I tend to be a bit of a book-hound. About 90% of what I've learned, especially in regard to this business, has been from books, and as much as I really hated school - I love to learn. Therefore, whenever I get on a new project, it's almost always a great excuse to learn more about a particular subject. I tend to do a fair amount of research before embarking on something new and Paranoid was no exception to this rule.

From the beginning, I thought there was a little more wrong with our 'heroine' than just being paranoid. Digging through some psychology texts, I discovered that King's prose describes more of a paranoid schizophrenic than anything else.

From one of my main sources of reference, Psychology, Second Edition by David G. Myers (Worth Publishers, Inc. © 1989):

"Schizophrenia literally translated means "split mind" ... [a] split from reality that shows itself in disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions... the schizophrenia patient's thinking is fragmented, bizarre, and distored by false beliefs... delusions... hallucinations... voices that seem to come from outside the head and that make insulting statements or give orders... people may see, feel, taste or smell things that are not there..."

Myers continues to say that Paranoid Schizophrenia is primarily "Delusions of persecution or grandeur. The individual may trust no one and may be anxious or angry about supposed tormentors..."

Although the vast majority of my interpretation was spelled out in King's prose, I did derive some ideas from the research, one of them being the idea of schizophrenia being attached to various forms of compulsion. From that, I came up with the idea of the newspaper clippings (which also seemed to go hand-in-hand with the notebooks and envelopes) that covered one wall of the motel room. On that same idea, I came up with the business of the scrub brush at the sink and the rubbing of her feet (cut from the film). This research was also a major factor in the choice of costume - I wanted her to be physically vulnerable as a visual contradiction to her emotional state.

If you're interested in learning a bit more on Paranoid Schizophrenia - no need to get up! Just take a look at some of these links and enjoy - just, ah - make sure no one's looking over your shoulder... watching...

Health Square - "Paranoid Schizophrenia - What you should know"

Internet Mental Health - "Description of Schizoprenia"

PsyWeb "Schizophrenia ( Paranoid Type )"

About: The Human Internet - Schizophrenia resources


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Paranoid: A Chant © Stephen King. Used by permission.
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Last Update 08 Dec 2000
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