The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Schizophrenia and Voices: The Ugly Side

Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness that alters a person's judgment and emotions. It affects one percent of the American population. For males it usually begins around age 15, and for females age 25. However, I showed symptoms at age 20 or under, and I am a female.

I had jumbled thoughts, and heard loud voices demanding me to say and to do things. None of what the voices said made any sense. In fact, there were multiple voices. The voices were discouraging, and mean, sometimes they laughed at me. The illness made me intense and hard to follow in conversations. Schizophrenia makes you an ugly person...unless you handle it. The following events happened while I was in jail...

"Get up, flush the toilets!" A voice commanded. I woke up one night because I couldn't sleep, the voices were bothering me. To quiet the voices I started flushing all of the toilets. Even though I woke up my fellow inmates, I continued flushing the toilets. An inmate 'Sh" me and grabbed me by the arm to take me back to my bunk. "Get the vacuum cleaner," demanded another voice. I got up again, this time to use the vacuum cleaner, but not for its original use. I hit the camera on the ceiling. "What are you doing?" An inmate asked me. No response. "If you don't go to sleep I will call the guards on you!" Said the inmate...

During a visit with my sister the voice said,"She isn't your sister." "Lynci, who was your childhood friend?" I asked my sister, trying to decipher if she was my sister or not. "Why are you asking me this, Ashley?" My sister replied. "I just want to know," I said. My sister replied, "Christina..."

Schizophrenia makes you an ugly person. It alters logic and takes away everything that is important to you such as family. I denied family visits from my mother and my father...

"Tell her you don't want to see her again," the voice commanded while I was on a visit with my mother. I had a blank stare, that scared my mother, as I looked into her eyes and told her: "I never want to see you again." "Why, Ashley?" she replied in an upset tone. "She isn't your friend! She kept your father away from you," the voice said. "Because you hurt people" I said. "You took my father away from me. You took Marlon (my boyfriend) away from me" I said and abruptly left my seat to stand next to the door to return to my cell...

"Ashley, can I get you to sign this release form so that your mother can see your medical records?" Asked Elaine, the social worker. "Say no," a voice said. "No!" I shouted. Elaine returned to mother at the front office and told my mother I said no to signing the release form. "Will you please ask her again," asked my mother. "Ashley, can I give your mother permission to see your medical records?" Elaine asked. "No!" The voice shouted. "No means NO, b#!*h! Get out of my face, b#!*h!" I shouted...

"Stay in that chair, don't move!" The voice shouted. I would sit in the chair for hours, not moving because I did not want the voices to shout at me. One day the guard had to drag me in my chair back to my cell because I would not follow orders to get up. I became catatonic, not moving a muscle for hours. In the beginning while I was catatonic I recited scriptures. Eventually, I had jumbled thoughts, or no thoughts at all. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your understanding...Be doers of the Word not hearers only...Before I formed in the womb I knew you, I ordained you a prophet to the nations...I remember doctors coming into my room to check on me. They would move a limb and ask if it hurt, but they did not get a response. I was mute...

"She's evil don't talk to her," the voice said. I was selective with whom I spoke to. Whenever I did speak it was limited words such as "yes" and "no." "The nurse said you don't talk to anyone. So they put us together so that maybe you can talk to me," an inmate told me. "Oh," I said. The nurses tactics did not work, and eventually I did not speak at all...

"Ashley, it is time for you to take your medication," the nurse said. "No!" I replied. "Come on, it will make you feel better," the nurse pleaded. "I don't want to," I said. "Okay, well we will just have to call security to help me give you a shot. Don't make me do this," said the nurse. Shortly after, several security guards came charging at me and pressed down on my arms and legs, I was stuck, I couldn't move. Then the nurse gave me a shot in the behind. This routine went on for several days, until I finally got tired of getting shots in my behind, and gave in to the oral form of medication. I was very uncooperative.

Weeks after continuously taking medication the voices went away. I started moving around again and getting invloved in conversation. Although schizophrenia is a difficult illness, there is hope that your loved one will get well through medication and therapy. Moreover, my mother and I are close again.

5 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

How awful it must have been for you. I have bipolar ll and a couple of winters ago I slipped into psychosis and became extremely paranoid. It literally terrified me. I heard voices too but fortunately they were calming voices. I can't imagine the torment you must have went through. I'm so glad that you and your mother became close again.

Vivienne said...

this is an amazing post. i was wondering if i could ask something though (i'm inquisitive by nature, you can tell me where to go if you like) the voices - are they male or female and do they sound familiar in any way?

thank you for the comment on "i got it" post :) xx

Valash said...

Vivienne,
They were male voices. And they were not familiar. Sometimes they sound like cartoon characters, overly dramatic.

Ashley

Anonymous said...

For me personally, I miss my voices...they complimented me, talked to me, told me who I was, told me about my life history, inspired and overall me a creative person. Without them, I am a mess...how can I possibly get them back?

Anonymous said...

my sister has it ... She refuse to take her medicine because it make her sleepy all the time .. She still live with us but she fights with us over delusional things and make everyone hating her .. Can you tell me what kind of medicine you are on and does it work and make the voices go away , cause the pills she was on doesn't work it just make her less active.