Schizophrenia, in its simplest terms, is a mental disorder most often characterized by a failure to grasp reality. You may hear voices that others can't, or think in confused and muddied ways. Additional mental problems, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes follow with a schizophrenic diagnosis. It can affect how a person thinks, feels, and acts. To even begin to understand what it's like to have it is a monumental wall to overcome. You can try, though.
Reddit user, u/woodside37, wanted to better understand what those with the mental disorder experience when they asked:
Schizophrenics of Reddit; What is the scariest hallucination (visually or audibly) that you have ever experienced?
Helping A Friend Down The Black HallGiphy
My friend in college was schizophrenic. We were once hanging out in his dorm room at night (maybe 11pm/midnight) and he got up to go to the bathroom... He opened the door and stopped, staring at the empty hallway. He asked me to come to the door and tell him if something seemed weird. I walk up to the door and see nothing strange in the hall and tell him so. He asks me if I can hear something, I say no. He said he heard muffled crying or arguing or something coming from down the hall. And he saw a pitch black hallway when it was actually fully lit. He said the hall was BLACK not just dark or dimly lit. At this point he is shaking and I'm terrified because I don't know he's sick, we're both on the verge of tears. I'm not even sure he knew he was sick at the time. I ended up walking him to the bathroom and then spending the night in his room because he could still hear someone crying in the hall. I thought for the longest time he was pulling my leg, but he ended up going to therapy and getting on meds very shortly after that night, so it was a terrifying and very real moment for him too.
The Voices Can't Speak
Fortunately the scariest I've ever had is just people calling my name from another room when I know I'm the only person in the house. My audible hallucinations don't have a great vocabulary, and most of the time just sound like someone doing jazz scat, which is kind of annoying and makes it hard to sleep. Visually I'll sometimes see people standing in windows who aren't there on a second glance, or small shadows darting around like mice. I'm extremely fortunate that my symptoms are relatively mild.
The People Who Weren't ThereGiphy
As for my scariest hallucination? It will always be my first visual hallucination.
I was in school, like, 10th grade, and I'd heard voices for a bit now, to the point that I was almost getting used to the fact that I hear things others don't. I remember getting up from my desk to use the toilet, and when I got out of the room, I see this man with no face, just standing there facing me. At first I just thought my eyes were messing with me, so I blink a couple times, shake my head a little bit, and look back. And he's gone. No way he could have moved in those empty, silent hallways without me hearing it, but he's gone. So I just go to the bathroom, thinking it's kinda weird, but not thinking too much about it. I even joked with myself that "now I'm seeing things too haha".
But when I got to the bathroom, he's there again, standing in the doorway. I stop and just kind of stare for a second, more curious than anything, then I think: "well maybe he's just wearing a mask or something", and I ask if he can move over and let me in the bathroom, but then this other kid comes out and asks who I'm talking to, right as he walks through the faceless guy. I just stand there, speechless, cause what do you say in that situation? The kid looks at me like I'm weird, but then just walks away. The dude with no face moves over to let me by, and I give him as wide a berth as I can while I go in, never taking my eyes off him. He followed me into the bathroom, and a few seconds later this girl walks in, and I begin telling her that she's in the wrong bathroom (I'm a guy fyi), when I notice that she doesn't have a face either. They both begin walking towards me, and at that point I'm pretty damn scared, so I go and hide in one of the stalls and bawl my eyes out, cause at this point I realize that I'm pretty much just crazy. I didn't come out until the staff came and talked me into it.
The two of them (the guy and the girl) show up every now and again (note, I've since graduated and moved away from there, but they still show up wherever I am), but they never do anything, so I don't know what to make of it, but that first time scared the living sh-t out of me.
Memories That Never WereGiphy
Schizoaffective, bipolar subtype.
Sometimes I have very vivid memories of things that didn't happen. And they make me second guess every single thing that I can remember or know because if my memory failed me once, why wouldn't it fail me twice?
And then everything spirals downwards.
Do You Know Your Own Body?Giphy
One of the veins in my eye was actually a worm that was eating my brain and thats why I had headaches.
Also: random sharp pains and itches are bugs crawling all over my skin, trapped in my shoes, etc. I double check my shoes every time I put them on with a flashlight but still have to take them off occasionally to check.
The Screams Are NormalGiphy
I had a patient with schizophrenia. Full visual and auditory hallucinations. Off of his meds and screaming in public. Demons were coming out of the ground trying to grab him. They were yelling at him various obscene things.
Weird part was that once we are on scene, he calmed down and recognized the uniforms. Fully cooperative, but that was an interesting patient history.
Are you having hallucinations?
Yup. describes them in detail
So how are you so calm right now?
This is normal when I am off my meds and I know I am in an ambulance.
THIS WAS NORMAL FOR HIM
I have psychosis and it usually is worst when I'm alone or at night. Doubly so if I'm alone at night. When I was housetraining my puppy I had him outside at 3am, and I saw what looked like the KKK and some witches having a seance. I then heard whispers mentioning killing and saw the group start walking up the street towards my house.
Thankfully, that's the worst it's ever been. I do still have minor fleeting hallucinations when I'm stressed, but it's more like seeing a shadow out of the corner of my eye and is much easier to ignore.
Snipers. One Friday evening I was watching TV, and happened to be playing with a flashlight that I'd left on the coffee table. Boom, next thing you know I'm in a full blown hallucination. I heard a special forces team out the window, as they were sneaking out of my back yard. I flashed the light around the room, and they got quiet, and they misunderstood my intent; they thought the light was mounted on a rifle.
Next thing you know they're calling me outside as part of a SWAT response, and I'm on my hands and knees on my porch in the dead of knight, asking them to please not shoot me. I must have stayed out there about two hours, with my hands locked behind my head, as the snipers got more and more nervous about what I might do.
Eventually they decided that there was no way to defuse the situation, and they shot me. I spent about five minutes laying dead on my front porch, then crawled inside my house to die. I phoned my mom to let her know that I'd been shot and that special forces had killed me. Needless to say she wasn't buying it, and talked me down to earth a little bit, but that wasn't the end of it.
She had me go to the ER, and stayed with me on the phone until I got there. I'm still in full blown hallucination mode, so while I'm waiting in the ER I hear the leader of the special forces unit chatting with the front desk nurse. He knows that I'm there, and is coming to get me. Luckily the doctor found me first, and didn't really know what to do with me, so he gave me 2 milligrams of Ativan and discharged me.
So I drive home, still hallucinating and now somewhat high from the Ativan, and I see all types of crazy stuff on the way home. Once I get home the Ativan mellows the hallucinations into something enjoyable, and I spend the rest of the weekend with playful hallucinations.
I can't really describe the fear of having special forces snipers aiming at you for two hours straight
Do You Know The Sound...?Giphy
Accidentally skipped a dose once and she came to school hysterical that didn't want to go back home. Heard someone chewing human meat under her bed.
How does one even know what that sounds like?
What's Not Real For You Is Real To Them
Had a patient with lewy body dementia. Not schizophrenia, but produced horrific hallucinations. I was working noc shift (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and my office was close to her room. She would scream and scream and scream all night long. I would go and sit with her and ask her if something was scaring her. She saw people waiting in the shadows in the corner of her room. She heard them laughing. Saw their faces contourting. She felt rats crawling up and down her body. She was still pretty with it and you were able to have lucid conversations with her. Had a sense of humor like you wouldn't believe. She knew what she was experiencing were hallucinations. But that didnt make them any less real to her. Eventually she stopped being able to discern what was real and what wasnt. She died a few months ago. I worked with her for two years and miss her every damn day.
Insults come in many forms, most of them involving swear words or similar affronts. However, there is something to be said for a truly cutting remark made without the use of such language.
Some favorites are always old Victorian slang and insults. They just hit different. Something about telling an a-hole “you sir are an unlicked cub and your wife a sausage wallet" is just more satisfying. Although we do not recommend going around insulting people, the list of swear-free insults below will certainly get a chuckle.
Redditor Beadiest_Cape wanted to hear the best cuss free insults out there and asked:
“What's the best insult you've heard without swearing?"
“After getting a compliment on his assignment, A buddy of mine leaned back in his chair and told our college professor, ‘I'm not as dumb as I look.’ To which he leaned forward on his podium and said, ‘You couldnt be.’” dusty_boots
“…and may God have mercy on your soul.”
“One of the best is from Billy Madison, ‘What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.’” maswriter
You should apologize…
“You’re not the dumbest person in the world, but you'd better hope they don’t die.” WhatThatBoiDoin
“Whenever this question is posted, my favorite is usually along the lines of: ‘There's a tree somewhere in the Amazon jungle with sole purpose of producing oxygen you breathe. You should go find that tree and apologize." all_worth
How low can they go?
“The bar was on the ground and you grabbed a shovel” BlckAlchmst
“That reminds me of one comment i read saying: ‘the bar was so low it was practically a tripping hazard in hell, yet here you are dancing limbo with the devil’.” give_it_a_vodkashotSeries 2 Limbo GIF by BBC ThreeGiphy
"Having been born an infant, and realizing he quite liked it, he decided to stay one forever." overt-wan-kenobert
“From Casablanca: ‘You probably think pretty poorly of me don't you?’”
"’I would if I gave you any thought’" koiven
These teachers got clap backs for days…
“I had a teacher tell some kid ‘Nothing you have to say is of any consequence...to anyone.’ He was an odd teacher who kinda talked like that, but it was his version of savage. The room lost its sh*t in unison.” glib_battling
“I had a guy sit behind me in English class let out of fart that reverberated off the wooden seat. The whole class heard it. The teacher said ‘that's the most intelligent thing you've said all year’. Priceless” melbers22
“I was at a karaoke 50th the other night and this one caught my eye. Thankfully I wasn't drunk enough to sing it. But I love this song for its sick burn. Poor old Edie. Bob really gave it to her that time.” crankenfranken
Down the Monty Python rabbit hole…
“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt... of elderberries!” UpTwoDownOne
“Elderberries were the cheap replacement for grapes in making wine. That is basically ‘your father is a drunk and can't afford the good stuff’.” ukezi
“And hamsters have sex all the time with no regard for monogamy.” draconum_ggg
“So, ‘Your mother is being cheated on but is also a w*ore and you father is a drunk who is also broke’.” EmpanadaDeMayonesa2
“‘My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a...middle.’ --Mal Reynolds”
"’It's not that I hate you, exactly; it's just that any admiration I have for you is well under control.’” FlourChild1026
Shakespeare master of insults…
“Straight from Shakespeare ‘I wish we could become better strangers’.” Dundeklil
“Also from Shakespeare: (Fallstaff, after Bardolf calls him fat) ‘Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life.’” driving_andflying
Excuse us while we go grab the burn cream.
Aging is a sneaky process. Most of us don't realize how old we've gotten until we find we are no longer able to do things the way we used to with ease when we were younger.
Sure, it's depressing, but you know what? Aging happens to all of us, and no one is getting out of here alive.
"What gets worse with age?"
Physical consequences of aging is one of the cruelest things in life.
Watch Your Hyde
"Your skin. Take care of it. Skin cancer sucks."
What The Body Does With Food
"Every meal is followed by a poop."
"Bending over to pick a quarter off the ground. Hurts your back, gut and your fingers don't work. That's why there is change all over my floor. ;)"
After A Wild Night
"Hangovers for sure."
"At 18 I could go heavily drink and feel damn near 100% the next day. Now I get horrid mental and physical effects. Probably should quit drinking all together."
When our senses gradually start to fail us, it's yet another reminder of our brief mortality.
"Make sure you get your eye dilated every year and check for cataracts."
"My hearing is on the decline. I don't think it'll go completely, but I did get hearing aids last year."
The degeneration of certain abilities as we get older is too much to bear.
Staying Above Water
"My ability to cope. I'm just burnt out all the time."
"I feel the same. Aside from my family and friends, I have no care for anyone or anything anymore. Nothing phases me but that's not a good thing IMO. I feel very apathetic towards everything, I'm tired all the time and just want to lay down."
"The ability to sleep through the night."
"Used to be a world champion sleeper and now 5-6 straight hours is huge. Pretty much wide awake every night at 3am."
Putting Up With People
"Humanity.... The older I get the less I want to deal with people."
"Friendship - making new friends after your 20s becomes a big struggle, and the newer friendships just aren't the same. You can literally run out of 'lifelong friends' due to death, disease, people growing apart, etc."
I found as I'm getting older my patience and tolerance for certain things have gotten worse.
Waiting in line at the grocery store while someone fumbles with their payment option, or getting antsy when the food I ordered at the restaurant is taking way too long are things that never bothered me ten years ago.
I"m not curmudgeonly by any means, at least not yet. Besides, I'm not that old.
But to all the cranky elders I grew up with who complained about poor service or lack of efficiency, I get it now, and I hear you.
It's never easy to leave home.
Redditors that were kicked out before or at 18, what happened to your relationship with your parents afterwards?
Things outside your control, like divorce, shouldn't be the child's concern. If the parents don't handle things properly then unfortunately it ends up falling on the kid, forcing them to make the tough choice.
Putting Your Problems On Others
"Parents kicked me out when they got divorced and "couldn't afford to take care of me anymore."
"Struggled for a while but doing ok now. Don't talk to either of my parents and that seems to have improved my life quite a bit."
Suffering The Consequences
"My parents divorced when I was 12, dad had primary custody. He got a new girlfriend who hated me and my brother when I was about 16. My only request was they wait til I left for college to get married. He dumped me and everything that was mine in his house on my estranged mother's front lawn, jumped back in the car, and drove off a full two months before school started. They were married by August (on my mother's birthday)."
"I moved out of my mom's place as soon as I made a friend in the new city 500 miles from where I grew up using $400 a month he gave me for expenses to keep him from feeling too guilty about it (my mom's alimony payments expired right around the same time I left, so he just gave it to me instead of her, he did the same thing when he forced my brother out after I graduated. I joke when he's old I'll find him a nursing home that costs $400 a month so see can see what that buys you.)"
"I begged to be allowed to come back for holidays every year for a decade. I had to listen to my dad call me every holiday with his new wife's kids clearly there in the background and when I asked about it he would just sigh. One time he had me call his wife to ask her and she just spent 5 minutes cursing at me and telling me I was awful. I was maybe 19 and had never had any real trouble, legally, academically, or socially. I spent summers on my friends couches so I could go back to see them at least. He would try to meet up with me, but I was just so angry and hurt I usually didn't tell him I was in town."
"He is still shocked I don't want anything to do with him now that I'm older. He still thinks I deserve everything I got, which I know because it was the last thing I ever let him say to me before calling it officially done. He won't be at my wedding. He won't ever know my husband or my family. I'm done."
"Did fix my relationship with my mom eventually though. She was actually sorry for the time we missed and glad to have me back in her life. I'm also still tight with my brother."
Growing To Understand The Decision
"I was kind of a b-tch as a teenager, moved out at 17 after she gave me an ultimatum, didn't talk to my mom for three-ish years, then only on holidays. Then I moved back in with her for 6 months, which was not fun as someone 21 years old who had been on their own for 5 years prior."
"I did a lot of work in therapy and we repaired our relationship. She's now one of my best friends, we live about ten minutes apart, and I go over just to chat a few times a week."
"I hated her at the time, but I have grown to understand that she was trying to do the best with what she had. Also, I was a very difficult child."
You know what's a perfectly reasonable solution to not having a home to live in?The military, apparently.
(Only join if you feel that it's right for you. Don't let anyone make you join.)
Military Or Bust
"Six months before I was 18 my grandmother was adamant that she was going to take me to enlist in the military and I said no, so she wanted me out at 18. I arranged to move in with my gf."
"By the time of moving day, my grandmother was acting like our spat never happened- "keep in touch" "don't be a stranger" "dont burn any bridges". I only really interacted with her at family gatherings after that, and I have her on Facebook so she can keep up-to-date without me actively taking to her."
No, Really. Military Or Bust.
"My mom always said that "had to be out" at 18 once I graduated. I honestly took this to heart. I didn't have a bad relationship with my parents, but I was also left to raise myself most of the time."
"I graduated at the beginning of my senior year, was 18, and moved the f-ck right out, joined the military shortly thereafter. My mom had a fit. I thought this was what she wanted."
"I'm "OK" with my folks, but I basically left for 5 years and stopped calling. Still very much independent, very successful, and have very little of what is a relationship with them. I didn't have role models or people to guide me. I'm a parent in my 30s and I'm trying to unf-ck everything and treat my child like she should be treated, lots of attention and love. I'm salty about the way I was raised; I often upset at them. The more I grow, the more distance I out between myself and my parents."
"I'll be sure go guide my kid and not make her leave home asap."
A Fizzled Relationship
"I was 17 when my mom and I had a huge fight. She said, "If you walk out the door, don't bother coming back" - one of those empty threats. Of course she was surprised when I packed some bags and took off. I stayed with a guy that I had been seeing for a couple of months."
"That relationship fizzled out fast and I wound up coming back home. Learned fast that he was a drug user. He was also staying at his brother's house and said it was cool that I was there. But then the brother announced he was coming home - and that was it for me."
"Took a long time to patch things up with my mom. We started getting along better later in my life. It took a long time to get there though. My dad and I always got along well."
Then there's these situations, far outside the reasonable control of any child. Abuse and divorce are situations which shouldn't be placed at the feet of someone under 18, but this is how it goes sometimes.
Burning That Trust
"It's a long, ugly story. But yes, it did change everything. I still harbor resentment toward my mom for caring more about getting my stepdad out of jail than making sure I was OK or taking me to the hospital. I'll never stop loving my mom and I know she loved me back, but it was clear that her men sat higher on her priority list than I did. I was 16, he didn't even have a legal right to kick me out in the first place."
"And I obviously never trusted my stepdad again. I haven't talked to him since my mom died in 2010 and I hope I never see him again. I couldn't care less about how his life is going, I have more important things to focus on."
Lose A Key? Get Out.
"When I was 16 my mom invited her alcoholic boyfriend to move in with us. He hid his drinking quite well, and he hid the violent outbursts he had towards me even better. I tried talking to my mother and grandmother about it and they accused me of lying because I "just didn't like him". The whole thing snowballed and, because my dad wasn't talking to me or my sibling at the time (a key fell out of my pocket before I left for school, got locked out of the house for a couple hours. Apparently that was the worst thing ever and justified a massive argument and falling out), I ended up on a bus to a different city at 2am to live with a friend whose dad owned a roofing business.
Spent a few months hating every second of it and trying to make it on my own. Eventually, my mom's boyfriend started to go after my sibling, and it all ended when he threw a glass of water at them (glass included) in front of my mom. I was able to go back home, but things were never the same and I fell into a deep depression and it left me with some trust issues, especially with people around the age I am now. It also left me with an odd aversion to physical labour"
"A lot more has happened since then, despite repeated attempts to reconcile our relationships. I ultimately decided that I can't be around them, and that it's best to keep my distance from family. I talk to my parents once a year, on Boxing Day, and that's all the time and attention I'm willing to give to them"
Getting Out Of The House No Matter What
"I grew up in an extremely abusive household. Every category of abuse you can imagine."
"When I was 16 I was given a choice to either leave or go to foster care, so I packed what little I had and moved to another state. That was nearly 12 years ago."
"My relationship with my parents is strained at best, I rarely speak with either of them any more and I plan to change my legal full name and leave the country, so that I am not associated with them in any way, shape or form."
Keep your head on your shoulders. Have a plan. If it feels like you're set to be kicked out or, even worse, forced to leave for your own safety, start preparing.
Like it or not, we've all met a liar or two. Some lies aren't so obvious either, and if the individual has a habit of lying regularly, then that's a sign that they could have a larger problem. Some lies are more innocent––we know those as "little white lies"––and typically don't harm anyone.
And some lies are just obvious and absurd––even entertaining. Why do people say these things? In truth (ha), the reasons might be complicated and the individual might not even be aware. We heard all about them after Redditor Mobile_Sturgeon asked the online community,
"What was the most obvious lie you've ever heard?"
"My friend told us..."
"My friend told us he was born mid-flight, and that it was on the exact border between Scotland and the USA, so he was half American, half Scottish."
This person has never looked at a map, have they?
"He then showed me..."
"My regular job is as a club promoter, I just work here [crappy retail franchise] for fun money." He then showed me a generic picture of a Ferrari and said that was his car.
Bonus lie, he told everyone he was 28 when he was clearly in his mid to late 40s."
"I stopped believing it..."
"My grandma got me to eat bread crusts when I was a toddler by telling me they're made of broccoli and cauliflower. I stopped believing it in a few months but it worked."
Ha! The creative little white lies that grandparents make up!
"My husband forgot..."
"My husband forgot to wake me up after promising me that he would. When I woke and realised that I may get late, I was pissed and asked him why he didn't wake me up as he'd promised, he told me that I was looking so cute, sleeping, that he didn't want to disturb me.
Well, after six years of togetherness, that is so obvious a cover-up for having forgotten something that I broke out laughing."
Oh, they totally forgot. But it sounds like you two are very much in love, so that's great!
"Aside from this bizarre quirk..."
"A guy at my local pub claimed to have written just about every popular song you could name, and when called out would get mad and come up with elaborate stories to explain how, for example, he had written "Stairway to Heaven" when he was 10 years old and been ripped off by Led Zeppelin.
Aside from this bizarre quirk, he seemed totally normal. Had a proper job and everything."
You meet some odd characters in pubs, but they're typically not hurting anyone, so leave it be.
"A friend of mine..."
"A friend of mine once told me a great story about something funny they did. It was hilarious.
Problem was, it was MY story. I had told it to him six months before. He told me the whole thing almost verbatim, only he had inserted himself where I had been in the story. I think that's my favorite."
"I had an employee..."
"I had an employee who was 45 minutes late to work and he told me with a straight face that he had to wait for a family of ducks to cross the road, and that's why he was late."
You have to admire his chutzpah, don't you? I cracked up at this.
"A friend I had in high school..."
"A friend I had in high school wanted me to come with her to Texas to visit her brother. Presumably, he was in a gang and had a million guns and robbed banks all the time. As if I've never seen a Western before.
Also she's adopted. She has a foster sister, a foster mom, and a pet dog named Snowball. I've been to her house. She has no brother."
"A girl I went to high school with..."
"A girl I went to high school with was neurotic about grades and rankings, etc. During the college application process, she was rejected from a school that accepted one of my close friends. We were discussing the school after class one day and this girl said 'Yeah, they rejected me but sent a letter saying they did it because I should go somewhere better given how strong my scores and grades are.'
That was very nice of them!"
Very nice of them, indeed! You'd think they'd be tripping all over themselves to have her!
"The more he spoke..."
"A security guard that works at a grocery store I once worked at said that he had been in Iceland. I asked him about the penguins he saw. He blabbed on about species of penguins that he created on the spot and that he was stationed there for military purposes. The more he spoke, the more the lie snowballed."
Pathological liars can benefit from psychotherapy, which can pose its own challenges because the liar isn't in control of their lying and could begin lying to their therapist.
"Treatment will depend on what the person needs and what they respond to during therapy sessions," as noted by WebMD. "Finding a qualified, experienced therapist who can work with someone over the long term is the key to managing the condition.
If you or a loved one needs help, seek help today.
Have stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.