Today I wanted to give some advice to those other young “whipper snappers” on living with schizophrenia.
I'll start with auditory hallucinations since that's what I suffer (mostly) from. When I first started hearing the voices I didn't really know what to think. I honestly thought everyone heard them. As I grew up with them I slowly started to become a little irritated with them because I could be talking to someone and the voice would start talking over the person I was talking to. Now-a-days the meds I'm on keep the voices down but I also improved on my listening skills, now I can have an entire conversation without needing the person to restate what they say, that often. If I could talk to my voices I would want to say, “please shut up, I'm trying to have a conversation here.”
Now to visual hallucinations, I've had maybe one to two visual hallucinations happen in my life. When I was young (probably around 8-13 years of age) I would see a shadow figure move across the floor in the basement out of the corner of my eye when I would walk up the stairs. Back at the time it scared me to death because I thought my life was in danger by this shadow figure. The other one (which is more recent, probably since I was 18) I've had was a friend who fake threw something at me. Let me explain; he wouldn't have anything in his hand and would act like he threw something at me. Well at the time I swear he threw a grey ball with a white star on it at me. In the end we both laughed at it and went on to other things. But to my recollection, those are the two major hallucinations I've had my entire life.
Now for the paranoia, my biggest paranoid thoughts were that the government would come after me because of my political beliefs. This is usually worsened with anxiety and most of my anxiety centers around going to work so the thoughts get worse as the day goes on but they eventually die down once I've been at work for about 2 hours.
My advice to those of you who are young and just starting to experience your hallucinations or paranoid thoughts, communicate with loved ones and your therapist/doctors, they are a lot of help and won't judge you, trust me and those that love and want to help you.
One thing I wish I had known about schizophrenia is that it would lead to cognitive deficits (which I believe I've covered in a previous post). It disappoints me to know that my ability to think is lowered as I age. But don't let that scare you. If I would have known that I was going to have schizophrenia I would have prepared for the hard times I've had (loud voices, fear of the government, etc.). I've learned to accept schizophrenia though. I've learned that when it comes to my job, it will have its disheartening times, filled with anxiety and paranoia.
I've told my girlfriend that I have schizophrenia and thankfully that hasn't come between me and her, we've been together for almost two happy years and she has accepted me for who I am. And that one girl/boy is out there for you, you just have to be patient.
Well that's it for today's, Friday's with Tom, I hope you enjoyed and I hope to talk to you again, sorry for its lateness, I've been hanging out with friends a lot lately, hopefully you guys and gals understand. As always, stay beautiful.
(The picture on this post is of my Sonic the hedgehog fan-character. I recently drew him with glasses and this was the result.)