I never really think about the differences in everyday life between myself, and someone who isn’t a schizophrenic. But just recently I’ve been investigating schizophrenia a little bit, and how it affects me in normal situations. Now I haven’t been experimenting as such, I’ve just been getting on with my life as per usual but I’ve been looking at how schizophrenia affects my everyday goings on. I really did discover more about other people than I did about myself.
I know I have anxiety, I know I have depression, I know I have a personality disorder and I’ve been diagnosed with these for many years now, and I’ve known for even longer. I also know I have schizophrenia, and I’ve known this for as many years as the my other illnesses, but the difference between the first group and schizophrenia is that I’ve never really looked at how my schizophrenia makes my way of thinking different from your average Jo. Not until about 2 years ago did I start doing this, and it’s absolutely fascinating to me, and here are some discoveries.
People really don’t get even a little bit as paranoid as i do!
I get paranoid about nearly everything. Whether it’s every word coming out of my mouth, every word coming out of some other persons mouth, or whether it is quite literally just someone being near me, I get paranoid. Someone can walk past my window, I get paranoid. I don’t get post one day, so I get paranoid. There are so many other silly little examples that I can give of times I get paranoid, and even more examples of reasons for that paranoia, but people don’t get this paranoid. I thought they did. I mean being paranoid about the postman is something I could separate from other people but the other 95% of the time I just thought other people felt the same way. I’ve never lived any other way so I didn’t know.
People don’t make up fake scenarios in their head
from as far back as I can remember I’ve made up stories in my head. These stories aren’t really day dreaming because they are based in what is happening around me. In my head I can manage to plan out the next 20 minutes of my life, every conversation, every movement, every person involved. I can do this in a single sentence that someone is reeling out to me, a sentence, that instead of listening to, I am thinking about the next 20 minutes of life. By the way the scenarios aren’t good, they’re never good anymore (I remember a time as a kid that i would think about nice things) and they usually end up with someone getting hurt. I suppose they’re a little like intrusive thoughts, but instead of thinking that randomly doing something would be a good idea, it’s a whole scenario that I plan out in my head. I never act on them. I’ve worried myself silly that someday I will act upon these thoughts but I worry less nowadays because i feel I’ve got more control of myself.
Delusions aren’t normal for very many people, at all.
delusions are something I’ve been getting a handle on in the last few years. Im starting to understand them a little more. I initially thought they were something that people had frequently but could control a lot better than me. I thought people could just shrug the thoughts off quite easily and get on with their lives. It turns out people don’t normally have thoughts that their neighbours are Russian spies and that they were sending surveillance planes over to keep tabs on them. I use this example because I used to believe this. This delusion is a little easier to talk about than some others that I have had because they are really embarrassing. Anyway, your average person doesn’t have these thoughts, and they certainly don’t act on them.
I’m not saying I was oblivious to these illness traits. I knew I had them, I just though I couldn’t control them as well as other people. I didn’t necessarily think they were illness traits. There are other traits, like different types of hallucinations, that I knew other people didn’t get, and I thought the depth of schizophrenia wasn’t that deep. I believed it was merely a lack of control over my thoughts, thoughts that I thought everyone had. It turns out my illness goes deep, and I believe I still don’t really understand it even though I have much more of a grasp on it than most other people. I’ve learnt that what I think, other people really don’t think.