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Schizophrenia’s Voice

Over the years after school I become more isolated, and make few friends. I drink heavily at college, in secret, ending up drunk in class or passed out somewhere. It’s not until I’m 17 or 18 that I’m finally prescribed Prozac. I take these like candy. Why? They don’t stop the voice; I feel worse about my depression and feel even more suicidal. At this age I’ve already overdosed, and am now being ordered by the voice to self harm. “Cut your arms,” it says, “cut your arms and you will feel better.”

I do so, tears running down my face, no one at home but me, blood running down my arms, words cut into my skin. The cuts are not deep enough to cut a vein, but enough to cause pain, to feel the blade sitting underneath the upper layer of skin, and sliding upwards, downwards, sideways across my flesh. I continue to drink heavily and started on drugs a couple of years before, from taking LSD tabs, to Ecstasy, speed, to painkillers, cocaine to marijuana.

I try anything to take away the depression and the voice. It’s eating me up inside out, and no one is alive to help me, to protect me from myself, from the voice or any other external influence. I’m dying inside and I don’t know how to stop it. I become more violent towards my family, by this time there’s another child in the house. Their child, their love and joy. I no longer care about anything or anyone, and I swear at my parents, I swear at my cousins, I warn everyone I’ll kill them, I will murder them and they aren’t who they say they are. They’re all against me, they’re in my head and they’re trying to screw me over.

A new friend becomes a close friend over a couple of years. He’s dealt with schizophrenia himself, and he tells me about his experiences. I never tell him about mine though. He freaks me out, as finally I’ve found someone that might be able to empathize with my standing. The truth is, I don’t trust him fully, even with what he’s telling me. Some of it seems bullshit, farfetched and untrue. It’s only later I realize, when he helps me, that he meant what he said. It scares me to think someone else out there knows what I’m experiencing, because they’ve experienced it themselves.

During one bad day in a year, older now, I lose the ability to speak while we sit around smoking and drinking alcohol in a pub. I go outside, smoking nervously, as I try to pronounce simple words. My speech is stammering, and I’m getting frightened. The thoughts are racing, the voice is talking louder than before, and I can’t hear myself speaking. I try again, but I can’t. My friends come outside to see what I’m doing and I try to explain to them, stammering what’s wrong. I call home and tell my mother to pray for me, and I’ll be home soon. I’m scared because I should be able to talk, but I can’t hear myself and the thoughts are racing faster and faster, the voice is getting louder and louder. Then I black out, and wake up to see my friends telling me to get up. I get up, haggardly, and my friend starts to talk to me, talking me through what I’m going through. It saves me, but I still cannot speak.

I visit my cousins, and go to see another doctor, who prescribes paroxetine. The side effects are awful, and I sleep in a cold sweat, shivering in a boiling hot room. My stammer still exists, and everyone is confused. Some say God has struck me down for some reason; my mother blames herself and prays for me every night. I tell one friend it feels like a demon is inside of me, and I try to explain but my stammer forbids me, my voices insists I don’t. I’m still scared. Several months later I can speak again, through coaching. I mess up college three years in a row, mostly due to illness and instead go to work. I still hear the voice but I tell no one about it. Not even my friends.

Over the next five years I am made redundant, then find another job but am sacked because of my blog which contains all my experiences, and how I wish to kill every one of the members of staff at work, and therefore am considered “dangerous and threatening,” find work again only this time to lose it due to the worst instance in my life. I tell the training company I can’t work, I need time off. They refuse, so I take the time off anyway, and I’m hearing the voice again.

It gets so bad that I’m close to self harming again. Over the years my doctor has been of little help, particularly with my depression and never taking me seriously. I make an appointment to see him. When I do see him I threaten to kill him with a pencil, unless he gets me help. I’m given a psychiatric evaluation, and told I will be contacted. This is a lie. Three years previously, my doctor sent me for an evaluation, I was told I was OK, yet in a letter to my doctor I was referred to hospital and psychiatric treatment.

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Schizophrenia’s Voice


Personal Story

A personal story contribution is a story told by someone who is living with mental illness, a caregiver or family member, or a professional who treats mental illness. We believe in the importance of the patient's voice, and those most impacted by the effects of mental illness. These stories are a vital part of the mosaic that makes up the complexity of living with mental health concerns.

APA Reference
Story, P. (2020). Schizophrenia’s Voice. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/schizophrenias-voice/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jan 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.