The Voices

“Do you have a death wish,“ it asked.

“No,“ I replied, “not really.“

It was just another day spent appeasing The Voices.

Many people with schizophrenia suffer from auditory hallucinations, or “voices”. Often, these voices can say overly critical or harmful things to the person suffering from the disease.

As schizophrenics, we can often seem fragile or sensitive to the outside world. Sometimes, our caretakers do not understand why. It is often because we are haunted by voices that are constantly trying to bring us down and chip away at our self esteem. I recently relayed the following analogy to my parents about the voices I personally experience: “Imagine having Donald Trump inside your head constantly criticizing and disparaging you over everything from your work ethic to your physical appearance. That is what having these voices feels like to me.“

I hate to get political, but I promise to only this once. You don’t even have to be a Democrat to get this analogy: imagine you are on the other side of a nonstop, 24/7 barrage of insults coming from an unseen, invisible Trump-like figure. If you are a Republican, imagine that, to this figure, you are seen as the opposition. Not very pleasant, wouldn’t you say? No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, it is ever present, like a malicious ghost.

While I am not usually one to appeal for sympathy from the reader (or anyone else), you now have an idea of why people with schizophrenia can seem “on edge” and overly sensitive. Luckily, the solution to this is simple: practice kindness to everyone you meet. You never know what they are struggling with underneath!