Although schizophrenia does not hide too many secrets and its symptoms, signs and treatments are already known, it can be quite hard for a healthy individual to understand it. There is a huge difference between understanding the disease from the outside and knowing how it feels on the inside, especially since patients cannot even tell that they suffer it. When a patient describes the personal feelings and experiences, it is almost impossible to perceive it. As a healthy individual, you have a different perception of life or thinking. Brains connect memory and information in order to come up with thoughts, so two different thoughts are less likely to be understood in the same manner.
Someone who suffers from schizophrenia will perceive things in a unique way. Each patient has an individualized experience of the surroundings, but you can always find common ideas and thoughts. One way to understand the inside of a schizophrenic implies looking at the symptoms. Moreover, some of the feelings are similar to what healthy people experience too. For instance, depression or sadness is caused by the general idea of feeling trapped in an isolating problem. Besides, understanding how the symptoms feel is just as important, especially when it comes to hallucinations or delusions.
How does it feel to have hallucinations?
Hallucinations rarely occur without delusions and vice versa. For instance, hearing an unusual voice speaking from the television set is an auditive hallucination. On the other hand, being perfectly sure that the respective voice is real implies having a delusion. From this point of view, some schizophrenics experience hallucinations, although they have the mental power to understand that they are fake. This is usually the difference between this symptom and a delusion.
When you get on a bus, you might get friendly, receptive or critical faces. You can perceive them, so they are absolutely real. On the other hand, a schizophrenic can actually hear the respective people talking, even if they are not. This is a typical auditory hallucination. Visual hallucinations are more diversified though. Sometimes, the patient may look at one’s face, focus on the live blue eyes, then see them growing to fill the bus. Such hallucinations may sometimes cause the schizophrenic to act in an unusual way, but also to cry or run. Since most people cannot understand hallucinations, they obviously find this behavior to be strange too.
How about delusions?
Delusions often come with an obsession, while the patient can swear that it is real. They can easily take over someone’s ideas and mind. If the delusions are in the scepter of regular human experience, a schizophrenic might actually convince a healthy individual. However, in many situations, such delusions go way beyond the human imagination. Most commonly, patients see themselves as public and famous figures, such as King Richard or Napoleon. They copy their behaviors and quotes, not to mention about their known mentality and ideas.
Aside from hallucinations and delusions, healthy individuals are supposed to learn about more definitive factors in order to understand the disease:
- Disorganized speech
- Uncontrollable behavior
- Negative symptoms