This Video Designed To Make You Experience Schizophrenia Is The Scariest Thing You'll See All Day

Be warned: this video will probably make you feel uncomfortable, even after you've stopped watching it. It might be hard to believe that someone could simulate the experience of a mental disorder in a six-minute online video, but schizophrenia inducing videos aim to do just that.

What is schizophrenia like? Schizophrenia videos answer the question in a direct, and surreal, way: by forcing people to experience what it's like living with the disorder. It causes viewers to become disoriented, anxious, and sometimes even paranoid. Imagine trying to go about your everyday life while a stranger constantly berates you from inside your own skull. 

Schizophrenia is a condition to which people are genetically predisposed. Just 1% of people without family history are diagnosed with it; meanwhile, that rate jumps to 13% for those with at least one parent diagnosed with the disease. It's also often misunderstood, and these videos help people understand what it's like for individuals living with the disorder. If nothing else, they'll definitely inspire empathy.

  • A Day In The Life Of A Person With Schizophrenia

    A Day In The Life Of A Person With Schizophrenia
    Video: YouTube

    Shot from the perspective of a person suffering from schizophrenia, this video allows viewers some insight into what it's like living with a chronic mental illness. Experience what it's like to have chaotic voices bouncing around your head, constantly telling you how worthless you are, while convincing you that you are in perpetual danger.

  • What Is Schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can severely affect how someone thinks, feels, and acts. It can cause hallucinations and delusions and causes sufferers to lose touch with reality. Children can develop schizophrenia, but it usually shows up later in life, between the ages of 16 and 30.

    Symptoms of schizophrenia \vary from person to person, but many individuals report hearing voices. These auditory hallucinations may sound like someone the sufferer knows, or a stranger. They may give instructions, harass the person, or emotionally go after them.

  • Schizophrenia Is Isolating

    Schizophrenia is an isolating and lonely disorder. Not many people understand what you are going through, and the delusions and hallucinations make it difficult to begin and maintain relationships.

    "Schizophrenia makes it hard for people to form close bonds. People tend to stay single," says schizophrenia specialist Dost Ongur.

  • Schizophrenia Simulators Aim To Encourage Empathy

    There's something uniquely difficult to understand about disorders that have no visual symptoms. Videos like the one linked above give a first-person glimpse of living with schizophrenia. The intent is to encourage empathy, the better to understand mental health patients and help them find treatment.

  • Virtual Reality Gives Doctors Insight Into What Their Patients Are Experiencing

    "A Day In The Life Of," the video included above, was created by pharmaceutical manufacturer Janssen. So was a software called Mindscape, and both are designed to give doctors a sense of what their patients with schizophrenia might be going through.

    Mindscape is a completely immersive virtual reality experience. Users wear a headset, and are instructed to attend a job interview while they are bombarded with voices berating and distracting them. You experience first-hand what it's like to struggle to focus through the cacophony of voices in their ears in a real-world setting.

  • Auditory Tracks Can Mimic A Schizophrenic Episode

    Auditory Tracks Can Mimic A Schizophrenic Episode
    Video: YouTube

    As an alternative to virtual reality, you can try audio tracks that mimic the experience of a psychotic episode due to schizophrenia. Play a video like this through your headphones, and then head to the train station, the corner store to buy a paper, or maybe even try to get some work done. Imagine if this was your reality every day, and you couldn't simply take out the earbuds and stop the track. And remember, this is only a small glimpse into one aspect of a complex disorder.