What is it like to have schizophrenia?
It depends. In my case when I’m experiencing positive symptoms I feel like I’m the main protagonist of a good novel, a novel you should read without any critical thinking.
For instance, once, I woke up during the night, I couldn’t move, I was in the same position as the Christ on the cross and I was convinced that I was talking with God. I was experiencing a lot of sensations: warmth, cold, pleasure (A LOT, I’ve never lived such a thing again). I thought I was the first to discover the solution to the “riddle” created by God, Jesus Christ, and the holy spirit. And I was so pissed off because I was the fourth one to solve a riddle. The first one being God. The second one Jesus Christ. And the third one, women in general (the holy spirit). Then I asked God when I would be able to play with him and he told me we already did. Then I saw vivid memories of me playing poker with my father and my brother, or my brother and I playing Mario Kart. He told me also that I was very lucky to have my grandmothers who were very brave (both lost their husband). Then I asked him if we are alone in the universe and he told me that yes but that we’ll let everybody think the contrary. My life was suddenly more exciting (as you can imagine) but I asked him if I could also live the life of Harry Potter and Superman and he told me: of course everything you want, laughing. Finally I asked him if he existed and he told me that yes, no, yes, no… yes. And then I fell asleep.
The day after, I was convinced to be able to communicate via telepathy. And my parents had me hospitalized.
Another time, I would just walk in a wood during the night totally amazed by the beauty of the lake, the trees or the sound of the wind. I would get rid of my shoes and put my feet in the mud. Then seeing a rabbit I would run after him convinced to be in some kind of Alice in Wonderland. Then I would sit on a bench, a hedgehog would come toward me and I would touch it. Then I would go back home with my filthy shoes. Sooner in the day, as I was walking, I found a branch on my path and as a couple passed by, I heard in my head this feminine voice saying: yes, this is a branch, so what?
A few days later in the shower I would burst into tears after hearing this voice telling me that humans have a soul. I should mention that I’m a big science nerd, a skeptic and that for me, humans, birds and ants aren’t that different.
Another time, I left the house convinced that I was a spy for Google, so I threw away all my credit cards and I left with only my android phone, aiming for their headquarters in Paris. During my walk I changed my mind when Google Maps showed me a map of the UK. My attention went to some city in Scotland and I remembered a phd offer about optogenetics tools (I was recently awarded a master of engineering degree) I had seen on the web a few days sooner. So I decided to follow the highway. Then a heavy rain began to fall and I had this urge to moonwalk until I reach my goal. I’ve never moonwalked that good. Later, some policemen found me on the side of the road and began asking me questions but I wouldn’t answer because I was convinced to be John Doe, the hero of the TV series. So I wasn’t supposed to remember who I was. They didn’t take very long before sending me to an hospital.
I have a few more of these anecdotes but most of them I would never share because they are too humiliating.
Now the negative symptoms. A lot less funny. It’s quite simple actually: I lose all motivation. Imagine having to take a shower and feeling as if you have to climb the mount Everest or learn by heart the Bible, this is what it feels like. I’m currently experiencing this phase. It’s been months since the last time I wanted to see friends, to learn things, to find a job. My life is empty, I do nothing and I just hope that one day my brain will find its balance. I found the motivation to write this because I think society is very rude with people suffering from psychiatric issues. We aren’t all violent psychopaths. It’s a small minority. I’m not lazy either, I have a disease. And no, unfortunately, drugs aren’t the quick fix everybody think they are.
This article was originally published on Quora.com by an anonymous author.