"Edd is thinking about buying a chocolate milkshake." "Edd is walking towards the ice cream shop." "Edd is opening the door to the ice cream shop." "Edd is taking a five dollar bill out of his wallet." "Edd is thinking that carrying cash in his wallet is a stupid idea." "Edd is deciding which flavor to get." "Edd is checking out the woman in front of him." "Edd is thinking that this woman has a nice ass." "Edd is grazing his nose with his forefinger. "Edd is slipping his forefinger into his nose." "Edd is hoping no one will notice." "Edd is ordering a chocolate milkshake." "Edd is thinking that the dude taking his money must be a tweaker." "Edd is putting his change back in his wallet." "Edd is leaving the ice cream shop."
Think about this exercise for a moment and ask yourself the following questions:
- How long did reading this exercise take me?
- How do I feel after reading this exercise?
- What must experiencing this type of auditory hallucination every waking hour for months to years feel like to the person experiencing it?
- What other symptoms might this person be experiencing along with auditory hallucinations such as these?
Hearing a voice like the one I just described was part of my “normal” existence for at least six months, maybe up to two years or longer. I experienced so many different symptoms that teasing them all out and making sense of them is daunting. Along with this voice, I also had the following symptoms:
- paranoid, grandiose, and romantic delusions
- ideas of reference — thinking people were talking about me, for example
- thought broadcasting — sending people messages that revealed my weaknesses and vulnerabilities
- negative symptoms — avolition, poor hygiene, deficient social skills, attention deficits, much lower educational/occupational functioning than expected
- loose and clangy associations
- excruciating headaches
- violent mood swings
- obsession with killing myself and others
For six months to two years — between January 1995 and January 1997, I experienced these symptoms simultaneously. Hour after hour, day after day, month after month. And, I am not the only one. There are likely millions of people in the world experiencing this combination of symptoms right now. So, ask yourself:
- What must that feel like?
- How would I react to these experiences?
February 07, 2019
Final note: If you see someone on the streets yelling at the sky and punching the air, please think about this post. Those people are suffering and with a slightly different role of the genomic dice, you might have ended up like them.