My experiences while I was peaking with full-blown paranoid schizophrenia seem like a dream. It happened over 30 years ago. I can hardly believe that I suffered that much, for so long. I was living at a world-famous house for schizophrenics called Soteria House when that happened, I was 20 years old. I almost don’t believe in the concept of “mild schizophrenia” My case and everybody I have known has told me terrible stories of their delusions and hallucinations.But how do you compare the severity of your case of schizophrenia with that of someone else? My case was severe. I mean frightening and horrible. Was it worse than anybody else on this forum? I don’t know, how do you measure?
The actual house that was Soteria has changed ownership since I was there in 1981. I occasionally find myself driving by it as recently as a year ago. My experiences there seem almost unimaginable. You know what I can’t help thinking sometimes ? Sometimes I drive past and I think to myself,“What was all the fuss about”? And what I mean by that is that while I was there I was un-medicated, per their theories. And my mind was racing like you wouldn’t believe. It raced so badly, my mind felt like oatmeal. Or just searing pain in my head. I thought all kinds of crap was going on around me wherever I went, but now I know that NOTHING was going on. It was my head inventing it. But I couldn’t stop thinking.
And I had a symptom that they told me was classic but I have never met anyone with same symptom. I could not block out anything in my environment. I saw everything all at once. I stepped out of the house I saw every car, person, bird, car, the sky. It was overwhelming.I couldn’t ignore anything. It was like a seeing a painting and seeing the whole big picture while others might not even see one other person or one car.It was so painful.
But my schizophrenia now is nothing like back then. NOW I have moments of peace. I have relief from symptoms occasionally. I’m still paranoid and life is one big, long, frustration. And I get complacent and take things for granted. I didn’t have that option when I was 20. It all seems like a dream now but back then it was a living nightmare.