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.