A Dose of Reality Part 1


This article was written exclusively for Schizophrenic.com by an anonymous user on SupportGroups.com. He discusses his struggle with schizophrenia, how the disorder began, how it affected his life and what he went through to overcome it.

It all started my sophomore year at college. I began to feel paranoid about people talking about me and that they had ill feelings towards me. At the time, I did not know I was schizophrenic and the voices and evil suggestions that I heard seemed to come from those around me. At first I dealt with it the best way I could and went to my school’s counseling office to tell them about the voices I heard.

Nothing came of the meeting because I did not follow up. Attending class and concentrating became very difficult because my thoughts were completely consumed by paranoia and voices. This began to take a toll on my personal life an simple assignments at school became large mountains to overcome. My grades began to fall and before I knew it I was on academic probation. This was devastating because I had always been a high achieving student and had worked hard to be accepted to the nationally ranked university I was attending.

Everyday Life Became Difficult

I quickly slipped into a deep depression with the fear of being expelled looming over my foggy mind. I began to construct all sorts of stories to explain what was going on because I could not accept the idea that I could be mentally ill. You could call it denial, but I think that it was more an unawareness of reality. Day to day life became difficult. Being around people became torture because I would get nervous and I thought I could hear their thoughts.

I became a recluse and focused on trying to cope as best as I could with my illness by ignoring or yelling at the voices in my head. It was a very difficult time for me. There is a big tendency for schizophrenics to have inappropriate and unrealistic thoughts that they cling on to and believe to be true. Many schizophrenics also have a spiritual or religious type of psychosis and in those days these were the kinds of thoughts that pervaded my mind. This changed my life and forced me to become a loner, a drastic contrast from the popular individual with countless friends and athletic talents I was in high school.

Family Is Key

My family was overseas and I had no support group to help me and the paranoia reached its height when I completely lost touch with reality and began to live completely in my head. My father soon after retired and moved with my mother to the US and they immediately understood that something was seriously wrong with me. They had never encountered something like this and had no way of knowing what to do.

My younger sister, who was in Medical school, suggested that I be hospitalized and treated. This was difficult because I was skeptical of everyone around me. At the hospital I attempted to leave the hospital waiting room while my family waited to see the doctor, but my family convinced me to stay. It was on this day that my diagnosis of schizophrenia was made.

In Part 2 of this article, this anonymous SupportGroups.com user discusses what followed his diagnosis, life after recovery and what he has found to be helpful.