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N&N: Mindstorm allows participants to experience schizophrenia through virtual simulation

9-Mindstorm 9The day begins with a hot cup of coffee as you switch on your computer to check the news. As you survey the room you walk over to a dresser and reach into a drawer to pull out a pill bottle when suddenly voices fill the room.

“Don’t do it! You don’t want that. You don’t need it,” they say, some harsh, others no more than a whisper.

The inner dialogue continues as you walk around the house, eventually throwing the pill bottle down as they becoming increasingly negative.

“You’re stupid. Worthless, you don’t need anyone, no one cares about you.”

This brief simulation of a psychotic episode gives participants an idea of what an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia might experience.

Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, brought the simulation product, MINDSTORM, to the Mecklenburg Office recently to allow the Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) to get a glimpse into the mind of many of the people they support.

Bill Evans, area business specialist for Janssen, said the product is meant to build empathy and understanding.

“It allows professionals to refer back to it when they are working with patients and it illustrates what having a mental illness is like through the eyes of a person who has it.”

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