Many people who are interested in schizophrenia want to read first-person and third-person schizophrenia stories. It’s just part of the curiosity and intrigue of gaining insight into someone else’s experiences. If a person isn’t schizophrenic then it becomes easily understandable why they would want to read these stories, as they can seem very fantastical. But the benefit is also present for schizophrenics to realize that they are not alone, that there are others who are living with similar circumstances and realities.
Schizophrenia comes with a wide range of symptoms, depending on the individual and the type of schizophrenia they are dealing with. It should be surprising, then, to find a wide range of stories available with which to entertain, empathize, and educate. Many like us have bravely shared their personal, internal world for the sake of benefiting others. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t desire privacy as well. For this reason, there will be no real names attached in order to protect these kind individuals. Let’s start with a tame story that you would expect to hear before digging deeper into more interesting and peculiar ideas.
The Typical Schizophrenia Story
This person, who we shall name Bob, had a childhood to which many of us can relate. His father was an emotionally absent, psychologically oppressive, and an active alcoholic. This lent to a very turbulent home environment which caused much anxiety and anger. Walking on egg-shells was the norm and everyone lashed out at one another for the tiniest things because they couldn’t confront the true source of the problem.
As life continued through elementary, middle, and high school, Bob was exposed to sexual abuse, violence towards himself and others, the mistreatment of animals, and more. These are not as uncommon as one may expect, but to experience all of these in combination was not conducive to generating a healthy psyche. The anxiety, obsessive compulsive tendencies, and depression were in full force in Bob by the time he was a teenager.
Bob felt compelled to be top of his class by his own anxious drive, but also in fear of failure for what may happen at home. Ultimately, he graduated with honors and left home to attend college. This freedom from being forced to attend four worship services a week and perform 24 hours worth of yard work per weekend allowed time for his own spiritual pursuits and exploration. This “push-back” of sorts led to experimentation with psychedelics that exposed the latent schizophrenia hidden just beneath the surface.
In what could be considered an acute psychotic break, Bob experienced depersonalization, derealization, panic attacks, and was officially diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder co-morbid with major depression. He was having delusions of reference, synchronicities, and psychic experiences as well. What Bob thought was hallucinogenic persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD) actually turned out to be the onset of schizophrenia, which became more obvious as paranoia set in as well.
Attempting to self-diagnose and self-treat the wrong illnesses turned out to be okay in this situation, because Bob spent a long time pursuing growth, spirituality, and meaning in his suffering. This experience ultimately led to him becoming a better functioning person in every possible avenue of life. But now that it is more clear what is going on, Bob is taking advantage of medication to prevent a relapse and has taken part in cognitive behavioral therapy to fix his “stinking thinking.” All is well with Bob now, as a fully recovered schizophrenic!
Angelic Languages and Celestial Music
This individual, hence forth called Jon, has an interesting schizophrenia story. But rather than tell the entirety of it, I will share a specific delusion that grew to some complexity. Jon is one of the nicest, tender-hearted people you could meet. But he struggled with some difficulty with visual hallucinations. He would witness his field of vision melt like wax, or have the constant appearance of a woman in the background, lingering and offering commentary. Time progressed and like most schizophrenics, Jon decided to explore this delusion and see where it would take him.
This woman, as it turns out, was no ordinary woman, but an angel. She was a celestial being from a realm of goodness and light who meant to slowly reveal a truth to Jon surrounding the constant struggle between good and evil. Why Jon was sensitive, receptive, and chosen to be the bearer of this information was unknown to him, but the awe of the experience out-shined the need to have all of the answers. This relationship with the angelic woman, who’s name I do not recall, continued for years.
After being a friend and supporter for Jon for over a year, he decided to show me a notebook that he had been using to record this transmission of information from the angel. Many of these concepts and names could not be expressed in any human language, so his first lesson was to learn how to speak/sign the angelic language and write the script. He spoke fluently in this language, which involved speaking in combination with hand signs. One syllable could mean an entirely different thing when spoken to different hand signs. It was elaborate and complex, enough to make you wonder. The hand-written script was also very foreign, but resembled characters found in many of the human languages on Earth. He claimed that all of our languages were derived from this primary language. He also was taking notes on the details of the coming apocalypse, the final clash between these forces of right and wrong.
This was not a harmful delusion. It did not interfere with Jon’s life, and he was not totally convinced of it’s veracity. He did enjoy entertaining the idea, though, because it was a great story and very intricate like the high fantasy novels of the great authors. He had angelic family trees, hierarchies, and even had transcribed the melodies of the angelic choruses. I’m thankful he shared this with me, for it is all very fascinating and I still think about it to this day.
In the same vein as Jon’s story, Alan and Chris both experienced delusions and hallucinations of spiritual significance, but instead of being visited by angels, they were plagued by demons.
Alan was raised in a Christian belief system and would hear demons threatening him and cursing the name of the lord. You could consider this a form of scrupulosity, I once witnessed Alan at a very critical moment at the peak of an episode of intense hallucination. The voices were threatening to harm him and became so frightening that he panicked and fled. But he was so out of it at the moment that he ran right into a door and knocked himself backwards onto the floor. He had also wet himself in fear. These hallucinations can be benign, but have the potential to be absolutely horrifying.
Chris was raised in a Islamic home and was a devout muslim. Chris would constantly twist his tongue upside down and then bite on it. His jaw was in constant motion as he did this inside of his mouth. I eventually asked him why it was he was doing that, assuming that it was an obsessive compulsive activity. He said that it was, but he was compelled to do it because it was the only thing that kept the Djinn (genie) that was crawling up the backside of his head and down his face at bay. It pushed it back down his neck, but it was constantly crawling back up. For those that don’t know, a djinn is a fire demon in the Islam faith.
Why these two gentlemen were harassed by demons rather than visited by angels, I do not know. Everyone’s experiences are vastly different, which makes these schizophrenia stories all the more interesting. Some people have fairly timid symptoms while others must seek help in everyday functioning, sometimes living in an assisted living center. Some recover fully, and some do not. The stories are as different and various as are the personalities and lives of each individual.
If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments.