March 31, 2005

Schizophrenia Ups and Downs

The following is a great personal story of the ups and downs of schizophrenia. Special thanks to Douglas James Brown for permission to reprint the story here.

Schizophrenia is a life of ups and downs
By Douglas James Brown

I have a disease known as schizophrenia.

Individuals with this disorder vary in their presentation of symptoms. For me, there are days when everything is detailed, scary and frightening, and there are days of seeing things moving around in my apartment that are not really there. There are days where I weep because my life is one big roller-coaster. There are days where extra medication is the only answer.

There are the days where I've been successful. Days in which I function and can make sense of my world and the books I read, such as school texts, are the days where life becomes full of zest and brilliantly wonderful.

Sometimes, however, I feel insecure, dazed and even frightened of people. Then there are the days where I need to take extra medication because of extra stress, which invokes voices and hallucinations. I even fear being alienated by people with or without the illness.

I have my ups and downs.

It is the evenings when I feel most vulnerable to the ghosts surrounding me. Sometimes they make me feel I am "crazy in the head." These apparitions do not harm me; actually, they just move around and act like a group of people who live a life similar to mine.

However, the apparitions live in a different time frame, a different era. Really it is like a parallel world, and they do not really notice that I am around. The strange thing is, though, I notice them.

There are the crying days. On these days, I cry because I am all alone without many friends, and I lack social support networks. I also weep because I cannot function like other people, because I do not fit in, and because of the stigma associated with schizophrenia. I cry because I fear the voices may return when I am feeling "stressed out," and I do not want them to come back.

Medication is a necessary form of treatment for schizophrenia. Individuals on medication respond differently. Some individuals may be over-medicated to the point of slurring words, or sleeping all the time, or even to the point of behaving like a zombie.

For me, medication works and is necessary. It makes me feel great. I feel a lot better on medication.

Although my medications generally work well with my body and mind, there are times I need extra medication such as chlorpromazine. When I hear voices or see the apparitions, I take the chlorpromazine and it helps rid my mind of those disturbances.

I would like to share that I have completed two credits from a nearby college and I plan on obtaining my Writing for Publication Certificate within the next year and a half.

My medications have helped keep me mentally healthy and stable so I can complete my course work.

Thanks to the doctors who have made my life much happier and better, I don't at present experience many of the symptoms I've described in this article.

On medication I can now function like a regular human being and be successful in school and life.

If science didn't provide the medications that we individuals with schizophrenia now have, society might still be isolating us into asylums where they used electroconvulsive therapy, lobotomies and insulin overdoses to free the schizophrenic person from his or her symptoms.

We with schizophrenia need to be thankful for scientific discoveries and continue to advocate further research so a cure for schizophrenia is found.

Douglas James Brown lives in Burlington, Canada.


I am doing a project on Schizophrenia. I was wondering if you could tell me what your life is like with it. How does it effect you in everyday life at school, work, or with family and friends?

Posted by: Amy at February 22, 2006 05:50 AM

My son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. It seems like none of the medications are helping.
Any suggestions? He has been battling this for two years now.

Posted by: Leah Gravatt at April 4, 2007 07:36 AM

My son has been diagnosed since Dec. 2006 and he too is saying the drugs don't help. He is presently refusing to take them, or to see a doctor, for his condition. He tells me almost every few weeks that he wants to kill himself, yesterday being the last time. He has it planned and he knows that his family would be lost without him, but he doesn't care. He is single, holds a job, at the time being, and is 25 years old. Have you ever emailed others like yourself to give support?
My email is if you want to answer me personally. Thank you - Laurie (a worried mom)

Posted by: Laurie De Kindt at October 18, 2007 07:46 AM


Posted by: CHRISTINE COHEN at May 11, 2008 05:45 PM

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