Pope John Paul II and Paranoia

It is a known fact that Pope John Paul II was a victim of Parkinson’s disease. However, the fact that most people are unaware of is that one of the major symptoms of the disease are depression and paranoia. That is exactly what happened to John Paul 2. Before describing the condition of the Pope, it would be relevant to explain Parkinson’s disease. It is an ailment in which cells are lost in a particular region of the brain which is responsible for producing dopamine. The nerve cells that control movement stop functioning due to the loss of dopamine. As a result, the patient experiences unmanageable shaking along with difficulty in walking. The psychological effects include paranoia and depression.

In his later years, John Paul ii evidently showed some of the symptoms of paranoia. Usually, a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease tends to get depressed and eventually excessively tired. They often find it tough to concentrate on a particular matter and even have negative ideas about the Church if he is a Pope. Such patients often hallucinate which means they can see imaginary people or hear voices and believe them to be true. Being a Pope, he can attribute such voices or figures to God, angles or Virgin Mary. It is said that John Paul II indeed suffered from some of these signs. John Cornwell was informed by a close assistant of the pope that John Paul would often suffer from fits of depression especially when there was nothing to anticipate or wait for. Again, there were reports that he had developed a bad temper and often showed it when he was dissatisfied with something or believed that his instructions were not paid heed to.

It took a while for the Vatican administration to confirm that Pope Paul was actually suffering from Parkinson’s disease and paranoia. Initially, they were not at all ready to accept and kept it a secret for as long as 12 years. It was only in the year 2003 that the Vatican administration clearly accepted it. By then, it had already been revealed by an orthopaedic surgeon of Italian origin who was treating him.

It was difficult to deal with this ailment of John Paul. Nobody in the Catholic Church could actually say that the Pope was hallucinating or was not exactly conversing with Mary or God, since they did not have the authority to say so. On the 31st of March, 2005, Pope John Paul II became a victim of urinary tract infection and had a septic shock accompanied by low blood pressure and high fever. Finally, he breathed his last on the 2nd of April, 2005.

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