Brad Calverley Suffered from Schizo-Affective Disorder- What Is It? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/28/03

Brad Calverley Suffered from Schizo-Affective Disorder- What Is It?

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Brad Calverley was diagnosed with Schizo-Affective disorder by a Dallas physician last year. And he has since been in and out of mental hospitals. So what is Schizo-Affective disorder and what about it could have possibly driven Calverley to commit such a terrible crime?

Schizo-Affective disorder is not rare. In fact, experts say 'one in every hundred' Americans suffers from the illness. Schizo-Affective disorder also happens to be one of the most severe forms of mental illness on record.

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Behind the facade of a gentleman, 42-year-old Brad Calverley had a dark side. A mental illness called Schizo-Affective disorder. Dr. Randolph Schiffer is an expert in neuropsychiatry at the Texas Tech Health Sciences center. He says Schizo-Affective disorder is a fusion of two severe mental illnesses. "It's one of the psychotic mental illnesses. By that I mean people lose reality testing when they have psychosis. They can't see what's there. They have terrible depressions as well as being psychotic. They suffer terribly," said Dr. Schiffer.

Dr. Schiffer says often times, Schizo-Affective people are delusional, angry, confused, deeply and depressed. Just this year, Calverley and his wife divorced, involving a custody battle over two young children. But why was so much anger taken out on his parents?

That question may never be answered, but doctors say the act could be attributed to the illness. "But that killing the parents and that outrageous way of killing them, the desperation. The rage against the parents. He must of had delusions about the parents. When they kill a close relative there is almost always a delusion about the first degree relatives. A strange false belief about something those relatives are doing or have done to the person," said Dr. Schiffer.

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Dr. Schiffer says even as severe as this illness is, it can be treated with medication. But, in Calverely's case, court documents state he didn't take his medication like he was supposed to.

Schizo-Affective disorder can also cause a person to turn suicidal. Doctor Schiffer says of the people who suffer from this illness, rarely do they kill their parents or other family members.

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