What It’s Like to Live with Schizophrenia

What It's Like to Live with Schizophrenia

What It's Like to Live with Schizophrenia

When it comes to medicine, we’re extremely bad at ignoring the mentally ill. We focus on what we understand or can visualise. We can understand a man with brittle bones being confined in a wheelchair, because we can picture the bones and we can see the chair. We understand bronchitis because we can imagine infection in the lungs. We understand… You get the picture.

But we can’t understand mental illness because we can’t see it. A mentally ill brain looks exactly like a regular brain and that’s what scares us about the mentally disabled. So we try to forget them, ignore them, or even lock them up out of sight if we can.

This video is a kick in the face to our misconceptions, forcing us to imagine just for a few minutes what life is like for a schizophrenia sufferer. While schizophrenia usually turns up in young adults with a family history of mental health problems, it can strike any person at any time. Extreme stress is a possible trigger, with a UK man named Sean Hodgson famously developing schizophrenia after he was wrongly jailed for raping and murdering a woman. Hodgson spent 27 years in prison before DNA proved his innocence.

Schizophrenia is a breakdown of normal thought. A schizophrenia sufferer typically hears voices, which sound not as if they are in their head, but as if they are standing nearby. A paranoid belief the world is out to get the sufferer is also common, as is seeing things that aren’t there, such as the TV talking to you. All of these are simulated in the video.

Thinking is also usually interrupted or disorganised, and in extreme cases even speech can be completely broken up to the point of being utterly impossible to understand. Untreated schizophrenia is a living hell.

Thankfully schizophrenia can be treated with various drugs, but these are too expensive for regular people where healthcare is not free, or countries with poor economies. For the rest of the sufferers, provided you take your medicine you should be okay. As this video shows, though, one missed dose can spell a whole whack of trouble.

Anybody who claims not to know anybody with mental illness is talking shit. We all do. Mental health problems are very common. People hide illnesses away because we shun them, and we shun them because we do not understand them. Watch this simulation of schizophrenia and remember it next time you hear about the mentally ill.

Author: Roamer

I'm just a regular, boring person on the Internet.

87 thoughts on “What It’s Like to Live with Schizophrenia”

    1. Wow. I really dont see too many schizophrenics posting on this article. All I see are some people below asking for first hand experiences. Well let me bring mine to the table here.

      Voices can range from what you hear in the video to crowds of people. I’ve even heard pigs screaming and squealing. They arent always accusatory, mine are fucking inane and dont make sense. Here’s a transcript of them: “I cant feel my legs limades RC scads elbow in mine”
      I cant watch tv or youtube because the voices start talking to me or they get inside my head and take over my thoughts. (like my head becomes a tv)
      I will spend hours upon hours a day pacing around thinking I’m doing something when I’m really not. I’m not the paranoid type, so at least I dont think anyone’s after me (except cops, but who isnt scared of them really) I just constantly have what’s in my mind dropped. Like there’s nothing inside my head, and I rock back and forth and grab my head because I cant find what I lost. Then I sit there and laugh because there’s nothing there. Sometimes I’ll get up and just wander the streets, which isnt the wisest thing, but who gives a shit.
      I cant read a book because text wavers and fluctuates and there are too many voices in my head throwing me off. (imagine trying to read while someone yells something inane.)
      I have two different kinds of hallucinations.. One where I’m literally awake but “dreaming”, and one where I see the damned thing wandering in reality.
      The former is more like an acid trip hallucination, except you know that reality is behind it, and sometimes you wake up before falling back asleep into your “dream”. The latter is more like seeing things that arent there. Like cats. Lots of cats. Or holes in reality, or shifts in reality. For about 5 months I thought I was in a parallel universe where everyone and everything I knew had been replaced with something else.

      times are interesting, my friend. I know a lot of peeps find this shit horrifying, but to me it’s pretty everyday. Sometimes I’m terrified and scared, but most of the time I’m completely unaware of anything and am just in my own head.

  1. @Roamer, thank you for that. I had a really good friend who had a loved one that suffered from Schizophrenia. I never knew it was that intense. Poor people! I could see how not taking meds could cause severe consequences. I’d go crazy if i had that many voices talking to me at once! The 3 i already have are hard to deal with as it is!

    1. I have schitzophrenia… I now live far away from our largest city of sydney. Iscolated away from large populations of people. They say iscolation is bad for us… But in my case. It is not.. Im surrounded by beautifal wildlife. In a place thats hard to come by in a modern world (i dont feel like hacking up a shopping centre anymore) sometimes a change away from the norm really does miracles. Im away from drugs. Sluts. Thugs. And your typical bullshit involved with city living that can push one over the edge… Id recomend a sea change for anyone who has schitzophrenia…. And even though im away from civillisation. Im NEVER alone. The voices are always there. I take my meds and am mostly ok. If i get bored. I switch on the internet until i get the shits (roughly 15 minutes) and i simply turn the internet off and go back to my creative outlets…. Life isnt all “doom and gloom” for people like me.

      1. I’ve noticed that too. I used to love smoking weed, wouldn’t go a day without it for 10 years. But after 7-8 years I started to get sketchy. I’d get paranoid and my thoughts definitely weren’t anything like they used to be. I haven’t been the same since, even after not smoking anything for 3 years. I definitely think I’ve got some sort of mild schizophrenia or psychosis from it.

        1. I’ve been smoking weed for around 12 years now and truly believe it’s the only thing that keeps me “sane”. With all the pharmaceuticals I was on years ago I was getting worse. I was just a test subject for the latest “cure” and they sure as shit don’t care about side effects. All I needed was a little escape at the end of my day to help me forget about the outside world. Some people just weren’t cut out for this world and if a little self-medication gets them through their day, so be it.

    1. Belive it or not when I started using herion I just stopped smoking pot…I didn’t even think about it just happend. I guess when your shooting coke and herion pot doesn’t really cut it anymore, also you have to make a choice either you spend your cash on a dime of pot or a dime of H so you don’t get dope sick. Now that I’m clean off H and coke I haven’t really thought about going back on pot. I still drink and I still smoke ciggs but pot hasn’t really gotten my attention back and that’s because I use to sleep next to a damn bong right by my bed, I would wake and bake every day and stay stoned all day.

      1. @headshot- When the lady showed up, i thought for sure she was getting wacked! I was kinda disappointed when she didn’t! Lol

        Some people that stop taking their meds, flip the fuck out! My friends Aunt out of no where attacked my car with a metal garbage can lid, and the next thing i know, i was chasing her on foot down some dark ass street in Oakland in the middle of the night. She was crack-high, she flew up a tree and they had to arrest her on a 5150. Thank God she went to a psychiatric hospital on a mandatory hold, because if i would’ve caught her, i would have also caught an assault charge!

  2. No voices here, but I do have to count the number of times my turn signal clicks when I’m waiting at a red light if I want to avoid getting into an accident, I can’t turn off the TV until whomever is talking pauses between sentences if I don’t want anything bad to happen to me, and I NEVER listen to music for recreation because songs get stuck in my head for weeks at a time. I once drove from Chicago to North Carolina and back without ever turning on the radio even once.


        1. Nothing wrong with that @green, as long as it’s an even number of bones at right angles from the victim’s graves……unless they were killed with a broken mirror. Wait….you mean metaphorical skeletons or…..nevermind.

  3. I’m also diagnosed with schizophrenia, but a different type, i just can’t think straight, everything is like a freaking salad, you can’t focus in a same thing at a time, your brain starts processing everything it can grasp from your surroundings, it produces a split personality, not dual or multiple personalities, you read right, a fucking split personality, it feels as if you’re never complete, sometimes a part may take over for years or maybe just a few minutes, i lived with a chronic depression for almost 2 years, along with a serious suicide attempt and some lesser ones

    1. @BB, we’re all crazy in our own way. You just have to learn how to be a responsible weirdo. I for one would not want to be “normal”. Most mental illnesses are total bullshit anyway, just made up to create a market for some new mood stabilizer that 1 out of 3 people now need. If anything, these new drugs fuck people’s heads up more than having nothing at all. I was on all sorts of antidepressants and antipsychotics and hated it, so I quit. Haven’t taken that shit in over 10 years and although I’m nowhere near perfect, I’m much better off than I was.

    2. I think everyone has some extent of a mental illness. There is no such thing as normal. Everybody’s brain works differently. Nobody can cruise through life feeling content every signle moment. If you do, then you’ve got another problem..

  4. Hello, this is my first post. I’ve been following this site for some time now.
    I seen this video a couple of weeks ago after doing a schizophrenia simulation in one of my classes. Why is it people who have physical conditions get sympathy and a person with a mental illness gets shunned and told to lighten up? The stigma toward mental illness is just ridiculous.

  5. I have Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple personalities) I’m almost always in constant conversation with my other personalities, it doesn’t help when one of my personalities is completely insane and hell bent on causing death and misery everywhere, purely for pleasure, but I manage to keep him under control 😀

      1. The insane decided to call himself Rick. He’s the dangerous one, quite hard to control when let loose, but it’s very rare I’m no totally sure why, my other personalities seem more like extensions of my emotions. I also have another personality which seems to like walking places. His name is Barry. I once found myself in Germany in a hotel room accompanied by 3 other people. 😛

  6. “The tragedy of life that Searles is referring to is the one we have been discussing: man’s finitude, his dread of death and of the over?whelmingness of life. The schizophrenic feels these more than any?one else because he has not been able to build the confident defenses that a person normally uses to deny them. The schizo?phrenic’s misfortune is that he has been burdened with extra anxieties, extra guilt, extra helplessness, an even more unpredictable and unsupportive environment. He is not surely seated in his body, has no secure base from which to negotiate a defiance of and a denial of the real nature of the world. The parents have made him massively inept as an organism. He has to contrive extra-ingenious and extra-desperate ways of living in the world that will keep him from being torn apart by experience, since he is already almost apart. We see again confirmed the point of view that a person’s character is a defense against despair, an attempt to avoid insanity because of the real nature of the world. Searles looks at schizo?phrenia precisely as the result of the inability to shut out terror, as a desperate style of living with terror. Frankly I don’t know any?thing more cogent that needs to be said about this syndrome: it is a failure in humanization, which means a failure to confidently deny man’s real situation on this planet. Schizophrenia is the limiting test case for the theory of character and reality that we have been ex?pounding here: the failure to build dependable character defenses allows the true nature of reality to appear to man. It is scientifically apodictic. The creativity of people on the schizophrenic end of the human continuum is a creativity that springs from the inability to accept the standardized cultural denials of the real nature of ex?perience. And the price of this kind of almost “extra human” crea?tivity is to live on the brink of madness, as men have long known. The schizophrenic is supremely creative in an almost extra-human sense because he is furthest from the animal: he lacks the secure instinctive programming of lower organisms; and he lacks the secure cultural programming of average men. No wonder he appears to average men as “crazy”: he is not in anything’s world.” – My Lightbulb

  7. I personally think that these disorders are ALWAYS brought on by physical/sexual abuse. The symptoms don’t always appear right away. But I believe there’s a root in that shit. I’ve watched and observed a lot of people in my short time on earth and I think those who are mentally ill are always victims of trauma or abuse:(

  8. I was diagnosed with “undifferentiated Schizophrenia” then it changed to “paranoid Schizophrenia” at the age of 18. The voices I used to hear were more like mumbling whispers. I have no idea why but I used to see this guy in gray pants wearing a black shirt with curly black hair are ALWAYS taunting me to fight. Anyway that’s what I remember. I found the medication more hell than the illness when I was younger……things have changed and medication has gotten a lot better. When I was 18 I was a promising tool and die maker……then I became ill….just like that. I’m now 33 and symptom free. Thank you for posting this(:

  9. Humans are definitely strange. Some are committed for hearing voices and what-not. While others openly appear, (some with the entire family), at designated areas, to pray to, and ask for answers involving life. Whether a cross or pentagram a wall or what-ever they want to be spoken to and guided by an unknown entity and for the most part these strange worshipping types are quick to put away the ones that seem to be hearing/seeing things. What a mess.

  10. Man I dont know about anyone else but if you believe it or not I dont care, my old house was huanted or cursed but i’ll explain why but either way some wierd shit used to happen to me when ever I would wake up at night I could never get sleep without waking up at night I would sleep at the top bunk and my brother on the bottom bunk, when I would wake up I would feel breathing behind my neck and a slight faint muffeld giggle everytime, this would happen when I was fully aware that I was really awake but In my sleep I would have this re-accuring dream I wouldnt feel scared but it felt mellow and calm, there would be this white guy who would be yelling at his daughter then he would get an over sized metal bucket and as soon as he would put it over her It would be like the scene just changed and I would be in there with her but it would be unrealisticly spacious in there, then I would see her look at me she was so beautiful and the first time I felt a connection with her like im talking about some love type of shit but let me remind you I was young at the time she look like she was 12-14 somewere around that age and when I picture her in my mind I still feel that love for her ( now im no pervert or petifile or child molester fuck that shit i’ll shank the shit out of someone if I found out he was any of those ) but its wierd becuase she would stretch out her hand for me to grab and I would grab it all the time then I would her the dad yell out some words then I would her a diesel engine assuming its a truck and then the bucket that we would be in would crumble and everything would go black and sighlent and I would feel so bad for her that I would pray for her to be protected by jesus even though I havent the slightest clue of whatever her name was, then one night after the same dream when I woke up I didnt feel the breathing but instead something in my mind told me to look down my feet towards my closet and then I heard the girls voice in my head telling me “not grab hand” and then again but alittle different “not to grab hand”, but I felt a little uneasy about the closet and then something poked out it scared the shit out of me, I couldnt even call out to my brother who slept under me on the bottom bunk, but that thing was slightly illuminating red and white almost like a candy cane, it started to slowley unravel towards me and thats when I realized this thing is still in the closet but that was its arm coming towards me it got really close when it finished unraveling and it had a white glove it was just hanging there I got the impression that it wanted me to hold its hand it even jesterd for me to grad it but I didnt grab it I didnt want to because It looked so evil, but when I looked away from it I started to hear her voice again telling me not to grab the hand, I dont remeber how long it took but it went away and I never seen it again I also stopped haven the dreams with the girl after that incedint. Like I said Believe me or dont but this was some real shit. what really trips me out is that it could have been a curse because my mom is from Mexico and she grew up in Zacatecas in a little village known as milipias de la sierra and when she was young there was a priest who was accused of molesting children the whole town gatherd up and killed him Im not sure how because my mom didnt go into details with that part, but while he was dying my mom said that he yeld out for the whole town including everyones children there children to be cursed, ever since then alot of wierd shit started happening around the village I dont know if you can find stories around the internet but if your lucky or unlucky like me and have family from mexico especially from zacatecas or from or around that village then they can tell you the stories or even there personal encounters.

    1. hi there,

      i don’t believe in the stereotype-supernatural stuff. we see these kind of things on tv and process it in our dreams.
      what you’re describing is something i experience almost every night.
      i dream a lot and remember nearly everything. sometimes i even manage creating my own dream (lucid dream).
      with my intense dreaming come hallucinations. i’m awake and see things in my room that scare the shit out of me every time. only when i turn the light on my consciousness jumps back to normal.
      but it’s ok as long as i have my crazy lucid dreams ^___^

    2. @Diego510- I totally believe in the supernatural! I’ve had some freaky ass scary shit happen to me! Up until it did, i was skeptical- but I’ll never question it again! I think the reason the shit fucked with me, was because i had been hanging around some people involved with Santeria aka- voodoo to some people. After we finally figured out what was going on (it felt like i was in a personal fight with something inside me for power over me), we were able to fix it. I haven’t had any issues since and it was a relief because i felt like i was going crazy! I sometimes wonder if any of these “crazy” people locked up in institutions or walking around punching at the air- are they just possibly possessed?! Sometimes i think a cleansing or a freaking good exorcism could cure the problem!

      That night that i almost ran my car off a freeway overpass, with friends in the car- a friend took me to someone that he knew could help. I vividly remember whatever the fuck it was, telling me exactly what to do! I was shaking and crying and trying to fight it, but it was hard and getting stronger! I was able to pull over from the last lane of a raised freeway structure. I remember them talking about “do you she’ll that?!” a sulfur smell- which i didn’t smell. Because one of the friends was the Son of one of the people that was involved in the religion, i could see the fear in his eyes! Like real fucking fear! So he took me straight to his Mom! They immediately started saying verses and doing things that i didn’t understand which were in Spanish (i don’t speak Spanish) I remember my fingers cringed up and it hurt like fucking hell, but within a few seconds, i felt a release, like something was lifted out of me! I remember them saying i was going to get realllllllllly tired but there was no way in hell that i was going to sleep after that! About 10 mins later, i couldn’t even walk!! I was carried up two flights of stairs and sleep for about 12 hours straight! The next day i was told that i have the ability to channel spirits and that because the people i was living with were having issues with some other Santaria people, i guess they sent bad shit towards our house. So according to them, i was an open shell for the shit that was wandering around. I was having vivid dreams and could smell the smells of cigarettes and oil and i would get visions of an older man in an army uniform. I could tell he was older, i could feel his stubble and his hostility. I knew he was not a good person, but i never saw his actual face. I could go on andon but the point is that as skeptical as i was, there’s no question now! I love scary shit and i jump at the opportunity to go places that are haunted, etc, but in the back of my mind- I’m terrified of “letting something in”! I never wanted to learn about channeling because I’m too afraid of opening that door and not being able to get rid of the shit!

      Anyhow, i really just wonder how many people have had shit sneak into them and have no clue and that’s why they get diagnosed with certain illnesses. Idk, it could be!

      The candy cane thing you described sounded scary as fuck btw!

  11. If I was this mother fucker I’d be like, “Why do you two mother fuckers ask me to do everything?” and “If I’m so useless then why do you cocksuckers even bother with me?” These schizos need to either get some fuckin self-esteem or quit thinking anyone actually gives a fuck about them.

  12. Ok, What disorder do I have if sometimes at night I am awaken because I hear myself screaming at the top of my lungs? The screaming is mental, as my dog is still sleeping, when i clearly hear screaming. Also I hear voices that are more of a whisper, I cant really make out what they say.

  13. My heart goes out to people who suffer from these types of mental diseases. But the truth and reality of it must be said and that is, don’t date or have personal relationships with these people. I know it sounds harsh but, life will eventually be a living hell with a person who suffers from these issues. Sure you may love the person deeply and have many good times with them. But over time, their systems build-up a tolerance to medications they’re on and eventually lead to stronger medications,which only have more stranger and dangerous side effects. A life with such a person will be a living hell and god for bid-if there’s children involved. The future does not look bright for these souls. Also, I believe a lot of these cases is due to demonic possession(s). I believe the best thing to do when you meet a person of interest-is to ask them,are they on any medications. If they are and you find out it’s for mental issues….be polite and excuse yourself from their presents. There’s just too much heartache. Life will be long,hard,miserable and costly.

  14. Hearing voices and hallucinating is nothing new to me. Even nowadays I occasionally have a voice inside of my head telling me all kinds of stuff. I’ve had blackouts and found myself standing outside far away from home with no memory of how I got there or what I was doing there. I send my wishes of a life without such mental illness to all who suffer from this.

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