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April 13, 2024

What It’s Like to Experience Schizophrenia

It’s probably difficult to comprehend the internal perception of schizophrenia if you don’t have it.

When we explain our perceptions to others, we usually believe that we have a common understanding of how it feels to think and interpret the world through our senses. We expect to be able to speak about our thoughts without having to explain how our brains bind various pieces of sensory information and memory to shape a thought.

The disorder affects the most basic mechanisms of perceiving and thought in someone with schizophrenia. Every person affected by the illness would have a different perspective on the world, but there are some common themes.

Signs and Symptoms

Understanding the experience and the basic symptoms of schizophrenia is one way to try to understand what it’s like to have schizophrenia. Of course, an individual’s personal and unique experience would not exactly fit into these categories.

Loneliness and Sadness

Psychosis, which involves hallucinations and delusions, can cause genuine depression and loneliness in those who suffer from it. When you’re caught in a frightening and isolating environment, depression is a normal reaction.


A delusion is when a person is fascinated with an idea and is convinced that the idea is right. Your reasoning skill can be rational in other respects, beginning with your utter conviction of the incorrect premise.

Delusional theories have a powerful ability to occupy the mind. Delusional people may often persuade others that their delusions are real. This is most common when the delusion is related to everyday life, such as an unfaithful partner or a boss who is “out to get me.”

Some delusions are obviously abnormal, such as when someone believes they are a celebrity or that their thoughts are being manipulated by aliens.

What It's Like to Experience Schizophrenia

You may continue to believe your delusions are real even after reacting well to antipsychotic medications. However, you may have realized that other people believe the theories are most likely delusions.

This is known as meta-knowledge of the symptom, or awareness that occurs above the level of the symptom itself, according to psychologists.

Delusions and hallucinations may occur together. Hearing voices talk to you on the radio, for example, is a hallucination. Delusion is present when you are fully persuaded that the voices are real and that the things they tell you are true.

It is possible to have hallucinations when understanding that they aren’t real. This will necessitate a meta-awareness of the unreality of what appears to be a true experience, similar to delusions.

Humans typically depend on their perceptions to determine what is true. We’re also unaware that different people have different reactions to the same situation because those minor variations rarely come up in conversation. People will go their entire lives without realizing they are colorblind because they are unaware of what they have never seen.

Similarly, an outgoing person might see nice, receptive faces at a group, while a shy person might see the same faces as indifferent or even critical. Neither of these perceptions is pathological, and they are all part of the usual human experience.


Being fully persuaded of the reality of a mistaken conviction.

However, if you have schizophrenia, you can hear people saying things that are critical or offensive when they aren’t really saying them. That would be an auditory hallucination of some kind.

Visual hallucinations can also take several different forms. A individual with schizophrenia may be attracted to a specific person’s face, note how white their teeth are, and then imagine the mouth and teeth expanding to fill the space.

This perceptual illusion would seem to be a genuine visual experience, and the individual may believe it is. If they are scared by the perception, they can try to hide their fear, scream out, or run away.

Visual hallucinations, such as small children or animals that appear or follow them around, are common in certain people.

When they exit a room, they can also keep open doors for these hallucinations to move through.

What It's Like to Experience Schizophrenia

Disorganized speech

The same mechanism that disrupts the brain’s regular operations also disrupts the brain’s ability to control its own operations. To use an example, a psychotic brain can’t troubleshoot its own mistakes because the methods for troubleshooting are broken as well.

People who have disorganized speech are also conscious that their sentences and ideas aren’t expressing what they want to say. However, they are often perplexed as to why.

They can sincerely attempt to express their thoughts through nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness language, only to become irritated when the other person does not understand or the words do not come out correctly. They may, on the other hand, seem to be unaware that the listener does not comprehend what they are saying.

Want to read more about mental health? Here are useful tips for fighting depression.

Disorganized behavior

There are several different types of disorganized behaviour, and most people aren’t aware of it and think it’s perfectly normal. Here are a few examples:

  • As if they were knitting, they moved their empty hands.
  • Making a seemingly insignificant hand gesture or body posture
  • Remove clothing from an inconvenient place.

Disorganized Schizophrenia: What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Mental disorder is becoming more widely recognized, and more legal jurisdictions are recommending individuals for medical treatment. However, far too many mentally ill people are still being held in jails and even prisons for nothing more than disorderly conduct.

People who do not have schizophrenia engage in bizarre and socially odd activities as well. People who are relatively safe can strip down at a football game, start a pillow fight in a public square, or dress strangely. The difference is that these individuals are conscious that their conduct is out of the ordinary and are seeking the publicity that it generates.

What It's Like to Experience Schizophrenia

Negative Consequences

People with schizophrenia have a hard time distinguishing negative symptoms from disease symptoms or even odd behavior. In this way, the experience will resemble depression in several ways.

Even when confronted aggressively or in a dangerous situation, the individual does not express emotions or expresses them only mildly.

Anhedonia is the inability to take significant satisfaction in activities that were once pleasurable.

How to Recognize Negative Schizophrenia Symptoms

When you have depressive symptoms, you don’t have much energy or inspiration, and your mental energy and acuity are also poor. Since the mind itself is hazy or dull, there is no awareness that it is possible to feel differently and no recollection of having done so. Many individuals who have suffered from depression are familiar with the sensation of being in a mental fog.

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