Schizophrenia is a giant mystery to those of us who don't suffer from it.
It causes great roadblocks and difficulty living a normal life for those of us who do. It is one of the most debilitating illnesses in the world and is responsible for a majority of cases of homelessness and unemployment.
But why is it so hard? Well, only people on the inside can really tell us why.
Here were some of those answers.
It's not fear. It's knowledge.
You're not worried your friends are plotting to kill you. You know your friends are plotting to kill you.
Even when you know you're having a delusional episode, you're still convinced the worst thing you could ever imagine is happening. There's no way to shake it.
It's agony, at every stage of your life it will make you suffer.
I've very recently gotten on medication, over the course of 2 years i finally managed to find medication that work very well. The side effects aren't that bad, at least compared to the medications before.
Anyways, I think the worst part is that it will cause you to act in ways that nobody will ever understand, you will fully believe things that are completely nonsensical.
Paranoid episodes are a horrific, imagine feeling like everyone is trying to kill you, I mean that literally, I know that phrase gets tossed around a lot, but actually try and picture it for a second. Have you ever been running from someone you thought was out to get you? Literally picture that at every corner you see someone that feeling comes.
That feeling of fear is horrible, but it's made so so so so so much worse by how people react, my parents couldn't tell what I was feeling, I thought that if I told anyone about the hallucinations or the crazy conspiracies I thought were real, I would die.
So I would hide when I started panicking, I would try to hide it, and my parents would make me panic so much more.
The way that it cripples you socially is one of the worst elements of it to me, and that social isolation will just add more and more legitimacy to your delusions because nobody is there to tell you that it's crazy.
I was always in a state of constant alertness because of stupid things I was afraid of.
When I finally started coming out about it I was met with tons of resistance and claims I was lying, it really hurts to come out about your problems and get hate for it.
The way it makes your head race is just painful, staying up all night thinking I was in danger, overthinking everything and everything, hearing things that aren't there and being CONVINCED it was real.
Then there's what they call "delusions of grandeur" where you think you're powerful or genius or supernatural.
These make you do crazy things, often EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, and ungodly embarrassing later on in life.
Just a note for everyone out there, please, when somebody comes out about it, please, be patient, don't panic, and accept that this is really happening.
Schizophrenia is not just a thing in music and movies, it is a real thing in the real world, and it really hurts.
I'm sure I could explain this better if I took a little more time for it, this is a really rough explanation (getting a bit emotional about it), but yeah, it sucks.
I've heard people say "I wish I was schizophrenic", yes, I've actually heard that said before. And it's the most insulting thing I've ever heard.
Terrifying. Delusions become truth. I was laying down in bed last night facing the mirror. I was completely relaxed and my expression neutral. Then I saw my eyes flare up and widen demonically. It was terrifying. It wasn't me. Then there's dealing with voices screaming at me to kill myself. Berating me and telling me I don't deserve to live.
Dragging up my past and using it as ammunition. I respect cops, but every time they drive by while I'm walking on the sidewalk, I think they might jump out of the vehicle and kill me. It feels like everyone is laughing at you, judging you and plotting against you at all times. Nowhere is safe.
There's either the demons outside or the ones in your own home trying to kill you. One of the worst hallucinations I had was a month ago. After my spouse left to work out of state temporarily, I saw a huge shadow out of the corner of my eye.
Kinda like how people sense xenomorphs before they are brutally murdered. It moved and when I went to investigate, there was nothing there. Any small noise will startle me or make me have to investigate. I have to check the closet and bathroom every night. Sometimes in the middle. It never makes the paranoia go away. What doesn't exist is somehow true in the very core of your soul. It is a curse I would never wish on anyone.
A Living Nightmare
I will be so detatched from reality, nothing feels real. And I'm always convinced that no one will be able to bring me back, and no one is real. I see people that aren't there, we have conversations. I hear voices that aren't there some nice and some mean. I have a voice that just spews out racial slurs at everyone I look at. It's honestly hell to have because there is such a bad stigma, and everyone expects you to carry on during an episode. But you can't. It's almost impossible because you can't block things out or control what you believe.
When The World Is A Fever Dream
Schizophrenic myself, 30M, have had 3 acute (1-2 month) periods of psychosis, with residual paranoia, beginning in 2013.
I believed the highest members of social hierarchies worldwide worshiped Satan and sacrificed/cannibalized people to Baphomet, Mephistopheles, etc. I believed Halloween was the reversal of the protestant reformation (denying Christendom) and, particularly on Halloween, these sacrifices took place. And I believed, naturally, that that year I was chosen to be the sacrifice. I thought the cult of the Illuminati (people like the Bushes, Queen of England, Rothschild's) were going to assassinate me with some type of black site developed bio-weapon and eat me.
I also believed they had developed technology to read and influence minds, and induce choking, by manipulating energy through machine or satellite or that witches were real and used an organ called the third eye (located in the middle of the forehead, vestigial in most humans) to do these things. I wasn't sure which one.
One October night I thought I was being called into the woods near my house by them (to be judged, hopefully pardoned), and went looking for them. I was then guided to a ritual site in the deep woods by men wearing witch doctor masks making clicking noises. I live in mountainous NY and remember climbing a mountain in the forest that night and at the top I heard a giant serpent hissing. I thought it was Satan and he was going to eat me, so I ran back down the mountain and as I went down the sun rose.
Now I spend most of my time thinking I'm on a government kill-list for being a burden to the state, ala Aktion T4
Even Lucid, It's So Hard
I don't think it's as bad as others, but I still felt like I should share this anyway.
I'm very aware that the things I hear and see aren't real, but when you hear the same thing on repeat for a long time it tends to mess with your way of thinking. The voices are hushed and whisper things that I can't make sense of, but sometimes it gets so loud that I can't focus on anything and I feel detached. I remember the first thing I started hearing was the sound of a clock ticking, which has now gotten to the point of where I'm always watching the time and trying to make sense of my surroundings to try and keep myself from having an episode.
My visual hallucinations aren't as bad. I tend to see figures moving around me or small things crawling on/around me. This however has gotten better. When I was in school it would get so bad that I would end up scratching at my skin because I thought something was on me. I still get paranoid if I see something, because then I start to believe it may be real and I can't process what's happening around me.
And this last one, I'm not even sure if this is part of the schizophrenia (I'm pretty sure it is but I'm not 100% because it doesn't sound like others experiences), but I'll still mention it.
My mind will come up with people and scenarios that aren't real, but I've seen them so much I begin thinking that person is real or that something actually happened. This one still causes problems for me because I can never tell reality from fiction. I have trouble separating the two. I only noticed this when I would tell stories and people would tell me that it had never happened or that that person didn't exist.
I'm just thankful that I don't have bad episodes, but I can sympathize with people who do, as I have had a few. Not sure if I'm even making sense now, but I just thought I would share.
Reality Is Elusive
It's really weird. When I was diagnosed everything started to make sense. I've "had bad luck" my entire life and that later transitioned into me believing that God hates me and wants me to suffer like the pathetic creature I am.
My wife gets stressed out by my overwhelming negativity and I hate myself for it. I've been on many different medications and so far none of them have done all that much.
For me the worst part is that I can't tell what's real and what isn't. I'm an idiot for believing what I believe, and sometimes I become aware I'm wrong, because I always am. But it'll just happen again and again, probably until I die. I just get stuck in these mindsets and can't escape from them. I doubt I ever will since like I said I believe God wants me to fail in life but I'm just a delusional idiot. But maybe I'm right. I don't know anymore.
"I Don't Know If Everyone I Know Is Real Or Not"
I'm a medically diagnosed Schizophrenic so i can answer this one!
I can't see blood or hear sudden loud pops because when i do I'm transported to a desert where my best friend is dying in my arms. I've never been in the military, and I don't know who the man in my arms is but I know I care for him.
I can't hear sudden loud noises like alarms because everyone in my head starts screaming.
Shadowy hands come out of the walls and tell me to come with them because they'll make things better.
Lizzy is a 9 year old girl who stands in the corner of my room and relentlessly stares at me.
I don't know if everyone I know is real or not.
I once believed i could kill my fiancée and transport her soul into my head with the rest of my voices. Thankfully I didn't try.
Draining Life Obligations
I have schizophrenia and the most overwhelming aspects are fear and isolation. I am terrified to even have my door unlocked for a few seconds, much less actually step outside of it. The only reason I go out of my house now is to go to psychiatrist appointments and it's hell. I want friends and interaction with others but it's so exhausting and draining to have to make sure I'm showing the correct reaction to what you are saying on my face... To constantly trying to focus on you and your facial movements and words and ignore the voices. On the rare occasion that a person stops by it takes me days to recover.
Never Any CertaintyGiphy
Ive only just recently been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but I've been battling with it, or at least the symptoms, for about a year now. It's horrible. It's not just thinking that everybody is plotting against you, it's knowing and truly believing that they are. There is not a damn thing scarier than being betrayed by your own mind. Between seeing shadows and figures hiding in my peripheral vision and hearing voices screaming at me that i don't deserve to be alive, let alone in the position I'm in now, i can barley go out with friends or anyone for that matter. I wouldn't wish this upon any of my enemies.