Do You Hear What I Hear?

"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:

  1. How long did reading this exercise take me?
  2. How do I feel after reading this exercise?
  3. What must experiencing this type of auditory hallucination every waking hour for months to years feel like to the person experiencing it?
  4. 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.

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