The Tell Tale Heart: Mental Disorders

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Mental illness is a wide range of conditions that affects mood,thinking, and behavior. Mental illness is something that affects not only the person in many ways but it also affects their friends and family. Some examples of some mental illnesses are clinical depression which is when the person is always down and they lose interest in activities causing significant impairment in their daily life. Another one is Schizophrenia which is a disorder that affects the person's ability to think, feel and behave clearly. Just because a person is diagnosed with a mental illness doesn't mean their life is over. There are many different ways they can be treated so they can live as close to a normal life as possible.

Depending on the diagnosis that changes the way it affects the person and the family. In many cases the family plays a big role because that's the support system and they help out a lot with things the person can't do. Mental illness affects a person's thinking, feelings, and mood so they would need help to control their actions and emotions. The family also plays a big role because they are around you everyday and take care of you. But it also can affect families in negative ways too, it can split families because of the stress it causes. Paying for treatments can be expensive. When you are diagnosed with a mental illness it stops you from getting jobs or just delay the process and make it longer.

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Schizophrenia is a serious disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Some symptoms that may occur are hallucinations which include hearing voices and seeing things that aren't there. Another symptom is delusions when you have a strong belief in something that isn't true. Some negative symptoms are being just emotionally flat and disconnected from the world. People diagnosed with schizophrenia struggle to remember things and organize their thoughts. Causes of schizophrenia could be genetics, substance use, brain chemistry and your environment. I feel that Edgar could've been diagnosed with schizophrenia and delusional disorder.

There are many different ways to help mental illness. You can go to psychotherapy which is when you go to a counselor and you just have conversation about your feelings and how you've been. Another option is medication, it won't cure you but it will help control and maintain the symptoms. Medication paired with psychotherapy is said to be the most effective way for recovery. Support groups are another way to help recovery. A support group is when there are a group of people with the same or similar problems/ illness and they talk to each other with a mental health professional and they guide the conversation. These may not work for everyone that’s why you have to find what works for you.

In the Tell-Tale heart Edgar lived with his elderly father and he was taking are of him. Edgar started to believe that he needed to kill his father. He felt that his father was always watching him and one of his eyes would bother Edgar, he believed it was evil. Everytime he would look at him he would freak out, he didn't know why or how the thought of killing his father entered his head but it did. He would put his father to sleep and check his room every night around midnight. While he’s doing this he would think to himself that there's no way he could be “mad” or “crazy” because he came up with such a great plan to kill his father. Edgar thought he was actually very wise. He believed that people who were mentally ill couldn't be as wise as him. One night he went into the old man's room and stepped on something that made the old man wake up. Edgar seemed to believed that the neighbors could hear the old man's heart beating, he started to get scared because they would call the police if they heard how loud it was.

He dragged the old man off the bed and started to suffocate him. Once the he was dead he started to cut the old man's body into pieces and hid it under the floor. Once he was done the police were at the door but Edgar wasn't scared because he had a plan. Edgar told the police the old man was out of town and walked the police all over the house. He told them the loud noise was him screaming because of a bad dream. He brought them to the old man's room to rest and gave them drinks. He places his own chair above where he put the old man’s body. While the police talked and laughed he started to feel sick. Edgar started to have an episode, he was yelling and going crazy. He wanted the police to leave because he could hear the heart and he thought they would too. He started to believe they knew what happened. He told them that he had killed him and started picking his body out of the floor. The short story ends with edgar in an insane asylum.

Edgar was showing obvious signs that he was insane. He would try to convince the audience that he was fine the more he talks is the more you begin to believe he isn't okay. He starts off by saying “True! - nervous - very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” . He has many delusions. Delusions are when a person is paranoid and they can't tell whats real and what's fake. You have a very strong belief in what is actually untrue or not real. In Edgars case he believed that the old man’s heartbeat was loud enough for everyone to hear but it obviously wasn't. Edgar also believed that when the police got there that they knew what he had done and that they were laughing at what he had done. The idea of known social behavior is more so complicated with large attributes.

With judgement when it comes to social, usually relies on an effective balance. Hindrance with these systems can for go unusual behavioral patterns and actions . When people convey behaviors that seem out of the ordinary ,and it results from past patterns in someone's behavior, specialist and doctors are expected to take into consideration the outcomes that could be possible. Being apathetic towards actions that you have done is a clear indication of sociopathy. The idea is to not overlook but to explore the concept of sociopathy as an uncontrollable but growing problem.

It was evident throughout the reading that Edger had loved his father. However, due to him being mentally ill, though he denied it, its clear to say that he had to actual recollection of his actions. With disorders like schizophrenia and sociopathy it causes individuals to formulate a lack of empathy and the overall inability to feel emotions. Edger showed happiness for killing his father though he loved him. He is fully capable of feeling love and able to feel elated after hurting his dad; but because of his mental instability he doesn't feel guilt or remorse. Just happiness and being content.

I feel that if Edgar would've gotten treatment before hand or had family to realize when he was showing symptoms then he would've never killed his father. But because it was only him and his father there was no stopping him. Edgar needed treatment and psychotherapy. He also needed guidance and or supervision. I feel like if someone was there they would have noticed that he was going to his father's room at the same time every night. You can tell that he was no fit to take care of his father or be alone in a house like he was. It’s probably a good thing that he ended up in an insane asylum.

The moral of the story is that no matter how good you think you did something you can still get caught in some way. Edgar thought he was very wise in the way he killed his father but it wasn't the crime scene that was going to give it away. Edgar couldn't live with his guilty conscience eating at him. Especially when the police were there and he just couldn't hold it in any longer. He gave himself up because he felt they already knew what was going on but at one point he had them convinced that he really didn't do anything because he was so open to have them in his house and how content he was. But because he was insane and had a guilty conscious he wasn't able to keep his secret.

Edgar fully executed what it truly means to have a mental disorder(s). He demonstrated good intelligence, lack of shame , and insincerity. After the police officers arrived to his home and Edgar gave himself up due to paranoia, this shows the schizophrenic side uprising. However when he finds happiness in the fact that he killed his father it shows his sociopathic nature. He believes that he was not mentally ill due to him being so smart. Little did he know that was a common nature in the mentally ill. Edgar may not have been “ crazy “ but he definitely did have serious mental issues that manifested itself in the worse way, resulting in the murder of his own father. With Edgar being put in a mental asylum, it gives him the opportunity to get closer to living a normal life. This way his surroundings are more equipped to his mental state.

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The Tell Tale Heart: Mental Disorders. (2021, August 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“The Tell Tale Heart: Mental Disorders.” Edubirdie, 13 Aug. 2021,
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The Tell Tale Heart: Mental Disorders [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 13 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:

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