Let’s talk about schizophrenia

Despite affecting around 1 in 100 people, Schizophrenia is still one of the hardest mental conditions to talk about and is often stigmatised and feared by society.

The condition has symptoms ranging from mild hallucinations to complete severe delusions, and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35.

One web user recently took to the internet to ask the Reddit community “Any Redditors with schizophrenia? What is it like to be in your shoes for a day?”

Thousands replied, but here are just a few responses.

“I have hallucinations most days, mostly auditory but occasionally visual, and tactile on occasion. The majority of auditory are voices, which I refer to by colours that I associate them with”, said one Redditor.

He or she goes on to describe each ‘colour’. Blue is the sound of their own voice, which is not always on their side, as it joins in when others are aggressive.

Purple are whispers, and yellow and black are their grandfather’s aggressive voice; one that often insults them.

“I also sometimes hear cheering and applause, or hear people shouting my name”, they added.

“As far as visual hallucinations go, they are far nastier for me; most distressing of all is when I go into a bad episode and see my friends being hurt or killed, or even worse me being the one hurting them.

“These visions usually come courtesy of my grandfather’s presence, as that voice’s end game is to try to make me suffer – suffice to say that we didn’t have a good relationship while I was young, and I grew up absolutely terrified of him.”

Another describes that they hear music, and recounts a time to when they cried afterwards because “It was amazing” and they “would never remember or reproduce it”.

He or she rarely hears voices, but they recall the last time they heard talking was when two men were “arguing about a bus schedule in Kentucky”.

One told about when they first started hearing voices, aged 10; and another talked about their schizophrenic room-mate who believed that his boss installed cameras and microphones all throughout their apartment.

And finally, a lucky boyfriend who said that his schizophrenic girlfriend is the “nicest person you’ll ever meet” and that he “wouldn’t trade her for anything”.

The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but research suggests it is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.