Schizophrenia has long been a stigmatized mental illness marked by hallucinations and total breaks from reality. Those suffering from schizophrenic hallucinations can't trust the world around them. They can't trust the senses the rest of us rely upon to function. So what do schizophrenics see when hallucinating? Hallucinations can range from beautiful and interesting (HD colors and swirling walks) to straight-up dangerous and terrifying (bugs crawling over your body, frog-faced women, and ominous shadowy figures). There's no cure for schizophrenia, but it is treatable. Many of the 1.2% of Americans that suffer from the mental illness lead normal, productive lives after a strict regimen of medication and therapy.
From Redditor /u/luckysushi22:
Most of my most severe symptoms are paranoid... but I also have euphoric and religious-themed symptoms. For example, there have been times that I believed that I had a special ability to communicate with nature, and God has given me the ability [to understand] and [hear] the language of wild animals and of plants. I swore I could hear the grass growing, and that it was singing and speaking as it grew. I also have had experiences where I believed that I was being spoken to by both angels and devils. I have even felt their breath on the back of my neck.
From Redditor /u/patchouliraven:
I hear voices, they don't always talk about anything relevant or directly to me, and it doesn't quite sound like they come from outside, more like they are echoing within my head, but they are not like the usual internal dialogue everyone has. With more frequency now, they speak to me directly and are almost always cruel. I believe that if I can see people they can hear my thoughts. I am occasionally convinced that everyone hates me and will try to poison my food. I believe that paintings and photographs talk to me, and I can mentally respond back. I know these are wrong, and yet they are still deep beliefs to me, which is disturbing. Of course, some of the more extreme ones explode in episodes of stress, but the others are there all the time.
From Redditor /u/PEACEMENDER:
It's not like just one hallucination. At least for me it it isn't. A common occurrence is the appearance of cracks and fissures in things like glass or pavement. But that is the only visual hallucination I get. Many times is just voices. Not different voices, they are your voice but they are telling you things or yelling at you. It's sort of like how you tell yourself you don't want to eat something that you are craving. You sort of fight with yourself but imagine that happening all the time with everything. It also comes with some wild feelings. Fear, panic, distrust, sadness. It kind of all comes flooding in. From group therapy I've learned that some people get subtle things like hearing whispering the next room over when no one is there, or seeing leaves rustle in the corner of your eye. Others its a full blown Taiwanese Parliament in your head. With pictures not looking right, and the things people say to you heard differently.
From Redditor /u/Gar_the_homie:
I started having auditory hallucinations when I was in my second year of college. I was smoking a lot of weed, and at first, the psychosis only happened when I was high. I kept smoking, and eventually, I was hearing things in my head 24/7. I would wake up and hear people talking to me. These voices knew all of my thoughts and emotions, and they would criticize me for everything. Before I realized that I had some symptoms of schizophrenia, I thought that the voices were coming from people around me. It made me feel paranoid in public places, and I stayed in my room for as long as I could on most days. The voices began threatening me, saying that terrible things would happen to me because of my thoughts and actions. I was so scared that I would try to force myself to sleep, just to avoid thinking.
I spent some time in the hospital, and I saw people who were experiencing worse symptoms than I was. I learned just how terrible schizophrenia can be. I used to be constantly on edge, trying to control all of my thoughts so the voices wouldn't yell at me. Then, I started taking medication and going to therapy. I've stopped smoking weed, and I haven't heard any voices in months.