Mental illnesses cause a number of different symptoms, and the onset of schizophrenia may induce some of the most terrifying. But what does schizophrenia onset feel like? According to the numerous schizophrenia onset stories collected on Reddit, it feels like a nightmare. Voices arising from white noise, hallucinations, and overwhelming feelings of paranoia include only some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Such symptoms, especially in their onset, can be exacerbated by a person's environment or stress levels, meaning schizophrenic manifestations greatly vary from person to person in terms of severity. And unfortunately, since no cure exists, schizophrenics must remain on guard against their own minds for the rest of their lives.
Thankfully, the Redditors below not only received help for their schizophrenia, they also feel strong enough to talk about it. Once a patient receives treatment, a schizophrenic can live a normal life as evidenced by the many famous people living with schizophrenia. Even still, the onset of schizophrenia itself lasts with people long after the episode itself and speaks to the terrifying and very real struggle of those living with mental illness.
"My first signs were when I would hear people calling my name in the distance, even though no one is around. Then came the bugs, I would see giant black flies and beetles.
Soon I found myself becoming intrigued with a number for no particular reason.
It's true what they say about not knowing you're crazy until a psychiatrist tells you so. As of right now I'm on medication and seeing a therapist in order to deal with the stress that comes with it."
"I think it started well before I realized it was there, but the first time I realized there was a problem was when I felt like I was listening to someone else's thoughts. It was like the voice inside my head was not mine - like I wasn't in control of my own thoughts. Hard to describe."
"I would have full-blown conversations with imaginary people, and only after moving one of my limbs (I had been frozen in a position) did the 'spell' of the hallucination break.
Those people I was talking to were very, very real to me. I did not only hallucinate their voices and a vague sense of their physical form, but their history, their personality. It got so that whenever I conversed with someone, I constantly needed to check my body position to make sure that I was grounded in reality. It got so that I would speak aloud to respond to a person (in a bank, say) and find the hallucination dispelled and people staring at me.
That is when I knew I was not like others.
The hardest part of the hallucination is when it breaks, and I cannot understand how my own mind weaved the context of this encounter with such realism... that I had been speaking to a person I had known my entire life, and yet I had hallucinated him for the first time for only the span of a minute.
What is reality, why are you more real than this person I speak to in my mind? For the moment I speak to these figments, they are just as real as you or I. Part of my battle with schizophrenia has been coming to term with the fact that these are figments, it is so very hard and dispiriting to have to tell yourself that you cannot be trusted. I do not want any of this, I wish I were not this way."
"I was diagnosed with schizophrenia six years ago, but started having symptoms a few years before that.
For me it started with what were very like panic attacks - a building sensation of pressure over several hours or days that finally exploded out of me in the form of nonsense words, random twitches, and screaming paranoia.
The first time I can remember having what would be considered 'classic' schizophrenic symptoms was after a period of this building pressure. I fled my friends because I thought they were plotting against me, hid in some nearby woods, and then sat in tears as I watched the sky catch fire."