode, there are cases where somebody will come in to the hospital and then like maybe a day or so later they’ll like wake up, so to speak, and be like, where? Where am I? 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And who are you? And they don’t remember. And so, like hearing about, like, like the family was saying that she had an uncle who committed suicide. She has like another uncle or cousin who was schizophrenic, who ended up, like getting violent and he went to jail. And I think he may have also passed away. So there’s definitely a genetic component involved in this, but it’s so sad. Like, it’s so sad because her sister was like, she cries every day. She’s so upset. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Like she just and this was somebody who she was studying to be a nurse anesthetist and she had another manic episode and she couldn’t take her exams. So she just, you know, went back to being like a traveling nurse. It just is it’s really sad. You know, sick twisted me is thinking like, you know, because I see I see those patients at once once like let’s say she is like she’s at Twin Towers. She’s at the county jail right now. She’s likely I’m sure she’s in the psychiatric section, which I’m familiar with. I’m hoping she can go to a state mental hospital and then eventually be released in a to a community based program. And when she does, of course, my twisted mind was like, maybe she’ll be my patient one day. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oooh, can you, like, request patients? 


Dr. Imani Walker: No, no. Um. But I mean, I can’t tell you all about it, but I was like, Oooh, maybe I’ll get to meet her one day. [laugh] [banter] 


MegScoop Thomas: But I mean, it’s so sad. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Cause I’m like, I just want to make her better. I just want to make her better. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I’m like, girl, I’m like, I can have you. I can get this together. But something you mentioned I’m sorry to interrupt you. Something you mentioned was when I saw patients in the hospital. That’s why it’s so important to talk to family, if you can. 


MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Because if she has a history of this. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Then it’s like we need to keep her or we need– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –To conserve her or we need to make sure she is definitely released to family. We need to make sure that when she leaves, she has– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Wraparound services, she has outpatient care. Like, it’s like it’s very important to me. And I say to patients, I’m like, It was very nice meeting you. I don’t ever want to see you here again. That doesn’t always happen. But when I find out that like someone has been having these severe, manic and psychotic episodes like that since 2018, I’m like, no girl. Like, we got to we got to, like, hook you. We got to figure this out. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah and it–


Dr. Imani Walker: It’s so sad. I feel so bad for her.


MegScoop Thomas: –it makes me so sad when I think about it, because now she has, what’d they say nine? No she has six murder charges. And like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: Think about it. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know. 


MegScoop Thomas: When you when though that should be reserved for an actual murderer, right? If this is true and this woman was in a catatonic state where she is dissociated from reality because she’s in this state, her foot just happens to be– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –On the gas when it happens. That’s really sad to be like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah she didn’t know what she was doing. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s what I’m saying. So she got murder charges for that. And I remember. And in the website that her sister posted. She said, you know, when I was trying to get her out on bail, you know, we were sure she was going to get vehicular manslaughter. But when– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: We found out it was murder charges, the bail– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –bonds man kept calling me back like, hey, you know, first it’ll probably be around 300K, then it went up to like 2 million. And then I think her bond went to 9 million and he was like, I’ll be honest. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Oh yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: I’ve had serial killers–


Dr. Imani Walker: That ain’t gonna happen. Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –That was not even that much. The serial killers maybe had like 2 million bail, but– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –The fact that she has 9 million like there, it’s almost like the DA’s trying to prove a point. But, you know, and that–


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: makes me so sad, if this is true, she’s just– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Well she’s– 


MegScoop Thomas: She just needs help. Mental help. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. She’s honestly mentally ill. You know, I have several patients who have, you know, not this exactly. But they’ve murdered their children because they were psychotic like it she she will get better and she can get better. It’s just we have to really wait for the legal system and and psychiatry. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Forensic psychiatry to really, you know, suss all this out. But I feel so bad for her because I see these patients and it’ll be 30, 40, 50 years later and they still cry about it. Like they’re still like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Aww. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, my God, like, I feel– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –So bad and they’re so sweet. And you know what? Speaking of patients who can be really sweet. Eventually when they get better, which is part of our Don’t Get It Twisted series, I’m so excited. 


MegScoop Thomas: Who? 


Dr. Imani Walker: We’re going to be talking about schizophrenia, we’re going to talk about schizophrenia today. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oooh, yay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yes. Now okay. So let–


MegScoop Thomas: Because I need to know what this means. Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So, listen, last the last episode, um I was like, oh, yeah, bipolar disorder patients are my favorite. They are my favorite. But like, I think it’s kind of split between bipolar disorder patients and schizophrenics. Schizophrenics are so sweet. I know it sounds weird for you to hear me say that. 


MegScoop Thomas: I know I’ve never heard those two words together. 


Dr. Imani Walker: They are so sweet. They are so sweet. When they get better, you have no idea. Like, they’re just. I mean, they’re the nicest people. I love them. 


MegScoop Thomas: We got to talk about this. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I love me a schizophrenic patient. 


MegScoop Thomas: –cause I don’t understand, to me, schizophrenic sounds like. Wait, so bipolar is two different. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Two different moods. 


MegScoop Thomas: Poles. Two different moods. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Two different poles. 


MegScoop Thomas: So schizophrenic is different–


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –people? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Schizophrenia. No. [laughing] I will– 


MegScoop Thomas: Listen listen. 


Dr. Imani Walker: That’s like–


MegScoop Thomas: Let’s save it for after the break cause I need to know about this. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, let’s save it. Let’s save it. Okay. So so, yeah, we going to break down schizophrenia. Um. We’re going to break down some of the myths and also give you all, of course, lots of facts about schizophrenia. Before we get started, please. If you guys are loving the show, let us know by rating the show on your favorite podcast app. I see a couple of y’all leaving comments and rating the show, so thank you so much, but we got more to talk about, so please, let’s start the show. [music break] Okay. So we want to know what’s on y’alls mind. What are you struggling with. What are you dealing with? We love giving our professional and not so professional advice. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes, ma’am. And it’s time for Ask Dr. Imani anything. Our first letter today comes from Rita, and this is what she had to say. Dear Dr. Imani and Meg, I really need help diagnosing my sister. Lately, she’s been complaining that she has little bugs biting her in her scalp, but there’s nothing there. We took her to the dermatologist and a regular practitioner, and just like we thought, they didn’t find anything. She’s now paranoid to hug, shake hands, or have contact with anyone with the fear the so-called bugs will transfer to anyone she touches. She won’t even hold her new grandbaby without wearing gloves. I’m a bit worried by her new behavior. How can I support her right now but not encourage this odd behavior at the same time? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. So, Rita, thanks for your letter. Um. This totally ties into our topic of schizophrenia today. Okay. But pause, I’m not saying your sister is schizophrenic. What I will say, though, is that your sister is delusional. Your sister is very delusional. 


MegScoop Thomas: What! 


Dr. Imani Walker: She yeah– 


MegScoop Thomas: You really think she’s delusional? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, absolutely. Because her sister, so Rita took her sister to the dermatologist and the family practitioner and no one found anything. That’s two separate medical consults okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: But wait a minute. 


Dr. Imani Walker: No one found– Yes.


MegScoop Thomas: They did they take a test or did they just do, like a little look? Did they– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Well. 


MegScoop Thomas: –scrape skin? I support [?].


Dr. Imani Walker: I mean this what I’m saying to you. Bugs. Bugs. So bugs are visible. Right? Like, was it like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Unless it, okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I’m guessing. I’m guessing it’s lice. Like she may think it’s lice or something. You can see lice with the with your eye. Like like to the naked eye, you can see lice. So I’m only jumping in here and saying, your sister, um Rita, that your sister sounds really delusional because I deal with this all the time. I still have patients that are like, yo, like, I like, there was a patient. Wait. Okay, back up. I have a patient whose Mom is going through something similar. And they’re like, yeah, we took her to the doctor. The general practitioner essentially put the mom on psychiatric medications, like to the best of that person’s ability. But the mom is still really like delusional and paranoid. So delusions are when a person has a fixed, firm, false belief. It’s a it’s a break from reality. Okay. So the sister believes that there are bugs on her scalp, but no one else can corroborate that. So they went to a family practitioner. They went to a dermatologist who is like dermatologist is the skin doctor. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And if that person didn’t find anything, there’s nothing there. Pretty much. Right? So we have two different medical consults. Rita also says that her sister is paranoid to touch, to hug, shake hands, have contact with anyone. She believes the bugs will transfer to anybody she touches. So I’m not going to say that your sister a schizophrenic because I don’t have enough information. And also, you know, I can’t diagnose anybody like, you know, over a letter, but your sister definitely has delusions and your sister definitely has paranoid delusions. So it could be you know, when it comes to uh psych psychiatry, we come up with differential diagnoses. So schizophrenia could be in there, um delusional disorder could be in there. Um. You know, it could be a long list. But what I would suggest to you, Rita, is you need to you know, you need to take your sister to see a psychiatrist. Absolutely. Unfortunately, your sister on the one hand. Listen, your sister may be like cool like, I want to get this checked out. But the problem with delusions is that your sister may not be willing to see a mental health doctor because your sister doesn’t feel that there’s anything wrong with her. And that’s the problem with delusions. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So I would you know, I would try your best to get your sister to see a psychiatrist so that your sister could, you know, could start some medication so that she can, you know, her delusions can decrease and she could start to feel better. So that that’s that’s what you should do, Rita. That’s my advice. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s really good advice, Dr. Imani. Very good advice. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Thanks. Thanks.


MegScoop Thomas: And now for the not so professional advice. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, no, it’s yeah this is. 


MegScoop Thomas: The not so profesional advice. Uh. Well this is what I would say. I know like close your ears Dr. Imani. No um. [laugh] I, This is what I’m going to say. Okay. So you took her you took your sister to two different doctors who I’m pretty sure know what they’re talking about. My only question is, did they scrape skin? And the reason I say that, did they scrape skin and analyze it because they could have just done a cursory look. There’s nothing there. However, when I was watching Dr. Pimple Popper the other day there. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Girl. 


MegScoop Thomas: There was, there was [laughing] a lady who was like itchy. She didn’t really know why, the the dermatologist scraped her skin and looked at it under a microscope, which she typically doesn’t do with her patients. And they found scabies. So all I’m saying is she she probably is delusional. However, maybe scrape skin first. 


Dr. Imani Walker: That’s not bugs though. 


MegScoop Thomas: But it’s a, it’s a type. It’s itchy. You know what I’m saying? Like it’s a– 


Dr. Imani Walker: I had. Listen, I had scabies before. 


MegScoop Thomas: It’s not a bug, but it looks like one under a microscope. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I had scabies. 


MegScoop Thomas: It looked like a bug. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, [laughter] this is for everybody listening. I got scabies because I used to work in a jail, okay? Like, and I didn’t get it from a inmate. I got it from a doctor who’s, like, sweater I um borrowed. So I just don’t want y’all to think I’m out here being all itchy and gross. Okay. Like you, I treated it. It’s fine. That was years ago. I’m good, but. No, I feel you. It’s. Here’s the thing. When I had when when I had scabies. The thing about scabies is it’s it is often found in areas where your skin touches itself. 


MegScoop Thomas: Alright cool okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But I wasn’t afraid of touching people. Yeah, like I had it underneath, like, my breast area. [gasp] And it was itchy. Yeah. Like, they, like to live in like– 


MegScoop Thomas: Wait how did you know it was scabies? Like, what did you. How did you get it? Like, how did you find out that’s what it was. As opposed to, like, a rash, hives, whatever. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. Well, I have eczema. And so the medication, the cream I used didn’t treat it. And then also. Um. Not to brag, but I have a masters in parapsychology from Tulane. Hi. 


MegScoop Thomas: Damn. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So. Yeah, I do. So um. But I went to the doctor, I went to the doctor and I was like, I think this is scabies. They were like girl that’s scabies. I was like, Eew. [laughter] So yeah, I was like eew I was like, I think this is scabies they were like, you right. So they gave me some um, some cream and I had to, like, wash all my sheets. And it was I was so I was big mad because I’m– 


MegScoop Thomas: I’m good. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Real anal about stuff like that. And my son was young like three and I was like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Who is giving me scabies? 


MegScoop Thomas: Right, right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But it was it was a doctor. I don’t remember I don’t remember the doctor’s name, but um I borrowed her sweater and she gave it to me. So it’s her fault. It’s fine. [laughter] Um. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s crazy. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But yeah, I mean, listen, listen legit. I would say the differential diagnosis diagnoses for for Rita’s sister, hey, it could be scabies or she also could be very delusional. I’m going to put delusional at the higher point on the list, but it could be, I’m just, I guess I’m just assuming the dermatologist did they job. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: You know what I mean? Um, but.


MegScoop Thomas: I only brought that up because I had never seen anybody, like, scrape the skin. And I always watch all these medical shows. Um. And I’ve never seen anybody scrape skin like specifically a dermotologist– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –do that. So I was like, I don’t know if that’s their normal way to treat stuff, you know what I mean? Like. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: I don’t know if they’re, I think there has to be something there for them to go, oh, let me scrape the skin. As opposed to, I feel like I have bugs. I don’t see anything. You’re good. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, yeah. You know what, my bad. Scabies are animals. They’re mites. I’m sorry. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah they look like little bugs– 


Dr. Imani Walker: My bad. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Under the, on the microscope when she showed it– 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know. 


MegScoop Thomas: –On the show. I was like ugh.


Dr. Imani Walker: I was thinking about something else. My bad. That’s why I was so freaked out. I was like, oh, my God, I got animals on me. I was so mad. [laughter] Oooh, these little. You know what, they’re kind of cute, though. They look like those little water bears. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh, my gosh. Yuck don’t tell me. 


Dr. Imani Walker: You know what I’m talking about? 


MegScoop Thomas: I’m itchy now. Ugh I don’t. I kind of feel like I have bugs on me.


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah no.


MegScoop Thomas: Don’t don’t say this. Ughhh. I’m so itchy.


Dr. Imani Walker: It was super gross. But, like, but but seriously, like, you know, uh Rita. Take, take your sister back to the dermatologist um if she wasn’t, if she didn’t have a skin scraping. But after that, I would really seriously think about taking her to a psychiatrist. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. Especially if any–


Dr. Imani Walker: Cause um I’ve seen this before. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. And then when you said, like, she she won’t hold her new grandbaby without wearing gloves. Like I’m assuming there’s some people that she’s touched, if nobody else got itchy. Then– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: It’s probably a delusion. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: She didn’t. She ain’t pass the mites. Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Ugh shut up. 


MegScoop Thomas: You did. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So. 


MegScoop Thomas: I mean you said you got it from a lady who had her, you know, you borrowed her sweater. So if she’s. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: If some people have touched her. She’s touched her grandbaby. Grandbaby didn’t get nothing. I think she’s probably delusional. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: But try skin scraping.


Dr. Imani Walker: All right. Okay. Well, thank you for agreeing with me. I won. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. Sorry. Okay. Anyway. 


MegScoop Thomas: Our next letter. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Let’s move on, let’s move on to our next letter. 


MegScoop Thomas: It comes from a listener by the name of Noelle. She says, Good morning. Good afternoon and good evening. Have you ever had a friend to completely change once they get a man? Well, that’s what’s currently happening with me. My friend is dating a man 13 years older than us. He legit has a daughter our age. And that’s not the problem. The problem is she has turned into an old lady messing with him. She doesn’t go out anymore. And if she does, she’s on the phone with him the entire time. The other day for my birthday, he told her it was time for her to come home and she left my party at 11 p.m. when we were just getting started. He has complete control over her and it’s killing me because I don’t even know who this girl is anymore. I’m not a hater, but he’s not the one for her. Something about him is just not trustworthy. He has never taken my friend on a date outside of his house and says he can’t talk during the week because he goes to bed early. So they only talk on the weekends. I’m afraid to tell her anything about him or how she has changed because when I joked he probably has a whole secret family since he can’t talk during the week. She didn’t talk to me for three weeks over that. Now I don’t want to lose my friend, but it’s getting hard to stay silent over this. Please tell me how to approach this situation. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um Noelle, um you right. You right, [laughter] she right. [?]


MegScoop Thomas: He got a whole other family, all right? 


Dr. Imani Walker: No, listen. I was with her because cause look. I’ve always. So I’m always the first person to leave. Like I will. I’ll slide out. It’s like–


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I know it’s really rude. Listen, my mom had her 70th birthday party, I slid out of that. I was like. It’s I was like, it’s 9:00. I’m off to go home, I’m tired. [laugh] 


MegScoop Thomas: Not nine! 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. So I was, so I was [laugh] I was with Noelle up and, you know, up until, like, I was like, okay, like your friend. Okay. She just she like me, like she like to be in a house. But when–


MegScoop Thomas: I know it sounds like she wasn’t, she’s not that person. Because if this is your friend for a long time. It sounds like she, her friend, liked to be out like her. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: So that’s why the 11pm is– 


Dr. Imani Walker: But then. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Weird. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But then she said he has never taken my friend on a date outside of his house and says he can’t talk during the week because he goes to bed early. So they only talk on the weekends. Girl. Noelle you right. He got a whole secret family. 


MegScoop Thomas: He does. 


Dr. Imani Walker: [?] you know what we need to keep track of. We need to keep track of how many letters people send in, where people got secret families. I think we up to like five. 


MegScoop Thomas: Something like that for sure. That’s a lot of secret families. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So many. 


MegScoop Thomas: I don’t understand.


Dr. Imani Walker: There’s so many secret families. Girl, this sound like, um you know what this sound like? Um Carl Thomas. I mean, not like in real life. It sound like the song, you know what I’m talking about? 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: [starts singing] I wish I had never met her. [stops singing] That’s what it sound like. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh that’s funny. Oh.


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, yeah he was like, she got a whole family. I was like, yup she do have a whole family, so. Yeah, no. Noelle. Um. You right. Your. Your friend’s new man. He got a whole other family. This is. This is foolishness. That’s all I really got to say. So. But wait, wait. Please tell me how to approach this situation. Um. I don’t know Meg. I’m a defer to you because I, you know, I often times will tell people to do things. And Meg is like, you cannot do that. 


MegScoop Thomas: No, I think. I feel like in this situation, whatever you was gonna say is correct. Okay. Is legit and correct. Because here’s the thing. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: You, I mean, you already know the answer Noelle. Your friend’s clearly is dating a man er who is not available, right? Something about his lifestyle says that. And on top of that, he’s controlling and your friend is just falling for it and loves it. Okay. He tell her he– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: –she gotta go home, all this stuff. She’s– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 


MegScoop Thomas: Just head over heels. So to be honest, you can’t really approach the situation. There’s nothing you could say. The only thing– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: –You can tell your friend is, Look, girl, I’m here for you whenever you want to talk about this. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 


MegScoop Thomas: Because I think this man is not good for you. But I love you and you are welcome to make whatever decisions you want. But I’m just here for you– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay look. 


MegScoop Thomas: –Whenever something happened. 


Dr. Imani Walker: This had me dying, um she said, I’m afraid to tell her anything about him or how he has changed, because when I joked he probably has a whole secret family since he can’t talk during the week. She didn’t talk to me for three weeks over that. [laughing] 


MegScoop Thomas: She know too. Your friend know too. Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Your friend know too. So, I mean, yeah, like, I don’t I don’t know. I don’t. I mean, you just going to have to wait for your friend to kind of, you know, come back to reality. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. You know, that’s that’s about it. So but Noelle, you right. I mean, the answer was there in your question. So but listen, Noelle, Rita, I hope we were able to help you guys because these were like this is like I love answering questions, but but anyway, anyway. 


MegScoop Thomas: If you have a question or a problem centered around your mental health or you just want some help from us, please send your emails to and you can also text or leave us a voicemail at 818-252-9462. We can not wait to hear from you, so hit us up. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So as we continue to get into our Don’t Get It Twisted series, we’re going to get right into our deep dive topic for today. We’re going to continue to do the work to better ourselves mentally. So it’s important that we know the basics about some known mental health disorders. We’re going to be breaking down what it’s like to be schizophrenic today. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. Now, I’ve learned so much from this series, so let’s go on a break and I will grab my pen and paper and take notes for this deep dive. 




Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. So let’s get into this deep dive, you guys. All right, schizophrenia. Listen, this is like, aside from bipolar disorder, this is like my favorite mental disorder. I love schizophrenia. I mean, I don’t love that people have it. I don’t love that people have it. Let me calm down. I don’t love that people have schizophrenia. But I love treating patients with schizophrenia. And I love, one of the reasons I got into psychiatry is because I love the 180, I love like the before and after. Like, like, you know, peop– like people love that shit. Like, y’all, we all watched, you know, shows where like, oh, look, my house was busted, and now it looks so nice. It’s the same thing. Like, these people come into the hospital and they’re really sick, some of them. Listen, you had mentioned Catatonia earlier. I remember I had a patient. He was a John Doe, okay? And he was like Black. He was a Black kid. He might might have been like, we didn’t know who he was, what his birthday was, nothing. So let’s I was like, maybe he’s 20. Like we didn’t really know. And he was he was he was really kind of like um flat. I spoke of this before. He had a flat affect. So like when you would look at him or talk to him, I’d be like, Hey, how are you? And he’d be like, Fine. I’m like, Did you have fun at group today? He’d be like, mm hmm. Like it just. I’m just like, nothing. Like, no affect, like, no emotion. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So he was at the hospital for months and months and months because we were trying to track down his family. I decided to uh put him on a or at least apply for a conservatorship. So we had to go to court. 


MegScoop Thomas: Wow. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And we went to court. Luckily, his public defender um was this, she was a Black woman. And she had, she was able to locate some some documents that um like a description of a of a kid who sounded a lot like my patient. And she was able to speak to like uh what may have been the boy’s grandfather. So we’re in we’re in court. There’s like a recess. We’re all talking. And she was like, Yeah, I spoke to this, I spoke to this, this older man. And he was saying that his grandson has been missing. And she called out his name and he was like, yeah. And then we knew his name. 


MegScoop Thomas: Ahhh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, it was wild. It was wild. I was like, Yay! I was so, I was so, I was like, Oh, my God. I was like, is that your name? He was like, Mm hmm. So anyway, long story short– 


MegScoop Thomas: Wait did he know his name? He just didn’t tell y’all or he– Oh. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Because here’s why he didn’t say anything. Because it wasn’t until we got back to the hospital and I was like, damn it, Imani, he was catatonic. Like, he, like catatonia doesn’t always mean that like, you’re not interacting at all. But he was he was so like, he was so flat. Like, there would be days where we would get him out of his room, but he would just lay in bed with, like, his eyes open, just like laying there. And I was like, oh, my God. So there are certain tests you can do for catatonia. Like um there is a term called uh catalepsy and catalepsy describes when someone. So it’s it’s really it’s really interesting um to see. It’s uh it’s when someone’s uh someone you suspect may be catatonic or, you know, they’re catatonic and you put, you can put them in a pose like this. [making some sort of pose] 


MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm.


Dr. Imani Walker: I’m sure, I’m saying like this because Meg can see me. Y’all can’t. My my elbow, my arm is bent at the at the wrists and elbow and they’ll stay like that for hours. 


MegScoop Thomas: Really? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. Yup. It’s a–


MegScoop Thomas: Are they, like, interactive? Are they talking to you or no they’re not even talking? 


Dr. Imani Walker: No, no. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh, wow. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I’ve done it. I mean, I’ve done it a couple of occasions just to like just to I wanted to see it. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I don’t run around doing this to catatonic patients all the time, but I wanted to see if that would happen. With this particular patient, um he like he it wasn’t his catatonia wasn’t that pronounced. So I wasn’t really able to figure it out. But, but like I was like, wait, as I was like, let me try this medication, um which actually is um Ativann. Um. It is a, it’s a benzo, it’s a benzodiazepine. It’s like it’s an anti-anxiety medication, but you can give it to people when they’re catatonic. And so I put him on it. And the next day I went into the hospital and I was like, Hey, what’s up? And he was like, Nothing. And he’s just started talking. And I was like, Oh, okay. I was like, what’s your Social Security number? And he gave it to us. And then I was like, Okay, you’re getting better. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So in any case, yeah, that like catalepsy is a is a really, like I almost said cool, but it’s not cool when you have it. But it’s. But to someone, you know, like myself, who, you know, is a psychiatrist, like, it’s really interesting to see– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Somebody who has that type of that symptom of of catalepsy. So um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh, Wow. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. So. So, in any case, that person was schizophrenic. Boom. Okay, so let’s get into schizophrenia. Okay? What is schizophrenia? It’s obviously a mental health disorder. It is. Um. It is a psychotic disorder. It is pretty much the main psychotic disorder um that you will find amongst people who have psychosis and are mentally ill. Schizophrenia can be characterized by uh various symptoms, but um the predominant symptoms are that you can be very delusional. You can have a break from reality, essentially. Um. So sometimes people can be paranoid that that’s actually like one of the more common delusions to have when you are schizophrenic. Um. You can also experience hallucinations. That’s really, really big in schizophrenia. They’re auditory hallucinations like when you hear voices or hear things, that’s the number one hallucination that you can experience when you do have schizophrenia and you are hallucinating. Number two is visual, so like you can see things. Um. Then there’s also tactile hallucinations. I have a patient who’s he’s way better than he was, but he and he knows he’s like, I have tactile hallucinations every day, and he knows that they’re not real. But it took a long time to get him to to to basically ingest that and understand that. So he feels like someone is touching his chest [gasp] um at various points during the day. Um. There’s also olfactory hallucinations, like when you can smell something that no one else can smell. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. So those are various types of hallucinations that you can experience. Also, people can experience what’s called negative symptoms. And um I’m glad I brought up that patient I just told you about who was a John Doe. So he was so withdrawn and flat that he didn’t. So a positive symptom is something like a hallucination. Like it’s in addition, like it’s kind of like it’s kind of like adding on to uh– 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Something that you may be experiencing. A negative symptom is like when it’s detracting from your experience, I guess a reality. I don’t think I’m explaining it well, but a negative symptom is when you get withdrawn, like these are people– 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Who they they may also experience what we’ll call disorganized thinking. So you’ll talk to them and they’ll kind of say things in fragments like non-sequiturs or you’ll talk to them and things will be jumbled. And I have patients now that like, like I have this one patient, he’s so funny. He’s doing great. But like, sometimes I’m like, what, like what? What did you say? But that’s– 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But. That’s as good as it’s going to get for him. But he’s he’s he’s super sweet but girl. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: When he first when when he when he comes back to the hospital, watch out. I’m like, oh, no, oh, no. Uh uh. I’m like I can’t talk to you right now. You wilin. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. There’s a period and it takes a while sometimes um even when patients are on medication, for them to really start to kind of open up and for their symptoms to, to decrease so that you really can have like a meaningful conversation with them. And then even when you do have like a real conversation with them, they sometimes will still say things that I’m like, oh, for real? Oh, okay, that’s cool. No, but all right. So, yeah, they’re they’re really sweet. They’ll say stuff to me like, because they’re they’re this is also a common symptom in psychosis. Um. They will have what’s called what’s known as concrete thinking. So one of the one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia is that they don’t understand sarcasm, they don’t understand jokes. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh really? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: Hmm okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So one of the things that I would do is I would in order to kind of gauge, especially if someone was at the hospital for months because maybe they were on a conservatorship and we were trying to get them placed into um a lower level of care or like a facility that wasn’t as acute as a hospital. It takes a long time to find those places because there aren’t a lot of beds sometimes. And so every so often I would tell them a joke and and if they like, they wouldn’t get it. The majority like initially and then but sometimes like once they got better they would get it. And then I was like, Oh, you’re get it. Like you’re getting better. So like, even something as simple, like I’d be like, hey, let me ask you a question. Why’d the chicken cross the road? They’re like, I don’t know because it crossed the road. I’m like, okay, you know what? Bye. [laughter] When like. But if they were like, yeah, to get to the other side, I’d be like, okay. But for some of them. They just you know, they don’t, they they can’t um understand sarcasm. Their their thinking is very concrete. It’s like, like you have a, how old is your son? Three, four?


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah he’s three, almost four. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So I, I just and I always use that joke because when I was a little kid, like three years old, my parents would would ask. They were like, Imani, why did the chicken cross the road? I was like, I don’t know what. Like what? I don’t know. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Because I would. My thinking was so concrete I couldn’t abstract. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And so eventually, like, by the time I was four, I was like and they kept saying to get to the other side. And I was like, that’s a stupid joke. It don’t even make sense. And then when I was four and I was able to abstract, like have abstract thinking, I was like, oh, I get it. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. Right. Okay.


Dr. Imani Walker: So, so yeah. Schizophrenics, they’re, listen, they’re super fun. I love schizophrenia as a disorder because I love to see them get better. They’re they’re really um, um not to not infantilize, um you know, people who are severely psychotic, but like in a lot of ways, they can be like they that concrete thinking stays with them. So it’s kind of it’s kind of like talking to like I love talking to little kids. And it’s kind of that like sometimes they’re so concrete that they’re just like, yeah, yes. Like, I brushed my teeth today. It was very exciting. I’m like, oh, my God, what kind of toothpaste did you use? Like it’s it’s really they’re really fun. So um. So, yeah, that’s. That’s schizophrenia. Um and–


MegScoop Thomas: So wait. So delusions and like–


Dr. Imani Walker: Delusions, hallucinations. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. Disordered, disorganized thinking. And also, what did I say? Delusions, hallucinations, negative thinking and disorder. Neg- negative symptoms, excuse me. And disordered thinking. So those are pretty much the hallmarks of schizophrenia. 


MegScoop Thomas: When people when you say psychotic, what does that mean? Because the only thing I’m hearing is crazy. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: So what does it mean? 


Dr. Imani Walker: So psychosis. So psychosis essentially is um, it’s when you think of when you think of psychosis, you can think of schizophrenia, delusions– 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Hallucinations. Yeah, pretty much like delusions. Hallucinate. So a break from reality. Hallucinations, negative symptoms are more so with um schizophrenia. So let’s just say delusions, hallucinations. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. And I talked about paranoid delusions being really, like, the most common. Sometimes, like, remember that uh that letter that we were reading earlier about Rita, I was saying that her mom could also potentially have delusional disorder, that’s different than schizophrenia. So that’s when someone just has a delusion that they just like you can treat them with medication all you want. It may decrease. But but a lot of the time it just it doesn’t go away. They just believe they just believe that. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, for sure. 


MegScoop Thomas: But schizophrenics. You can treat and then you can see the difference. That’s that’s the difference between– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Oh. Yeah, for sure. 


MegScoop Thomas: –schizophrenics and and delusion disorder? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yes, yes. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay, I’m learning a little bit. Okay, I’m starting to get it. You know, it’s um. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, no, it’s fun. 


MegScoop Thomas: I’m always I’m always interested in how like when I hear about these delusions or, you know, seeing something that’s not there, hearing something that’s not there, feeling something that’s not there. Like, where does that come from in the brain? Is it something that’s like, something is messing with one of those senses? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um, so there is a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Okay. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And the substantia nigra. It’s at the back of the brain. I don’t want to get too specific because the brain is, like, super complicated, but um it’s called substantia nigra because nigra means black. And that is where dop– you can find there’s a high concentration of dopamine. And when you take a slice of that part of the brain, you should see a lot of like little black, you know, granules. Like, like it looks like like black dye um when when someone becomes psychotic. And this can be not just from schizophrenia, this can be from substance abuse. Um. I’ve seen a lot of cocaine induced psychosis, methamphetamine induced psychosis, um when you take a drug and because people are getting high, because they want to feel good, if it floods your it makes your brain release all this dopamine and that feels great, right? You’re like, yay, this is awesome. Like, um you know, super stimulated. I’m jumping on cars. I’m, you know, I’m running around naked or, you know, I’m just having the time of my life. The problem, though, is that once like that, dopamine went up, but it has to come down. And once it comes down like really low, that’s what causes psychosis. So I’m not saying that in order to have Schizophrenia you have to have abused something. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that genetically these are people who are predisposed to having low amounts of dopamine in their brain, and not just not just in their substantia nigra, but you can find it there um at a like a high level. But um but these are people that just have low levels of dopamine. And because of that, you treat schizophrenics with medication. That’s that where the goal is to um increase the dopamine, but increase the dopamine to an appropriate level so that their symptoms will start to remit and they work. You can take antipsychotics in a pill form. Um. There are a lot of my patients, not all of them, but a lot of my patients, especially the ones who have a hard time like believing that they’re ill or even remembering to take a pill every day they can get an injection. They have injections that last two weeks, a month, three months, six months. Um. It’s really kind of cool. Um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And yeah, so it’s like. And there are some patients where I’m like, You know what? Like you’re taking your medication every day, but your, your psychosis is so bad. Let’s say that you really need to have an inject like medication in your body all the times. Where you take a pill. Your blood level of the medication will go up, but then it will fall over the course of a day. But when you have an injection, it’s always kind of there. So it’s a steady state in your blood. 


MegScoop Thomas: Is this the same as like multiple personalities or is that under the umbrella of schizophrenia? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um multiple personalities is something completely different. Uh. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So multiple personality is actually, multiple personality disorder is actually called dissociative identity disorder now. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Honestly, like some psychiatrists believe it exists, others are like, get out of my face. I don’t I’m not even like acknowledging that. But it’s completely different, having two separate personalities like is is exactly what I said. It’s like you have two separate personalities. The person will speak differently. Sometimes the personalities have a different have different sexes. Sometimes they have different handwriting, they have different names. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: It’s a whole it’s a whole other can of worms. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So, yeah, it’s completely different. Although, like we were talking last on the last episode, people will be like, oh, this is weather is so schizophrenic. I’m like, No, it’s not. [laughter] Doesn’t even make sense. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: I’m like, this weather is delusional? This weather is hallucinating? 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Like I think you mean bipolar and that still don’t work. So so no. And so also and I mentioned this on the last episode, you can so you can be just schizophrenic, period. 


MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Which is a disorder, which means that you have true psychosis, just psychosis. You can also have depression with psychosis. That’s not schizophrenia. You can have bipolar disorder with psychosis. That’s not schizophrenia. So I’ll hear patients say to me, I’m like, Oh, you know, have you ever been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition before? They’ll say, Yeah, I’m bipolar and schizophrenic, when really what they mean to say is I mean, it’s understandable. What they’re saying is, I’m bipolar with psychotic features or I become or I’m bipolar, and when I get really sick, I become psychotic. 


MegScoop Thomas: Ah. Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, yeah. So um.


MegScoop Thomas: Okay, makes sense. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Yeah, but it’s fun. It’s fun you guys. I know it–


MegScoop Thomas: This is so, I’m still laughing this is you’re, they’re the most fun patients for you like [?]. 


Dr. Imani Walker: They are because because they get they get better. And I’m like, you did it. Look at you. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yay! 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yay! Yes some–


MegScoop Thomas: And then is it like a something they can ever be healed? Or is it like you just have to manage it with medication for the rest of your life? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Um. Yeah, you will. You will very likely be taking medication long term. Um. I have patients that are, um you know, uh let’s say they’re elderly. They they actually are over the age of 65. And what I find is that the older a person is, they may not need as much of the medication, but they still have to take it. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, because yeah, it’s um it can. These are people who um, you know, like, I mean, if you I mean, this is this is a very simplistic example. But like if you see, like someone, let’s say, who’s at like, homeless, let’s say who’s at like the bus stop talking to themselves, that that person is definitely experiencing psychosis. Um. That person um could be schizophrenic, but they could also, you know, be depressed with psychotic with psychosis or bipolar or psychosis or something like that. But um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But I love them because they come in sometimes and they’ll be the completely like. Like, you know, just filthy. Like. Like their hair’s all locked out, and then, like, we’ll cut their hair, clean they clothes. Like, listen, they come back. I’m like, oh, I’m like, look, like, come on now. Come on now. Come on down. Let me see that. [laugh] So, yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: Aw I love it. 


Dr. Imani Walker: They’re they’re really like, no, they’re really they’re they’re really sweet. And I really I really like to see them get better and I get really excited. 


MegScoop Thomas: Were you, was there ever–


Dr. Imani Walker: As you can tell. 


MegScoop Thomas: –a patient that. I know. That’s so cute. Um. Have you had a patient that was schizophrenic that you were like, this is scary? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, I guess I wasn’t I wasn’t freaked out. I mean, I’ve seen some very impressive things, like [laughing] I saw a patient. I saw a patient. He was a little guy. And there was a mental health. Um uh. Like tech. Like they’re kind of like the bodyguards, let’s say, of the um psychiatric units. And this particular med psychiatric tech was like about six six. And this little guy, he was like maybe five four. And he he was irritated and he was mad, and he was like, I want to leave, cause he had just got come to the hospital and he jumped like vertically a good foot onto this man’s back. And I was like, okay. So we had to I mean, I was I was like, oh, no. But I also knew that there were enough people around to um to subdue him. Like, you know, we had to do a show– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Of force, subdue him. We had to get him into a seclusion room, give him and inject an injection of some medication to bring him bring him down. Um. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been scared. I even used to work, like when I was pregnant with my son. I worked in the psychiatric E.R. and honestly, I was concerned. But I also was told that with like the residents at the time who had been pregnant, like people who are mentally ill know when to kind of bug out, I guess, especially– 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh really? 


Dr. Imani Walker: –if you’re in that type of an environment. Yeah. So I was like fully with my stomach out and they were, like they were super calm. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: They were really calm. So I mean, no, so no, I mean, I was concerned, but I was like, well, you about to get an injection anyway. So. [laughter] [?] I mean, I was like, it don’t really matter to me. So I mean, I’m like, you are. You about to be asleep. So it’s fine. [laughter] Um. But yeah, it’s uh but, yeah, I love, I love, I love treating people who are schizophrenic. I just I love to see them get better. It’s really it’s it’s really sweet and it’s really fun. And they make me laugh a lot. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s good. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So, yeah, that’s schizophrenia. That’s schizophrenia. Um. So that’s honestly all the time we have for our deep dive conversation today. Um. You know, if you guys have any questions about schizophrenia, like send them my way. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: You can send them Megan’s way, she’ll send it my way too. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah, because you don’t want to, you don’t want to hear what I got to say it. I don’t know what it means. Okay? I just learned the basics today. I learned the basics. So it’s time to switch gears and I am so excited for our next segment, which is pop culture diagnosis. [music break] 


Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. So let’s get right into our pop culture diagnosis for this week. Meg can you give our listeners a quick synopsis of the ABC hit show Abbott Elementary and who we’re going to diagnose today. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. First of all, shout out to Abbott Elementary. It is a breakout show on ABC. They won some Emmys. Sheryl Lee Ralph– 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yes! 


MegScoop Thomas: –won her first Emmy being on this show. Great show. Uh. Very funny. And it was written by Quinta Brunson. If you know anything about Quinta, Quinta started off back on BuzzFeed, back on the day. Back in the day. She’s a really funny producer. She wrote content. She was in, you know, she was an actor, everything. And she just blossomed. And now she has her own show. And Abbott Elementary is just it’s genius. Um. 


Dr. Imani Walker: It is. 


MegScoop Thomas: It stars her as a second grade teacher at Abbott Elementary, which is a fictional predominantly Black school in Philly. And so today we’re going to diagnose the principal of that school. Principal Ava. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Girl. 


MegScoop Thomas: Scamming principal. I think she is hillari– she’s actually my favorite person on the show. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She is a mess. She’s a mess. 


MegScoop Thomas: A mess. Hot mess. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She is my favorite person on the show. Okay. Principal Ava. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: [laughing] I’m like every time. Like she just steals the show. She a whole mess. I mean. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: The ensemble cast is great, but she just she said I was watching it. I was watching it in preparation for this. And she was like, yeah, you know, she was like, I won this. I won the step show in college six years in a row. [laughing] 


MegScoop Thomas: Like wait what? 


Dr. Imani Walker: She’s like, she was like, cause, you know. 


MegScoop Thomas: Why would you? 


Dr. Imani Walker: I don’t really like school. I was like, you don’t really like school? So she’s she’s a scammer. She’s a scammer. Through and though, um she kind of remind me of um uh, remember Joanne the scammer on Instagram. 


MegScoop Thomas: Oh yeah. [laughing] With her white coat, her bad wig. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Yes. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Girl. Yes. So she kind of, she she kind of remind me of Joanne the scammer. Ava is definitely a scammer. And Ava admitted, um I guess to like the I guess the film crew. No, no, no. She, she actually I don’t remember if it was the film crew or not, but she said basically that her um she caught her superintendent in an affair or something like at church. And so she needed a job. So that’s why she took the principal job. When um, when, when when the other teacher I forgot his name um actually wanted the principal job, like he was actually–


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Qualified to be principal, so she am mess. Okay. So, Ava. I was thinking about this for a while this morning because Ava is, she’s very funny because she’s very, very selfish. 


MegScoop Thomas: Very selfish. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She is so selfish. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She is so selfish. I mean, I’m like, my God, I’m like, I’m an only child. And people have accused me of being selfish before, but I was like, damn she is just selfish as hell. Um. She uh. She definitely has a very good sense of herself. She definitely has high self-esteem. Um. But there was one particular uh scene that I kept coming back to in my head, and that was when she had to do the presentation to the I guess it was a school board. And she thought that she would be able to give the presentation with like, you know, the other teachers and I guess the, you know, the board told her, like, no, you gonna have to do this presentation by yourself because we know how raggedy you are. And she did it. And even though, so she was, you know, floundering, she was I mean, terrible. Just terrible. Um had graphs. One of the graphs didn’t have no, you know, y axis or x axis. She was like, well, this graph don’t have no letters on it. So I guess it proves that we, we doing something right, I was like girl no. [laughter] So. So, so what what I thought about it, I was like, you know what? Even even in that meeting where she was giving the presentation, when she was challenged, she didn’t get mad. Like she didn’t get– 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Really, really upset. I will say, I think that principal Ava has narcissistic traits. 


MegScoop Thomas: For sure. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But I wouldn’t call her. Yeah, but I wouldn’t call her a narcissist. She just. She just. She just oblivious to anybody but herself. I mean, God bless her. She just. She is just a mess. She’s so she’s definitely, like, great comedic relief, but she don’t need to be around nobody kids. 


MegScoop Thomas: Wait, so you don’t think she’s a narcissist? Just the traits? Why don’t you think she’s a narcissist? 


Dr. Imani Walker: Well, because with narcissism, you have. There’s a lack of empathy, right? And when you challenge a narcissist, they get really like that. Like they it’s like when you challenge them, you take them back to that place in their life when they felt unloved or unwanted and they will lash out. But that’s not what she does. She just kind of rolls with it, she like, why me? You know, like I’m dope so I mean– 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Here this graph don’t have no letters on it but I mean this just proves that we out here killing it, right? They like girl no. 


MegScoop Thomas: Right. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So um yeah, I think she definitely has narcissistic traits um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And that’s not always a bad thing. I mean, sometimes it’s great to have a good sense–. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –Of yourself. Sometimes it’s great to have a good sense, you know, a good self-esteem. But she is selfish as she want to be. 


MegScoop Thomas: That’s what I’m saying yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: She said something– 


MegScoop Thomas: Please don’t work for the kids then if that’s how you going be. [laugh] 


Dr. Imani Walker: I thought she was going to say, when she [?]. The parent, not the parents. The teachers were asking for like money for like rugs for their kids to sit on. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: And she was like, Yeah, I got um. She was like, Yeah, I got a, I got $3,000 and I and she was like, but she’s so, you know, I got my hair done. I was like, Girl, please don’t tell me you spent that three grand– 


MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 


Dr. Imani Walker: –On getting your hair done. She didn’t that we know of. But she did use it to make um to get a sign for the school with her on it. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Exactly. 


Dr. Imani Walker: That was um that was crazy. That was that was absolutely like–


MegScoop Thomas: Principal Ava. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Unnecessary. Yeah Principal Ava girl bye um. 


MegScoop Thomas: It’s a great show though. 


Dr. Imani Walker: But yeah. 


MegScoop Thomas: If you haven’t watched it, watch the show. 


Dr. Imani Walker: It’s a great show. Um. Quinta girl, you are so funny. You’ve always been funny. I remember I think this was might have been before BuzzFeed when she came out with them videos about dating and she was like, oooh, he got money. So I remember I remember those. But um and I’m glad that the Jimmy Kimmel did apologize to her um. 


MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 


Dr. Imani Walker: Because he was laying on the stage when she was getting her Emmy. But also, Sheryl Lee Ralph said that she screamed on Jimmy Kimmel after like. You out here doing the most. And that was not cool. So so I really I really love that. Good job, Sheryl Lee Ralph and good job, Quinta Brunson and good job uh whoever plays principal Ava. But not good job to Principal Ava because you need to be a little less selfish. So. 


MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. 


Dr. Imani Walker: So yeah. So that’s that’s what that’s what I would diagnose Principal Ava with. So listen, that’s it for pop culture diagnosis. Of course, we’re going to have another fun character to analyze next week. So if you guys have suggestions for fictional characters out there that you want for me to diagnose, hit me up on Twitter at @doctor_Imani, hit Meg up on Instagram at @MegScoop and email the show at Again if you guys are enjoying the show, please don’t forget to rate and review the show on your favorite podcast apps. Thank you for listening to Imani State of Mind as always. Thank you as always to Meg for co-hosting and we’ll be back for an all new episode next week. [music break] This is a Crooked Media production. Our executive producer is Sandy Girard. Our producer is Leslie Martin. Music from Vasilis Fotopoulos. Edited by Veronica Simonetti. And special thanks to Brandon Williams, Gabi Leverette, Mellani Johnson and Matt DeGroot for promotional support.