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From a lay perspective, without having his medical records in hand and armed with only the information Baldwin presents, it is difficult to say with any degree of conviction whether Baldwin’s father (who was actually his stepfather), who died of tuberculosis in a mental health facility in 1943, had schizophrenia. Though Baldwin indicated that the man suffered from paranoid delusions, those alone are not enough to constitute a diagnosis of the disease. Schizophrenia, which is now considered a spectrum disorder, is a mental illness that includes a range of related symptoms. His paranoia was only one symptom in a cluster of symptoms and traits that included unpredictability in changes of mood, extreme anger, abusive tendencies, and an inability to form close, meaningful connections with others. Based on the collection of symptoms, one could also argue that Baldwin’s father could have suffered from an undiagnosed form of bipolar disorder with psychotic features.

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