This is a follow up post to my previous article: The Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia: in Detail. In this post I will be talking about how the following symptoms affect my daily life.
The Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
I have experienced many different hallucinations over the years. However, the most common have been the ‘shadow people’ along with what I call wisps. Personally, I really like the wisps, they are in no way threatening and are quite beautiful. I find being surrounded by them to be quite comforting. My experience with the shadow people is quite different though; they can cause a great deal of paranoia and fear.
Auditory hallucinations have also plagued me over the years. When they first began, they would not speak directly to me, but argue amongst themselves, which at times was quite entertaining to say the least. However this did not last long, they soon began talking to me, in a rather negative manner. I have heard voices coming out of my computer speakers, the radio and such appliances. Voices are not the only thing I hear, I have heard non-existent animals, as well as the sound of china and glass smashing at a very loud volume which can be painful.
As for tactile hallucinations, my experience with them are very peculiar. To the point where I really do question if they are hallucinations. I have felt hands grabbing myself and pulling me in various directions. Sounds more like a haunting right? Perhaps.
One of the first hallucinations I experienced was olfactory hallucination. The smells was very unpleasant and repulsive. Each time I experienced this hallucination the smell has remained the same, even years later.
I find delusions particularly hard to talk about, due to the fact I do not see them as delusions. Therefore I am going to avoid this subject.
Keeping track of my thoughts proves to be difficult. There are many days in which I can barely think, such as today, which is probably why this post is a mess.
Changes in Thoughts and Behaviour
I’m almost constantly bombarded with intrusive thoughts and images, most of which are violent and full of gore. However, this is not always the case. Intrusive thoughts and images can be extremely random, and some consist of made up words or things that do not make sense. The thoughts and images can be distressing as they are not things most people would like to think of.
As for paranoia, I once hid in a field overnight due to the fact I believed that the car which had drove past me had people in it which intended to kill me. Paranoia is another reason I rarely leave where I live.
The Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Loss of Interest and Motivation in life and activities
I rarely feel motivated to perform any task or work towards any life goals which I have. There are many hobbies I have become uninterested in, however I do force myself to keep up with a few which are less tasking than those I previously enjoyed.
Lack of Concentration
Concentrating is extremely hard when you spend too much time in your own head. Dealing with everything going on up there prevents me from focusing on the ‘real’ world. This makes communicating with others very difficult. It often results in being unable to do ‘normal’ everyday tasks.
I have almost completely withdrawn myself from society. I never go out to socialise, and rarely socialise online. There are only two people which I talk to daily, and that is more than enough. I enjoy solitude. Making and maintaining relationships is very hard for me.
Inappropriate Emotional Responses and Feeling Disconnected from your Feelings
I lack almost all emotions bar anger, I do not feel empathy and I rarely feel pleasure. I forget what it is like to actually feel, however not having feelings is a great way to not get hurt. Therefore it’s probably a self-defence mechanism in which my brain makes occur in order to protect myself.
This is an issue many people rarely touch on, as it is very personal, but it does need to be spoken about. Both the disorder itself and the medication to treat the disorder can cause sexual problems. Without question my libido has been affected, however I still enjoy sex, but I rarely feel the need for it.
My thoughts are not in order today, therefore this post is lacking a lot of detail which I apologise for, I may elaborate on it one day however.