People With Schizophrenia Talk About How It Started

When I was younger, I used to believe that people who suffered from schizophrenia were only the homeless people you passed on the street.

But I’ve learned from interactions with other folks that it can literally happen to anyone. And it seems to come out of nowhere for some people, which I’m sure is absolutely horrifying.

AskReddit users with schizophrenia talk about how it started for them.

1. Luck of the draw.

“In my case it was genetic. My grandfather, uncle, aunt, and three cousins also have schizophrenia.

It didn’t start suddenly. My first total psychotic break wasn’t until a few years after I started hearing voices. The first hallucination I had was of a snake and it was because I knew it wasn’t real that it was frightening. I kept insight whilst the experiences grew for a few years until I lost it and derailed into total delusion.

My delusions, when they occur, these days mainly consist of the idea that something – a mechanical ball, a giant grub, a controlling diode – has been inserted into me somehow and I have to remove it or I or others will die or be harmed as a result.

Main reason why I don’t have an IUD or similar for birth control – it would certainly trigger my illness enough to rip it out.”

2. Hearing things.

“I started hearing people talking about me constantly, and people calling or whispering my name.

As a kid I was always afraid of people watching me, and although I realize that can’t be true now, I still have the same problem.

I also began to see bugs where there weren’t any and a masked man sometimes.

This may have began when I saw a slenderman “documentary” when I was a young kid that scared the sh** out of me.”

3. Screams from nowhere.

“I remember asking myself where my dad went, and I heard a voice answer that wasn’t mine.

I had been an avid daydreamer where I’d use different voices for characters and such, so I was used to having other people’s voices in my head.

I wasn’t all that concerned when they started answering of their own accord, and only when I began to sense creatures behind me in dark rooms and hear screams from nowhere when I’m alone did I wish to seek treatment.”

4. And out come the wolves.

“I started “meeting” these huge wolves in a forest near where I lived. The rest of the world disappeared and I could morph into a wolf myself and just run around as if running away from danger and towards a new “hunt”.

Irl I was just a girl who took off her shoes and socks, no matter what the weather was like, running around the forrest. When I was particularly stressed out I would sneak out in the middle of the night to run with the wolves. Feelings of being followed, watched and general paranoia. I used to do everything as if I was being recorded, screaming in my head in an attempt to fade out my own thoughts that I felt was not controlled by me. Seeing “shadow people”.

Generally a vivid imagination and a lot of daydreaming to escape reality as scared child. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 19 after several years in and out of mental institutions. But now that I am almost 24, I believe that I don’t have schizophrenia even though mental illness including schizophrenia runs in my family.

Another psychologist I had for several years believed I have c-ptsd and DID, which I personally relate better with. But since I got the diagnosis, I thought I’d share my beginning of psychotic behavior.”

5. Weed can be bad.

“I had it in my family, but lived an active life and didn’t think I was predisposed until after s**king weed every day for two years or so one day I woke up and my perception of myself had changed.

I won’t go into detail as of how, but I continued to use drugs and went on to harder ones, and during the eighteen years I used meth I could relate to almost every mental illness I heard described.

The doctors gave me the diagnosis schizophrenia, but I’m completely rehabilitated now and with medication I live a good life, better than I thought were possible.”

6. Paranoid.

“At 12, after long, long periods of intense mental distress, it started of with me getting really paranoid of other people.

Then I started hearing a single voice. It was comforting at first, it didn’t talk a lot, but it was like having a friend I could vent to and who would validate my feelings.

But then it turned against me. It ended up with me thinking I’m possessed by a demon sent from hell to punish me for supposedly k**ling my twin sister while we were in the womb (which has never happened, my mom was never expecting twins).

That whole period of my life is so blurry, and when I read my diaries I wrote at that time, it’s more like I’m reading something a completely different person wrote. It almost feels intrusive.”

7. Extreme anxiety.

“For me, it started with anxiety. Anxiety about everything.

Always nervous and always worried. Spent an entire childhood like that. I lived in a good house with a good family, but I was scared of EVERYTHING and was very dependent on adults.

In older childhood, hallucinations started, and some bizarre delusions. I was finally diagnosed at age 19.

Being diagnosed was very positive for me. Finally having an accurate label meant accurate treatment. Age 23 right now and doing well.”

8. On camera.

“Thought I was on camera everywhere including my own house.

Thought I was being stalked.

Thought everyone was an actor being told what to say to me.

It wrecked my life but I’m better now.

No hallucinations or delusions for years.

No one can tell I have schizophrenia.”

9. Demons.

“I’m a practicing Christian, and I kept seeing “demons”.

Thought I was chosen by God to wage war on demons.

Took about five years of serious counseling to realize I might have a mental problem.

Been on Seroquel for three years now.

Wish I wasn’t affiliated with a Christian denomination that didn’t understand mental illness when I was starting to go through that.

I would have been able to get help earlier.”

10. Scary stuff.

“My childhood toys and action figures on my bookshelf would come to life and threaten me.

I’d see them run along the shelf and then form little conspiratorial groups where they’d seem to talk about how to get me. Occasionally one would turn around and glare at me, and then go back to whispering.

I’d also see giant spiders that looked like they were made of papier-mâché fold out of the walls and skitter around until they found a corner and then would fold back into the wall.

I remember an entity I thought was the tooth fairy come to visit me. She was a lady of light with no face and black eyes who would float around the house and look in on everyone. She’d lean over me for a few moments and then fade away.

I was raised religious, so I never even realized this stuff wasn’t normal until I was an adult. I thought they were manifestations of demons and angels.

I still hallucinate from time to time, but as I’ve gotten older they have started to fade. It’s been weeks since I saw a spider fold out of the wall.”

11. Whispers.

“I heard whispers all my life and after dark I always felt like someone was watching me. I tried to tell my mom but she thought I had an imaginary friend.

I was a “gifted” kid and I eventually figured out that only crazy people hear things no one else can so I just stopped talking about it. I started having visual hallucinations when I was in high school but they didn’t happen often so it was easy to blame stress.

I was diagnosed after I had my first major panic attack and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. My parents thought I was having a heart attack. I was 20.”

Have you ever had to deal with someone who had schizophrenia?

Or maybe you’ve dealt with it yourself?

Please share your stories with us in the comments. Thanks in advance.