Opening a book entitled Psychos on a Saturday evening in the bargain section of a local bookstore, I came across the rantings of an author that symbolizes the hatred and stigma that people with schizophrenia often face. The defining characteristic of the psychotic, according to this New York Times bestselling author, is a “lack of empathy” followed by deranged criminal behavior. This fundamental and obvious flaw into the nature of the psychotic is still perpetuated to the public, by authors with an abundance of both influence and ignorance. Keep reading
Schizophrenia is an illness that causes intense pain and distress for its victims. In our suffering, we can seek solace and relief in ways that can worsen our symptoms. Some of us will turn towards drugs and alcohol in a desperate attempt to dull our pain. I, myself, was one of those individuals. Initially, I used alcohol as a way to cope with the pain that I experienced due to my schizophrenia symptoms. This temporary relief came at a great cost, however. Inevitably my illness worsened and my path towards recovery became more difficult. Keep reading
Schizophrenia is a disease that affects our perception in ways that are unimaginable to most. Deep within the schizophrenic mind are a plethora of villains that haunt us our every waking hour. At one time I believed that these villains physically existed and would bring about my inevitable, torturous death. They stalked me, haunted me, and watched my every move all the time. They knew my thoughts, actions, whereabouts, and movements. They could manipulate my emotions and thoughts at will. I could even sometimes hear them. They would speak to me in angry, torturous ways.
In this article, I will introduce you to several of these villains. Some of them are human while others are not. Though none of them exist, all of them were capable of inflicting indescribable pain upon me. These are the villains of schizophrenia.
Within the psychotic mind lies a mysterious place filled with voices and shadowy figures. Therein lies persecution and horror of otherworldly origin. What is it that brings this terror to us? Schizophrenia is a disease that is toxic to our minds, and brings on unusual beliefs and behaviors. An extension of these beliefs are dark, eerie voices from unseen places. These voices come from various origins and seem to have a conscious of their own. How is it that our minds can hear voices from nothingness? Is this a cruel trick of nature? How can a disease be so bizarre and menacing? The voices can unfold in different ways. For me, the beliefs and voices are one and the same. They mesh together to create a woven pattern of unreality, both tortuous and unseen. Keep reading
A New Dawn for Schizophrenia
Slipping through the cracks of the mental health system is all to easy for people who suffer from schizophrenia. Some of us wander the streets homeless. Others, end up in shelters and community homes. Though this is a common scenario today, in the future it will be less so. As bleak as the present may seem for many people, there will be a time when people with schizophrenia will defy the stereotypes that are associated with our illness. The reasons for this are as follows: Keep reading
Having schizophrenia means that I am a bit more paranoid than your average person. The antipsychotics I take may have helped quell most of my symptoms, but they have not eliminated them. I am not “cured” of my schizophrenia, despite what some people believe. The paranoia that stems from my illness is still strongly ingrained within my subconscious mind. It is just better controlled.
I do not hear voices, believe that I am Jesus or that cockroaches are underneath my skin. I do not wander the streets thinking that I have special powers, like talking to animals or telepathy. I do not suffer as greatly as I once did, but that does not mean that I am cured. I am a “functional” schizophrenic as I am able to work, have relationships and take care of myself with some difficulty, but that does not mean that I do not have issues. Keep reading
On National Public Radio (NPR) today, I heard an array of psychiatrists and parents speak about the mental health system, and how to better protect the public from the criminal behavior of those with severe mental illness. The argument was that society needs protection from us, so that the tragedies and shootings that have occurred over the past decade can be prevented. They spoke of gun control, forced hospitalization and increased access to care. Many of these points are valid, and yet their entire perspective on mental illness is heavily flawed. Keep reading
A common theme amongst people with schizophrenia is that our thoughts are being manipulated by unseen forces. We often find ourselves obsessed with the idea that our thoughts are being erased, inserted and manipulated. Psychiatrists consider these delusions particularly bizarre and to have no basis in reality. I would argue otherwise. Keep reading
Thought manipulation and alien persecution are common themes in delusions associated with schizophrenia. I wrote this poem several months after I was off my schizophrenia medication and believed that celestial beings were controlling my thoughts. In essence, these other worldly entities were the puppeteers of my ideas and actions, and I was their marionette. It was a truly terrorizing experience that many people with schizophrenia endure. Keep reading