Schizophrenia.com

A question for people with schizophrenia

Okay, what I have is not necessarily a question but just more of a theory, and I’m wanting to see what schizophrenics might think. This is not intended to be groundbreaking or anything, and it might seem like I’m stating things that or either cockamamey or just glaringly obvious to some of you.

About a year and a half ago, right before my 19th birthday, I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and the biggest part of recovery from it for me was the psychological after-effects. After the accident, I felt like I had a lot of attention called to myself from nowhere and it made me very nervous. I was grateful for surviving a near-death experience, but at the same time I had a suicidal moment or two in the months after. I experienced a strange type of depression that I’ve never experienced before and I am not formally diagnosed, but I believe it to have been psychotic depression. I was constantly criticizing myself for being depressed, and for that reason I always tried to make myself seem NOT depressed to others. I used social media to try and prove something about myself or something and when I look back on it now, I can’t even recall what it was I was trying to prove. That I’m not crazy, perhaps? It may have been that I was trying to prove that my reactions to the things that were happening to me were normal. I would often have thoughts and I would respond to the thoughts (which were only in my head) on social media as though someone could hear what I was thinking and criticizing me for it. After I calmed down with all this strange behavior, I found out about the symptom of schizophrenia called thought broadcasting and I was super convinced that I had it. I don’t know if I suspect that I do anymore, but at this point I’m much less paranoid about it and focusing more on the things that I can do rather than the things that are wrong with me. Another symptom I can relate to in my depressed moments is having the feeling that everything that has happened to me up until this point in my life has happened passively and that I have no control over the direction of my life.

Though I don’t dwell on the question of “am I schizophrenic?” anymore (under the advice of my neuropsychologist), I’ve found solace in reading and writing, and the two, along with my personal experiences, have led me to have a theory on how the schizophrenic mind has a tendency to “split”. Let’s say there’s a person with schizophrenia who experiences heavy delusions of thought broadcasting which manifest themselves as a peculiar type of self-consciousness where the person begins to not act like themselves but act solely in response to what they think others might think of them if they heard the things they were thinking. If this is kept up for a long period of time, the person will experience a dramatic disturbance in the sense of self. The person may even drive themselves insane in becoming extremely jaded into the notion that they are in fact crazy and/or subhuman.

This is of course all conjecture, but it’s an idea that has floated around my mind for a while, and right now as I’m reading Phillip K. Dick’s Valis, I am being given these ideas once again. In the novel, Phil creates an alternate version of himself named Horselover Fat (Philip in Greek means “fond of horses”; “dick” is German for “fat”) who has some experiences he percieves as voices entering his mind from a divine entity. He talks about Horselover as though he is a friend of his he is watching go insane. In the novel, he even admits “I am Horselover Fat, and I am writing this in the third person to gain much-needed objectivity.” I’m here to ask whether or not I’m onto something here or if I should leave this train of thought alone. I thought “who better to ask than people with schizophrenia?” So any feedback is appreciated. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.

I’m trying to figure what your really asking…

So from what I’ve gathered, you’re almost 21, you’ve had a brain injury, and your trying your best to heal from it.

You have NOT been given the schizophrenic diagnosis, but you are experiencing some disturbing symptoms… do I have that right so far?

I’m sorry you ended up so injured… I’m glad you survived and are working on recovering.

I didn’t DRIVE myself insane… no more then other people drove themselves to cancer.

I ended up with an illness having to deal with receptors and chemical levels in my brain that is all very complicated and sometimes goes over my head when my doc is talking about dopamine receptors and other brain activity.

I do NOT think of myself as sub human. I’ve thought of myself as isolated, broken, but never subhuman. I’m human first… ill second. Thinking anyone is subhuman… marginalizing others… that is very dangerous and ugly thinking that has been used to justify all manner of war crimes and atrocities.

I’m not sure I even understand what your talking about with your last paragraph.

This is a sci-fi series, not a diagnostic or informational book on Sz.

These books are more accurate then a sci-fi series. They would answer your questions. Check out your local library too…

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I apologize because I realized this post may have been a little offensive after I posted it. I hope you don’t think I was saying that you or anyone else should think of themselves as subhuman. I guess in a way what I’m talking about is how damaging that notion can be, especially when one is driven to think it about themself. It can cause a feeling of isolation I’m not sure I could even imagine.

One of the main symptoms post-brain injury is cognitive dissonance, so what I’m mainly trying to do is understand the cognitive implications of thought broadcasting delusions, which I believe that I’ve experienced to some degree. As you can probably tell, I’m someone who tends to criticize myself probably a little too harshly. Basically what I’m saying is that becoming jaded into notions of isolation can result in a feeling of becoming “split” from yourself. The shattered individual you feel like on the inside feels like it is not representative of who you are to other people, which can be a thought that’s damaging to your well-being.

I wasn’t taking about Valis as though it had merit on the disease. It actually contains a few obviously outdated notions on sz. Plus, it’s not really about sz. I’m not taking PKD’s word so much as I’m trying to understand how the illness may have influenced him if he even had it (which is not confirmed).

Thanks for answering. Sorry if some of the things I said seemed a little overly judgmental on the affliction. Mainly what I was saying had to do with the thought broadcasting symptoms causing someone to view themselves as a marginalized “other” and how damaging that can be to one’s cognition.

Welcome kfred.

I don’t feel like I’m driving myself crazy over what other ppl think about me. I usually try to act normal, even when I hear voices. Sometimes ppl notice when I respond to stuff that noone else hears.

I’m sorry you had brain injury. I hope you recover as much as possible. Cognitive difficulties are hard to handle. I have that too, but it’s better now than efter my psychotic break. I was a vegetable.

Y’know, learning to not care so much about what people think about you is part of growing up for everyone… it could just be a little more exaggerated for those with schizophrenia, depending on how they view and respond to some of the “voices”. It’s comforting to realize that your thoughts are private and that they’re your own. It’s also important to learn how to think of yourself as an individual without feeling too isolated from everyone else.

During my onset, I thought I had sonic hearing and the reason why people could hear my thoughts was because of my new abilities, I was thinking much more strongly then others and that is why other could hear my thoughts. I was sort of going grandiose when I had my thought broadcasting problems.

My cognitive problems came mostly during and from my negative swings. When I was in negative symptoms is when my cognitive abilities take a hit.

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