I have been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia around 2006-2007.
It is difficult to tell my story because I might get into trouble but I am posting this so I can educate someone and hopefully someone doesn’t relapse.
I used to go to college looking into a computer science degree (or something similar to computer technology). I don’t know when I started noticing the paranoia but after dropping out of school, I started noticing it. It was about the time after a year when I started hearing the “voices”. Please note that I had a laptop during that time (but didn’t have a broadband connection at home.) I went around the city everywhere looking for “Free Wi-Fi”. I didn’t have anything to do and I enjoyed computers and especially the internet. I especially liked the Windows XP Media Center Edition “Media Center” during that time because I especially liked a program called “TVTonic”. But in order to use it, it needed to download big video files off the internet. I liked it instead of watching boring old television because it was fun to watch. I liked watching G4, Revision3’s “Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy”, Fashion Television, etc. I know that Youtube was great too. I used to watch a lot of anime on that website as well. Well, one day after going to the library, I started hearing the voices. “Look, he’s on the computer again!”, “He’s drawing something on the computer”, “He’s watching something…”, etc, etc, etc. For some reason, I noticed that they talked about me being on the computer all the time. Some say that “I was creating computer art”, “I been on the computer too long”, etc. Then, one day I heard they talked about me (I’m thinking that they are videotaping me secretly saying that I am doing computer art.) “Look, he’s doing art.”, one voice says. “He’s on the computer all the time.”, the other person says. “Look, he’s doing art again, doesn’t it rule out that he is an artist?”. “But then, why hasn’t his artwork been out yet?,” the other voice said. Please note that during that time I NEVERED showed my artwork to anyone (except the students at my college.) Then after that, “That shows my purpose that he is on the computer ALL the time, they need to TAKE IT AWAY!”. After going through embarrasement and fear (and noticed now it was all in my “reality”), I left immediately from the library. For some reason, I “visually hallucinated” and saw a child got pulled away from me while walking pass me and the parent say, “Don’t be like him!”. After going through intense paranoia, I thought I was hearing police sirens. As, I went back home, I “heard” the neighbors “talking about me” saying, “I’m going to jail”, “the police are going to take my laptop away”, “he should kill himself right now”, etc. At that time, I didn’t care and just took my clothes, my laptop, some of my belongings and left home without my parents knowing. I was still hearing the voices which was a frightening experience in my part and hope that no one goes through what I have gone through…
After leaving and running away from home, I started running out of gas. I didn’t have any money with me since I didn’t have a job, no education (because I dropped out), and no credit card. Please note I drove into another state during that time. I finally decided to go to the hospital which was near me. I told them my story of what has happened. I told them that “people were out to get me because I think I was videotaped and called me a “fraud”.” They sent me to another ward (knowing that my “reality” was askew and noticed that the “doctors didn’t want me” during that time). Please note that during the “psychosis” I didn’t realize anything yet. After a few days as inpatient and things somewhat “going back to normal”, they diagnosed me with paranoid schizophrenia.
I like working with technology (especially computers). During my 3rd grade, I was introduced to a Macintosh. It was pretty cool. I was more curious about the computer than usual. We used to have Apple //Gs computers that we used to play with but those were OK… When I started getting into computers is when my sister showed me the computer labs in her college that I REALLY was having fun with them. I liked the Macs better due to the fact that they were easier to use. I remember getting books from the library and using the software that was contained in the disk and installed it on the computers. After breaking one of them, I was asked by another student to “keep watch of me”. Then I found out that the university’s library had computers over there. I used to go there every time and play on the computers learning something “new”. During my middle school years, I was severely picked on. It came to the point that I felt like they wanted to harm me. Being Asian and homosexual wasn’t a good combination during that time and I was abused by people in middle school. It came to the point that I started skipping school and going to the university library all the time. I felt safe there and didn’t want to go back to middle school. If I had the choice to drop out of middle school, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But since it was middle school and not high school, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. I HAD to go to school. I have been in truancy court because of this. I got angry one day when I had to go to the juevenille detention center because I missed so many days that I wanted to tell them what was going on. My mom told me to be quiet and sit there. I did that and went to school (still being picked on). I just say “just make it there and ignore them.” After high school, I started not wanting to wake up in the morning. I got scared that the same thing will happen to me again. It got worse when I reached junior year. I started skipping school again. But at that time, I was living on another side of a double while my parents live on the other side. Things have changed during that time because one of my sisters went “insane” and my parents moved to the other side of the double. Yes, you might be thinking. How would my parents live on a other side of a double. Did I mention that they rent property for a living and own both sides?
It came to the point that I realized that I needed to graduate from High School and I didn’t care anymore. I know without a High School Diploma, I wouldn’t survive for long…
I know that I wasn’t going to get up in the morning, so I decided to take Evening School. I finally graduated and I was finally happy with getting it over with.
During that time, I was trying to look for a job. Well, I found out the hard way that no one will want to hire you if you don’t have any references and any job experience. I didn’t want to work in a fast food restaurant because it didn’t seem fun. When I was in High School, I knew I needed my diploma but didn’t care about college as well. After not getting a job and was down on my luck, I went to college. When I went to college, I had purchased my first computer over there. I used a financial aid check to purchase one. I was really happy. However, during my second semester, I switched from a Computer Technology degree to a Media Arts and Science degree. I have learned HTML and CSS, and Adobe Illustrator. I know that there is Adobe Photoshop and After Effects but didn’t get into that. During that time, I didn’t have much money to buy the Adobe Creative Suite. I had to “unlock” it “unethically”. I didn’t want to do that, but I had no money, besides it was expensive (until the second time I tried college again and got the program “lawfully”, yet not making it [but tell you the reasons later on]). After thinking about it, I think the use of “pirating” software and being picked on led up to my insanity. I learned file sharing programs and emulators at a young age but the pirating software issue didn’t come in until my high school years.
After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, I have relapsed several times. One of the first reasons that I have relapsed was due to the fact I thought I didn’t need the pills anymore. I was wrong several weeks later after not contacting the doctor and went to the hospital as inpatient. The second time was because I didn’t have a job and couldn’t find any help for the medication that I was on and I think I had lost my health insurance. I struggled during that period. The other time (recently), was because my health insurance was crappy and they overcharged me around $3000 for the medication. I talked to the doctor but didn’t follow through with contacting my insurance agency about that problem. I thought that I just needed ONE type of health insurance but needed the other one to pay for the medication that I was taking.
I noticed several reasons why people stop taking their medications. It can be for various reasons. But one thing is clear, I DIDN’T COMMUNICATE IMMEDIATELY TO THE DOCTOR OR FIND HELP WITH THE SITUATION THAT I WAS IN. It is VERY important to communicate to your doctor or ask for help IMMEDIATELY if you are in a situation like this. Because if you miss those pills that made you better, what good will it do to you if you are hearing the “voices” attacking you again and you run back to the hospital (or worse). It is better to “prevent” the voices from coming back again than to have them all the time. Plus, If you are still hearing the voices, please tell your doctor and tell them the truth AND TRUST IN THEM %100. They are there to help you, not harm you.
What is going on as of right now.
Since I asked for help, I am working part-time as a grocery stocker earning money (which I am happy because I get to buy things that I want.) Although I am living in the same house that I am in, I am maintaining myself by trying to ignore the voices (when they are very strong, but try to ignore them completely.) I noticed that I am trying to eliminate stressors in my life as well. I noticed when I get stressed, I hear the voices again. I know that I am struggling with hygiene, but when it comes to schizophrenics, who doesn’t.
I noticed when I worked full time during 1st shift (day), I started missing my appointments to the doctor. This is very important. I suggest that you work second or third shift because of this problem. At least, you can maintain a job and go to the doctor at the same time.
I noticed that the voices are not real. If they complain negatively about you 24/7, what else are they doing in their lives? There are other things than complaining about that one person. Do they garden or something? If they keep on talking about you constantly and you hear “many” voices, that is totally not realistic and you should know that…
Plus, If you are hearing voices, please make sure that an actual person comes up to you and talks to you. That way, you know if it is “real” or not.
If you think people are spying on you, please note that there is such a law called “invasion of privacy”. Please make sure that you have “hard evidence” before you do any legal action. And think if it is “reasonable” or “unreal”. Learning those distinctions can help you to determine what is real or what is not.
“People” think I am “addicted” to computers. If that was true, I wouldn’t be at my job right now. In fact, I am still hired. I know I am doing a good job over there because my supervisor says it. I go to work on time and I help out my fellow employees as much as possible. If they say something positive about you, “believe in it”. Plus, I do other things than “be on the computer” all the time. I cook myself something to eat, go take a bath (weekly), go outside (when I’m not paranoid), and go to work, etc. If you notice things being askew (like you got fired from your job because your doing “that thing” that is addicting, the house is falling apart, you are not washing dishes, not taking care of yourself, not paying your bills, and other things that are harmful to yourself…) then that is an addiction and it needs to stop.
I learn that open communication is the key here. If you need to tell your employer that you are not feeling well, please tell them. You need to tell them the truth. Just don’t use that excuse to get out of the job because of other things (like you want to go party i.e. a lie…) People need you for the job because they need your help. Think of your employees as a whole, not an individual.
If you notice something like you are “seeing or hearing things”, please ask another person that you can trust so they can explain what they see and hear. Remember, TRUSTING IN THEM is very important. Plus, make sure you have friends or family that you can count on.
I am trying to do things that are “safe” right now. Since I have a job, I can buy things now. After I got my job that I am in right now, I went to college again. I purchased the Adobe Creative Suite “legally” this time. But due to the fact that I was tired (due to medication and waking up schedule was messed up). I dropped out again. But I realized something. It is better that I have learned something that I love to do than look at it as a failure. I learned a lot from college (and although I have dropped out 2 times), I never regretted it either.
AND FINALLY, DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS DIE OUT BECAUSE THE “VOICES” TELL YOU TO GIVE UP. Although I am not in college anymore, I still work on the computer, play on the computer, and love the computer. I have never forgotten how to use Adobe Illustrator one bit. I am a little shaky about HTML and CSS, but I know some of what to do in order to make a simple website. The only time the “voices” win is when you let them control you or stop you from enjoying what you do. If you let the “voices” tell you what to do, they will probably tell you to go kill yourself (which you have probably have killed yourself 6 days ago.)
And if you are suicidal and want to kill yourself, please don’t do it. I know it is a tough road that you are struggling with, but please seek some help immediately. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for God. Please believe in God (or Jesus) so they can “learn” from you. Because you don’t want to commit suicide and find out that you came back in the same life again or something much worse. Learn for (or from) them, not yourself. Plus, you don’t want a person going through what has happened to you (or me) to go through the same exact problem. Think for them and please help them.
Hopefully this will help people with someone going through what I similarly go through.