The Voices In My Head - A Mental Disability
But I Know They Are Real
A very good friend of mine has the mental disorder of schizophrenia, and she admitted to me that she is having trouble distinguishing what is real and what is not real to her in this world. She also admitted to me that nobody except her doctor talks to her about her disorder, and that nobody at all talks to her about the voices.
I told her that we could talk about them any time she wanted, and the other night when they were visiting we did just that. I have been researching this disorder, and what is the cause and found out a lot of things that make a lot of sense. Ten years or more ago, doctors and scientists that were dealing with this were telling patients that they were having auditory hallucinations, and that whenever they were hearing the voices, they should try to distract themselves with something else. (It was the classic, ignore it and maybe it will go away syndrome.) Since then, doctors have been more inclined to believe, and it makes a lot more sense to me, that the voices that they are hearing are quite possibly very much like a personality fragmentation that persons with multiple personality syndrome have, the biggest difference being that with the M.P.S. one person at a time is allowed to speak, and nobody knows about the others, and the person has time lapses that they do not know what takes places. A person with schizophrenia, has all the personalities talking to them at the same time, rather like a conversation and everyone is aware of all the rest.
Doctors theorize that children who have had many traumatic experiences, especially at a very young age, have personality splintering to help forget these more than painful emotional experiences, and the splitting up of the personalities allows the person to do just that, for it is one of the voices personalities that have gone through them not the person themselves.
So, when my friend and I began discussing her voices, I was better prepared to look and consider what she was telling me from a little different way of thinking. When she told me she thought all her voices were real, I had to think about being in her shoes, and not being sure about if her thoughts were hers or one of the others, and I didn't know what to say to her. I no longer could tell her just to know that when the voices said things, just realize they aren't real, for if those voices are all pieces of her own personality, they are just as real as she is. We, her friends are just unable to hear them like she can. She then told me that her voices are more real to her than God is. That, really made me think. What a horrible disorder this must be.
I asked her if she ever had any time outs, so to speak, when the voices were quiet, and her thoughts were her own. A time when she knew that no one else was in her head, and she had her head and her thoughts all to herself. She told me that she did for several days a month, when the shots that she gets from her doctor are the strongest at the beginning of the month. What a relief it must be to have your head and thoughts to yourself, and have some peace. She said, and I quote, looking at me with a rather sad expression, "No, on those days I miss them, for I feel lonely and get to feeling down and sad." That is what makes them real to her, I guess.
In my opinion, I cannot understand how a doctor can think that a shot a month of something is going to cure her or make her head belong to only her again. Even with hours of therapy each week, how are they going to put humpty-dumpty back together again? What we spoke of the other night, left me really sad for her, for until then I really did not understand the severity of what she was going through or how it affected her. What a horrible disorder.
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