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I have a question about Schizophrenia
I've often heard (not sure if it's stereotypical or cliche) that people with schizophrenia do what the "voices in their head" tell them to... But do all schizophrenics feel compelled to "obey" to these voices...? I'd be so annoyed if some "voices" tell me to do something I'd probably do the opposite just to annoy them... So I don't understand... I get that voices appear, or "people" appear and they "talk" to the person... but does a schizophrenic always [i]has to[/i], or feels the need to, [i]obey[/i] the "voices"...?

I don't have schizophrenia and I know no one with schizophrenia so that's why I ask...
51-55, M
13 replies
Jul 1, 2018
crossswordcrusader · 31-35, M
Hearing voices is one thing, getting lost in thoughts is another thing some kind of ocd with your intrusive thoughts.
reflectingmonkey · 46-50, M
well, I had a schizophrenic friend a while ago and the voice in his head was god, he did argue with him sometimes and would get really angry at "god" but then all the bad things that happened to him he attribute to god being mean to him.
drymer · 51-55, M
[@9310,reflectingmonkey] Wow 😦
fluteacorn · 18-21, F
Not all people with schizophrenia feel compelled to obey, some use it as an excuse for stuff they do. Some people have it so bad that they "need" to.
greenmountaingal · 70-79, F
I've never had schizophrenia, but I have experienced a delusional mental illness, delirium, and it included voices, eventually compelling voices. Before I had this illness, I used to wonder why people who heard voices obeyed them. I talked to many mental patients and doctors (I worked in a mental hospital for ten years) but no one ever explained it to me.

I was fortunate because delirium is curable; it's usually caused by toxins building up in the kidneys and brain due to a rampant infection. It's like the experience of having a very high fever when you hear echoing sounds, see spots, sometimes hallucinate etc. It's caused by an infection and clears up when the infection does.

For people with more serious conditions, like schizophrenia, it can be ongoing and very confusing.

Assuming that what I experienced is similar, it seems to me that there are several reasons why delusional mentally ill people might obey the voices.

First, they are often not just [i]any[/i] voices; they're often voices of people you know, or have known. These voices are close to you, know you, and know how to talk to you. Second, these voices often occur along with other forms of hallucinations, such as taste sensations. My voices would threaten to make my food inedible...and then, suddenly, everything I ate tasted like rotten cardboard mixed with hot peppers. Last, these voices are talking to you when other, real, normal people are not, so they seem more important in a way and you don't have any reality anchor; a good reason not to ignore the mentally ill. Eventually, these voices tend to become frightening and threatening. You want to appease them so they will stop scaring you. At first they only ask for small accommodations promising to leave you in peace if you will just do one or two simple things. Then the requests become commands with very frightening consequences if you disobey them. They are coming from deep within your mind so they know what you fear most. Weak, sick, panicked, and possibly alone with no one to talk to to get back to everyday give in and do something crazy or you flee the situation and try to escape the voices seeking help.

This was my experience and might describe a delusional schizophrenic episode. I have a friend with schizophrenia and he had experiences similar to mine.
drymer · 51-55, M
[@358142,greenmountaingal] Wow, the brain is an amazing thing, and it's fascinating to see how "reality" can become so blurred when it no longer works properly...
Graylight · F
Generally speaking, schizophrenia is widely misunderstood. The "voice" in the sufferer's head is typically a disembodied vocal phenomena, not "other people" or visions. And nearly without fail, it's a voice of derision and criticism, not an evil angel dictating foul deeds. Sufferers in the throes of the disorder often simply mumble to themselves or remain silent altogether. So no, they don't have to follow directions because there are often none given.

Psychosis and delusions of grandeur are altogether different things.
Graylight · F
[@358142,greenmountaingal], Yeah we don't know yet why that is. Even people who experience temporary psychosis and hallucinations experience the same thing. That and persecution. Must be something about human nature.
greenmountaingal · 70-79, F
[@627992,Graylight] My own take on it, at least for my own case of delirium, is that when the body or brain is ill, it sends out warning and danger signals to urge you to get medical or other help. Sometimes this touches on the parts of your brain where bad memories and experiences are stored.
Graylight · F
[@358142,greenmountaingal] Could be. It's as good as any other theory.
Wiseacre · 61-69, F
Not all ppl with schizophrenia hear voices.
Peaches · F
They don't all "hear and obey voices." I had a friend with it and it seems more like its a type of war within themselves. They certainly don't need to be on drugs or drink because that makes it worse.

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