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.
When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."
Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.
Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.
One Redditor was curious to hear people's examples of this saying coming to light, either from a personal experience or seeing it happen to a well-known, public figure, leading them to ask:
"Who is your example of 'you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain'?"
"He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular."
"Was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the black ward."
"When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused."
"Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of a thousand people."- Crvsby
Earning a position of power
"Working in restaurant kitchens."
"You either burn out young, or become the boss that everyone hates."
"There's exceptions, but that's the rule."- grandpas_old_crow
"Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver."
"Made up a bunch of untested uses for it, treating people having asthma attacks, and drowning victims were the two I remember that he publicly talked up."
"Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with Malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.
"The experiment was found to be unethical by American review boards, so he conducted them in Ethiopia." - User Deleted
"In WW1 he led the French to victory at Verdun, one of the worst battles in human history."
"In WW2, after France was beaten, Petain was the head of state of Vichy France."
"Guy went from the Lion of Verdun to the biggest Nazi collaborator in France."- arthuranymoredonuts
"Every organ until it gets cancer."- SuperBaconjam
"He had the whole country behind him here in Ireland at one point bar people who thought combat sport is grotesque."
"He was witty, original, backing himself up and having a Hollywood like rise to stardom."
"Now he's someone who the whole country is ashamed of, goes punching old men, clearly sleeps around on his wife while she's at home with the kids, just a walking caricature of himself."
"He didn't listen to his own advice."
"Get out."- StephenPigot2020
Turning into our parents
"My dad used to annoy me by calling my Pokemon cards 'Pokey-Mans'."
"Now my kids have them and I do the same thing and it annoys the sh*t out of them."
"Thanks for the (Pokeyman) gold!"- rumpel4skinOU
"Almost died during the revolutionary way, if I recall correctly, and if he had he would have been remembered a huge hero, and a martyr."
"Instead he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor."- uniqueperson22
Be it someone we knew quite intimately, or someone we admired from a far, it is always heartbreaking to see someone evolve from someone we love, to someone we utterly hate.
Sometimes we do things that have to be done.
And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.
What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.
We may still technically be in the right.
But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.
But still, many people don't care.
Redditor BirdyPizzawanted to see who would fess up about some of the worst things we're responsible for but have no shame.
"What is the darkest thing you have ever done and don’t regret?"
I've stolen from department stores that overcharged. I was arrested. I didn't care. So there...
"Five years ago my dad suffered a catastrophic stroke. Left paralyzed and robbed of his speech and ability to communicate he was a shell of the once vibrant, charismatic man he once was. He was moved into skilled nursing where he lived for nearly two years, he was miserable."
"On my last visit I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave us, that we would miss him but he should go. A week later I received the call that he had passed. Instead of immediate grief I felt relief. Relief that he was finally free. The grief came later and I still miss him every single day."
"Got into a car accident and had to stay with my mom for a couple days to figure out what to do. Went back to my apartment (I had two roommates) and everything was missing from my room. Long story short one of my roommates had everything hidden in her room."
"I called and told her the things were missing from my room and she came up with a lie that a couple girls came to look at my room (I was moving out bc of the accident, long story) and that they must have taken my things. She had everything I owned. Including my grandmothers perfume bottles, stuffed to the back of her closet, under her bed, behind her dresser etc."
"So I packed all of my stuff up. Then took a giant black garbage bag and stuffed as much of her closet in it as I could. Took it to the middle of nowhere, dug a hole and burnt it. She called screaming at me that her stuff was missing. I told her the two girls must have come by and taken her stuff too."
"I hit my uncle left right and center when he was trying to choke my father to death. I was 16 years old at that time, a very skinny girl. I beat his face neck and every part of him that I could target with so much intensity that my knuckles turned blue the next day. I had an animalistic rage that day trying to help my father get away from his death grip. I hate my uncle even today."
"I got anger issues because of growing up around him. And I don't regret beating him that day at all. He was physically abusive to his wife as well. One fine day, his wife retaliated by beating him blue with a stick. And he stopped being physically violent towards her post that."
"A neighbor like 10 years ago was neglecting their dog badly in the heat. The dog escaped often and ended up at the shelter a lot. One day she jumped the fence and got her tie-out cable stuck on the fence. (She was not in danger of choking.) Neighbor put her on a 3-foot-long cable tied to a doorknob, no water, 90 degree day. I let some kind folks steal her, watched the whole thing and said nothing to stop them."
"When my father was dying and in pain I was the one who told the doctors he had been through enough and we couldn't see him suffer anymore. Doctor injected him with something, I assume a morphine mega dose and he passed peacefully moments after. Euthanasia may not be legal in UK but compassionate doctors know what's what. I don't regret it because my pa made me promise I would have his back when he got sick or old. I'm sad he got sick and never got to get old."
That is a lot of mess. But sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
"One of my ex best friends in high school was a real narcissistic lunatic. Had so many egotistical fantasies about what he deserved but I remained his friend because we met through my close friend (his girlfriend). As I started realizing what a terrible person he was I convinced him to go after his fantasy of a harem by asking to add a 3rd to their relationship, that led to a fight between his gf."
"I called her about it and asked how she felt about him adding someone to their relationship and about him sleeping with her. She said she knew nothing about that and started crying because he cheated on her. I basically helped orchestrate their breakup and have no regrets. She is happy with her first child now and he is in a toxic af relationship with 3 kids, 2 of which aren't his and his partner is 8 years older than him."
"Had to make the choice to take my dad off of life support after he got Covid this year. He was sedated for a couple of weeks and one of his lungs collapsed and I couldn't watch him fall apart anymore. My dad was a bulky dude. Constantly did a lot of outdoor work and to see him bone skinny and have no muscle left killed me and I knew even if he somehow got through it, he would have been so miserable and depressed in that state he was in. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right thing to do by him. I’ll never not miss him though. That was my buddy."
"Turned a close friend into the fish and game. He would poach mountain lions and bears. His whole family would literally shoot them and leave them. He would brag about it. I couldn’t stand it and felt that I needed to stop him. He’s in prison and so is his uncle. I know I ruined his life but he was literally killing so many mountain lions and bears."
"In middle school, there was this group of boys that would corner me in the hallway and try to scare me. I was the perfect target for these little b**tards. I was short, skinny, and had (and still have) and anxiety disorder. One day I just had enough, and asked a friend if I could have an extra pencil, sharpened it as much as I could, and when I saw one of them in the hallway, I stabbed the hell out of his leg. Sh**head got what he deserved."
Wow... we really are a dark and secretive people.