People still continue asking me:
So your symptoms have gone? No more schizophrenia? How did your voices go away?
Your hallucinations have stopped? How are your delusions now?
And often like an old dry tape-recorder I’ve to repeat myself (because people have a tendency to not share knowledge and credit it. They are also wary that if they tell others they would come across as being mad for listening to me.)
So here is what it is:
I still have these things you call ‘symptoms’. My being good looking has nothing to do with recovering from schizophrenia! When will you people use your brain? Does it mean all good looking people who have mental illness are recovered?
I still hear voices every single day and yes it can get overwhelming when there are a lot of them at the same time. It is like a classroom full of noisy children but the teacher still has to find a way to work with them. Will you ask a teacher if she has recovered from her classroom voices?
Each voice will try to grab my attention because I listen to them. You would be able to hear voices too if you weren’t caught in your own set of existential constructions. Many people fall under the bicameral mind like a meta-consciousness or meta-awareness. It can be painful when I don’t follow what the voices tell me to do as it is like a command from the logical left-hemisphere being heard on the right hemisphere. So I obey. I don’t see why that should be something wrong or bad. But I am sure you would still question it since it is coming from me and I haven’t cited some ‘paid research’.
The obeying of these voices is no different than non-voice hearing people getting a kick in the butt because they become so used to being comfortable in a given space and time.
However, it is not that these voices have a control over me. I have chosen to hear them and follow them because I’ve learnt to believe in mine first. I allow them to show up because I have recognized that I can be lazy. I also can be caught in many things in life given the many things I do that I won’t know where to stop myself. I could take up projects and say yes to many people without knowing that physically I am limited as a human. So these voices serve as a stress call letting me know that I need to have my boundaries so that others don’t cross over either. In a funny way, I don’t have to manage stress. The voices show up the minute there is something overwhelming me and the source of what can stress me out is taken care off.
This is how my brain functions while being aware of being aware. It isn’t an exercise I do but it’s a natural process that happens to me. There is no ‘off’ switch for it nor would I do away with it because it allows me to function at many levels.
There is a lot to hearing voices. All the literature has only been based on Western stories and accounts of hearing voices that is shaped around their culture, religion or spiritual beliefs, their social and familial structures and their lives. How can you ask me such a ridiculous question without keeping in mind that I am an Indian. I might look like a lot of things but my hearing of voices and these ‘symptoms’ are largely influenced and shaped by my culture, my religious or spiritual beliefs, my social and familial structures and my life.
When are people going to stop generalizing? If one has the intelligence to ask such questions then one has that much intelligence to ask with awareness of the question.
Recovery from schizophrenia doesn’t mean your symptoms HAVE to stop existing. Who told you that? (Most likely someone who doesn’t have schizophrenia)
It is like saying the only way the planet can heal is when all humans stop existing. Or it is like saying to a person on a wheelchair ‘So your disability has gone?’
The person might not be able to walk but has found an alternative to move around.
Why is it so difficult for you folks to accept that so can a person with schizophrenia ‘move around’ different worlds and yet function in yours!? It is only difficult because of the never ending generalizing based on the number of individuals who experience it. If there were 100 people with schizophrenia in the same room with 100 people who are ‘normal’, you would all feel discriminated.
Just cause you can’t do it or experience it, it doesn’t mean I can’t. Many of us can. Some of us hide it and some of us don’t. Because trying to live in your world as an equal is no different than women fighting for equal rights. (not to forget I am a woman too).
Maybe I am not your equal then. Maybe I am more. Maybe I am indeed an alien who can only make sense to humans here under the guise of schizophrenia.
(FYI – Julian Jaynes came up with bicameral mind. NOW you would believe me? Cause some guy said it first. Starting point of patriarchy and why us women start experiencing depression after recovery. Then there is racism ’cause it must come from a ‘white’ person. As an Asian Indian woman I obviously have nothing new or wow to tell the world. Apart from my blonde hair you won’t even look at me – hence it is a political statement. Then again I don’t look old and crack too many jokes. And only elderly looking people with serious faces could know of stuff. And I am not given research money to write this article so it doesn’t count as an eye-opener. Also I am not a doctor, I don’t hold a phd., and there are no peer reviewed possibilities here since there aren’t many recovered ‘schizophrenics’)