I have a problem that I feel like is unique to me, but I’m not sure, so I’m reaching out.
For a career, I want to be an author. This has been my ideal job since I was 11. I love books and stories and want to create them.
Naturally, this means I have to practice writing so I can get good enough at it to get published, and this is where my schizophrenia ruins everything.
I’ve only started writing my first short story last year, at age 19, and I still haven’t finished it. Most writers I see started writing when they were kids, but I couldn’t work up the courage because of my delusions. I think people are watching me constantly, like a reality show, and that includes watching me write. I was too terrified to ever write anything from when I decided I wanted to write until when I finally started a story because I felt like said people would judge me, and now when I do write I’m dealing with constant fear while doing it.
I do have a decent amount of insight into my delusion, and it’s progressed to the point where I can challenge it by writing, but the paranoia is still there and makes the process slow and mentally painful. I seriously don’t know anyone that writes as slowly as me, it takes me an hour to get out an average of 100 or less words. I’m happy that I can at least challenge my fear, but my progress feels so slow and it’s so upsetting. It doesn’t help that my voices comment on what I write, usually something mean, and I take that as the people watching me commenting on what I’m writing.
So, what I want to ask is are there any other writers here that deal with something like this? I feel even crazier than I normally do because I know of no writers that have this problem.
Not a writer but I experienced the same thing while studying in university. It hurt my grades a lot.
I feel everyone on earth is watching me even when pleasuring myself and I get negative voices while studying like you’re stupid, junky, useless, coward, you don’t deserve studying, studying is cheating, people are better than you and will beat you no matter how much you study etc Very insulting and disturbing voices.
I know its very hard but I still managed to barely pass my remaining courses and get a degree in physiotherapy. I would have been accepted in medicine with my preSZ grades if I didn’t had those voices which was my dream.
I found out that listening to music and chewing gum helps along with my antipsychotic meds.
Which meds are you on?
I went to college for it. I’ve produced half a dozen short stories and lots of poems. I have an idea for a novel, one of the short stories is a piece of it, but I’ve never gotten the whole thing down. All my writing was done before I got sick (my schizophrenic symptoms started at age 30). Honestly I can imagine paranoia might make it harder to write. Me personally, I love writing what I’ve written. I read it and reread it and enjoy it a lot.
I think the key is to just write what you enjoy reading and share it with just a few people. It doesn’t even need to be published if you don’t want it to be. It’s just a great creative outlet.
My voices criticize me sometimes too, I just have to ignore what they say and remember that they are negative about everything. If I wrote Shakespeare quality work, they’d criticize that, too. Hell, if I cured cancer they’d criticize me for it. They just criticize everything.
The voice that hurt me the most is: “Studying is cheating.” I didn’t know how to get rid of that voice. I had 90+% grades and dropped to 54%. I still passed and got my degree because passage grade is 50% in my university luckily.
I’m on the maximum dose of Latuda. It helps with my paranoia quite a bit, but it hasn’t taken it away entirely. It’s helped me to have the courage to challenge my beliefs, but I think I’ll need to see a therapist to truly get rid of them,
Yeah, something that motivates me is having stories written under my belt as an accomplishment. It would be something to be proud of. I’m glad the stories you created bring you joy. Do you still write or did that stop entirely after your symptoms started?
I just started writing again last week. My mom apparently kept a bunch of copies of the stuff I did in college, which is good because I hadn’t kept a copy of them. I sort of assumed they were lost. I’m working on the novel I’ve had in my head since I was a teenager, just for fun.
I love your name, Sunny in Philadelphia is the funniest live action show I’ve ever seen.
I’m happy to hear you got a degree! Even if it wasn’t exactly what you aimed for it’s still impressive. I want to go to college someday so it’s good to hear of someone being successful at it.
Congratulations! How’s it going for you?
Thank you! If you can’t tell by my profile picture the pepe silvia scene was the inspiration. Charlie is one of my icons.
Hahaha I just watched that scene on YouTube, the guy Barney appearing and disappearing cracks me up. I just realized there’s no laugh track, I’m so happy about that, laugh tracks suck.
My favorite episode is the one from Frank’s first person perspective.
The novel is going pretty well, it’s a lot better than when I was a teenager because I’ve read enough of other people’s work to know what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve also experienced more stuff so there’s less fact checking required.
Haha I know. When I add a quote next to my username it’ll be “Barney?! Who the hell is Barney!?”
That’s great! That’s impressive an idea you came up with as a teenager stills holds up as an adult.
I’m a professional freelance writer and author. I supported a family of 7 from 2005 to 2015 with my writing and have a fiction novel published. I’ve also ghostwritten multiple books, most of those on health topics.
Writing is hard at times, even without delusional thinking. The only thing you can do is continue to write. Do it daily, even 100 words. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. This is true for anyone, but for you can be used like exposure therapy.
I really hope you continue to try. I started writing stories as a kid, but stopped in my teens and didn’t become a professional until my late 20s. Just keep trying!
I’ve had a poem published so far, but I’m currently working on my first novel. It’s a biography that delves into my visions and their meanings. I’m learning a lot about myself through my writing. The things I’ve seen in psychosis are often associated with memories that have been regressed.
If the voices in your head won’t stop bickering maybe you should try writing down what they say. I find that once I allow the voices an outlet they don’t talk as much, I guess they just run out of things to say. Secondly, environment plays a key role in my success at writing. The amount of lighting, the time of day, how well I’ve eaten, background noise levels can greatly impact my performance. Typically, I prefer to write in the evening with lamp light. It keeps me more mellow, and removes some of my anxiety. Everyone is different that way, I would suggest to monitor what conditions are favorable and you’ll find your comfort zone soon.
Wow, that’s amazing! Congratulations on your success.
Yeah, writing is definitely stressful. I am trying to continue to write. I’ve done it at night for five days in a row, which is more than I’ve ever done successfully, and I’m having a lot of fun in spite of my paranoia acting up. The good thing is I want to keep doing it. Exposure therapy is a good way of putting it.
May I ask you a question? You’ve done well enough to support your family in spite of your illness, can I ask how you’ve gotten to that point? I really didn’t think it was possible for people with our illness to get anywhere like that in life and It’d be wonderful to know.
Thank you for your advice. Congratulations on your work so far!
I used to write my voices down but I stopped. I think I would get something out of starting again though, even if it’s just to have a record of what they say. I actually find that environment helps me to write too. I feel less like people can see what I’m doing when I write in a dark room, so I write on my laptop at night in the dark because for some reason I feel safer. I also listen to music at a low volume, which helps to shut out voices.
I hope your novel goes well! You ought to share it with us when it’s out
I thought this was a different thread! Sorry
There’s something therapeutic about writing in the dark…
I have written two novels and some collections of poetry, but that was when i was younger. Now i’m to disorganized to write a fluid, well structured novel, due to my SZ.
You might try to plan your novel in advance, figure out a person with a strong voice, rehearse the persons voice, make a plot chapter by chapter. Try and fail, but then try again.