Experiencing and Accepting Schizophrenia

April 25, 2012 Dan Hoeweler

Accepting schizophrenia is difficult for many patients but necessary to recovery. There is no shame in schizophrenia, despite the stigma and stereotypes.

Schizophrenia, as horrifying as it may be, gave me a glimpse into alternate realities and showed me another world that defies and transcends the physical world in which we live. Before contracting the illness, I considered myself to be a man of science, rationality, and skepticism. My training and education within the sciences demanded it. It was during these studies that I became entrapped in my first psychotic fantasy.

It was here that I took my first look into the forbidden world of psychosis. The impossible now became possible and the highly questionable became undeniable. I had incredible importance now in this world of impossibility, unlike the one in which I lived. I was no longer an observer of the world, but a creator. The only problem was that I was unable to control my creations. My mind created CIA agents, thought manipulating aliens and a host of demons. Creations that had no scientific explanation.

Accepting Schizophrenia

As a sufferer, I sometimes think of psychosis as glimpsing into a parallel dimension; that there is somehow a place that intersects our world and that I am among the 1% that can see it. That all those demons I saw indeed did exist. This falsehood seems less degrading than believing that the world I experienced was nothing more than an extension of an illness.

Accepting a mental illness as severe as schizophrenia is sometimes difficult, for myself and many others. The delusions and hallucinations within are alluring and all consuming. The stigma and poverty associated with it can be severe, and escape from reality can seem like a way out.

Acceptance, however, is the first step to recovery. Realizing that your very mind has turned against you is likely the only way you will ever be able to recover from this often devastating illness. With acceptance, you can choose treatment for schizophrenia, therapy designed for schizophrenia and lifestyle changes that can improve the quality of your life.

Schizophrenia is not something you need to be proud of, but neither is it something you should be ashamed of. For reasons unknown to us, we have been given this burden to carry throughout our lives. Accepting this burden is one of the few ways you will ever be able to fight it. By taking this first step you may find yourself on the journey to becoming a better person.

APA Reference
Hoeweler, D. (2012, April 25). Experiencing and Accepting Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Dan Hoeweler

June, 25 2012 at 6:33 am

I am once again trying to compel him to go in for medicine and get the help he needs. I do not want to see him end up in jail again. He also talks of suicide. When he tells me the thougths about suicide he usually finds them very funny. He has anger issues from his childhood because of my EXhusband molested him. He thought for a long time that my ex was in his head and could shapeshift. Two of my kids thougth that. Myself I have had some real fears about my ex also. He used fear tactics and manipulation over me throughout our whole relationship. I know my son has anger though he says he does not. He just recently went to visit my ex so that he could prove to himself that he is now a man and not a child. he wanted to stand up to his fears. He is a brilliant man, so very loving and compassionate to a fault. He will help anyone and at times puts himself in dangerous situations without realizing it. Or sometimes he becommes very angyry . I pray for him and have many people praying for him. My deepest desire is to see him get stable and be able to live a peaceful abundant life. How can I get him to realize he needs help again. is there anything you can suggest that I can say to him to cnvince him to get the help he needs beforte the police get involved?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
June, 25 2012 at 7:03 am

Sorry for the late reply, I am in the middle of an episode. It is hard to control your behavior without the medication and treatment I think. I've definitely been doing enough damage to myself the last 4 weeks, and am going through medicine changes. I know many people with thought disorders end up in the court system, which is very unfortunate because I consider it more of a medical problem personally. I wish I could say more but I can hardly read right now or concentrate. I do wish your son the best.

June, 25 2012 at 6:23 am

I have a son who is 32 years old, he has struggled with schizophrenia for the last 15 or so years. He has been in and out of prison several times. He gets on medicine and seems fine for a while. He managed to get his GED in prison and then when he got out he went to college to become a machinist. He got a job doing machining but it only lasted about a year. He just quit the job recently and is on the downside of yet another episode. When he gets this way he loses everything he has and becomes homeless. He sits around laughing this really weird laugh all the time and it is almost impossible to hold a conversation with him. In the past he had a really bad reaction to acid. when he was bearly a teenager someone slipped him several hits of acid and he went on a trip that nearly killed. He was so sick, he layed on my lap and every few seconds he would screa help me help me and he kept breaking out in horrible sweats. He wanted all the doors and windows locked because he said they were right outside and they were trying
to come in and get him. It was a very terrigying experience. He has nver benn the same.

May, 11 2012 at 11:14 am

Dear Dan and Samantha,
I read what Samantha wrote to Dan about the metaphysical aspects of psychosis and have strong feelings about this subject. I have been schizophrenic since 2005 and am currently on medication and am stable and in Ordinary Reality. I have written about my experiences for several years now, and have always viewed my psychosis as a trip into the ethers. I have the fortune of having had studied shamanism before I became schizophrenic and was already familiar with traveling into alternate realities. I do shamanic journeying now that I am sane, but it is no where near as colorful as the psychosis that I endured. I have never perceived myself as being ill from my experiences, but rather that I have been a traveler in consciousness. I did experience what I consider to be the realms of both Heaven and Hell. I went through excruciating pain at times and was in contact with many spirits that some would consider to be demonic. I was told by the spirits that I was on the astral plane. I have tried to find information about the astral plane, and have not had a lot of luck, so far, but there are gurus and other metaphysical teachers that have information about that realm. I met all kinds of beings there, some that were deceased, the astral bodies of humans that were alive, aliens from other planets, etc. I feel that I have traveled the Universe by being schizophrenic and I value my life very much, though I have chosen a very challenging path. I have written many poems and prose about my experiences and want to share them with others.
There is a shamanic magazine out of the UK called "Sacred Hoop" that has an article about schizophrenics being healers and mediums. A doctor named Malidoma Some from a West African village took one schizophrenic man back to his tribe where he was taught to help the healers. It is an uplifting article and worth reading online.
In closing, I will say that I read in one of my shamanic books that when some shamanic initiates returned from a vision quest, they received a name from the spirit world and had learned a secret language. This is true of what happened to me during psychosis. I was given a Pleiadian name and spoke a secret language with the spirits. I was told that I was a star from Pleiades... and since then I have read that some Native American tribes have known that they are from the Pleiades star cluster as well. Perhaps this sounds kooky to the Western mind, but there are plenty of tribal peoples around the world for whom this is the norm. It has helped me greatly to align myself with the shamanic view of the world.
I have always been curious about what other schizophrenics have experienced, and have thought of interviewing people to learn about them. I do appreciate you both sharing. Thanks for providing this forum, Dan.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
May, 18 2012 at 10:46 pm

It is interesting that people tend to have similar delusions and beliefs. This has always confused me to some degree, and I wish I could find an answer to this. In many ways you are right, that Schizophrenia is a journey through the consciousness. It definitely takes peoppple to strange places. Sometimes people write to me saying that they have had similar beliefs as myself. In fact I received one response this week, about how someone has had ideas of thought insertion and deletion. and that they were very similar to my experiences. Very interesting.

April, 29 2012 at 3:48 pm

My son is 39yrs old, he has been in a psychiatric hospital for 6 yrs...he cant differentiate between what is real and what is you think there is any chance that the insight will come to him as it came to you...did you always have insigt? Or did it come after you had been diagnosed for a long time? do you have any advice for someone like my son.....he was able to graduate college, become a stock broker and then it all fell apart for the last 10 yrs.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
May, 6 2012 at 11:59 am

I think there is no "magic bullet" for this illness, and the solutions are somewhat unique for every individual so this is a hard question to answer. I know I've personally never been able to fight off the illness without the help of medication and science, but there are other things I do to help control it also (lifestyle changes, etc). When I become ill, I do completely lack insight into the illness itself, which can be very dangerous. This is why I try to keep ahead of it, and never let it degrade into those stages if I can. I wish your son the best.

April, 27 2012 at 6:38 am

Daughter has been 5150'd twice now and always talks her way out of treatment.
She will not accept her mind plays tricks on her and refuses not only medication but appts with brain docs.
Prayer for all is appreciated

samantha roby
April, 26 2012 at 1:10 pm

Question for Dan.
I have often very often in fact have pondered the delusions one experiences in mental illness as being real; how real? Can people experience different realities? Well yes, are they real? I think life is subjective and what one experiences is just as real as anyone elses experiences. For example some cultures treat people who have a 'mental' illness as a gift, these people would become the medicine men or women and would be the ones the tribe would go to for insight or guidance.
My question is in your experience can psychosis have positive benefits. Instead of seeing or feeling the evil of the world can you see and experience realities which are positive?
For myself i am bipolar and for most of my life have seen things and experienced things good and not so good. I dont tell my doc i see things because when i have reached out to others i have been uplifted in believing i had psychic experiences. For the last three years trying to deal with my illness as a problem has only left me feeling less than and feeling extremely indecisive. When before i was very self confident, my intuition and insight i followed and had success with.
I think perhaps we may have greater insight than someone with a normal brain and we can use that, but at the same time we need help being grounded in reality.
Would you say that now that you have had episodes of psychosis and seen other realities do you feel more; i dont know the word, expanded? Wiser?
Thank you Dan,

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
April, 26 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hello Samantha,
Yes, indeed in some ways I have viewed psychosis as being an almost religious-like experience, in that you are experiencing something that cannot be easily scientifically explained. I have read about theories explaining mental illness as more of a "viewpoint, or perspective", and though there is possibly some truth to this, when I experience psychosis it feels more like being possessed. This is because I seemingly have no control over my perspectives of the world under it's spell, which can be very terrifying.
It is a very fascinating illness, in that the mechanics and symptoms of it can be very complex and hard to understand from an outside perspective. I often watch movies that try to explain and simulate the experience, to varying degrees of success. Right now I am watching Darron Aronovsky's "Pie":)
Whatever anyones personal opinion and viewpoint on thought disorders, it is unquestionably very painful to experience it, which is why I choose to control it with medication. I have never really written about the metaphysical aspects of psychosis in my articles, but that would be a good topic. Thank you for this question.

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