have noticed that something odd is happening. When you walk
down the street people whisper to each other. Store clerks
stare at you when you pass their windows. Women smoking
in the doorways of buildings look at you and then look at
each other and laugh. What are they looking at? You showered
and put on clean clothes. Your hair is combed. Then you
notice that some people pucker their lips together or wink
at you when you cross the street or enter a coffee shop.
That never happened before. Are your organs getting bigger
or putting out some smell? Maybe your roommate has secretly
added something to your laundry detergent.
weeks go by, and you are having trouble sleeping. You hear
music from somewhere nearby, and it is getting louder; the
walls pulse in time to the music. In the darkness of your
room you see a pulsing light. Some ritual is taking place
in another room, and something frightening could burst through
into your room at any minute. You close your eyes, but you
can still see the light. You start to pray silently, but
your voice comes back at you from the wall. You think, "My
God," and the word "God" echoes across the
room. In horror you hear a voice asking whether God exists.
What if they can hear you in the other room? What if God
can hear you?
grab a jacket and run out of the apartment. On the street
you see shadows flying back and forth between the buildings.
You run to a police car at the corner. The police officer
rolls down his window, and you explain to him that something
evil is happening in your apartment. He says that he cannot
understand what you are saying. He asks if you need help.
You start to repeat your story. Then you hear a voice from
the back seat of the police car. You lean closer to see
who is speaking. Someone in the shadows mutters, "You
can get her now, or you can get her later." You turn
and run, dropping your jacket. You don't dare look back.
chapter covers the following topics:
Is Most Commonly Seen in Schizophrenia
Can Occur in Several Other Illnesses
to Cope with Psychosis
Antipsychotic Medications Have Fewer Side Effects
excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission
from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks
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