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When a person with psychosis experiences hallucinations, sometimes you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. Even if that someone understands that this is occurring, for example, as a cycle of their own psychosis, that doesn’t mean the auditory and visual hallucinations aren’t any less mesmerizing. I can only imagine the feeling someone gets after dropping acid or shrooms. The extrasensory experience is timed and somewhat controlled and desired. This cannot be said for those experiencing psychosis. Even your gaze changes when cycling through these experiences. At their height, it does feel like a shattered mind, going through a bad trip that you never wanted. Walls can talk, walls can melt, geometric lines appear, and flashes of light appear. The experience is like watching the midnight sky of shooting stars and unknown planets swirling nonstop until the brain is exhausted by this phenomenon. Of course, after years of experiencing this phenomenon, you might even begin to like bits and pieces of the journey, but it disorients you. Your brain is forcing you to blend these two realities in which you can’t distinguish either. Your motor signals begin to get affected.

Hallucinations are found throughout societies. There are industries developed based on interpreting these signs, whether they be supernatural or psychosis. The brain is signaling to acknowledge it, but what if you know it’s just you? What if you know you’re going through this and it cannot be stopped regardless of what you do? You are awaken to hear voices would be something spiritual to many people, but what if these spirits never stop talking? What if it physiologically affects how you see or hear?

In distinguishing voices, I find it difficult sometimes, behaving like a hard-of-hearing person, asking someone to rephrase their statement because I heard another voice in the way. In the schizophrenia spectrum, I am glad I don’t have such fear of my own voices within my mind but sometimes they are so loud or attractive that it affects my gaze and my hearing. It’s a sixth sense that I never wanted. It sounds like an out-of-tune radio. When it’s nonstop is when it’s exhausting; a bullhorn blasting in my mind with no one to bear witness. Sometimes it’s music I like, but not at three in the morning when I’m fast asleep.

To research my disorder is to research pages and books on connecting the dots between the physical and mental. Speaking with therapists and psychiatrists and doctors, I try to resist being diagnostic about it all, but it gives me comfort that the professionals understand I have had this knowledge and started researching as soon as I started experiencing symptoms. I get into the weeds, learning about the physiological aspects of how my schizophrenia affects my speech patterns, my hearing, my gaze stability. It doesn’t change how serious I can crash from experiencing psychosis. You become very self-aware of your actions and the actions of those around you.

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