Updated date:

Schizophrenia ~ A Sufferer’s Point of View

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Poem Requested by Misbah Sheikh

I have written the following poem as a 'Special Edition' of Poems From the Porch, as it was requested by my friend and fellow hubber Misbah Sheikh.

I could have included it with other poems but felt the subject was important enough, and the poem long enough, to stand on its own. Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects around one in a hundred people, so it is a very common mental illness, however, there is still much stigma and misunderstanding associated with it.

This is for you, Misbah, and I hope other readers find the poem interesting as well.

I remember you were asking for ideas for the "From the Porch" series, and I have one suggestion. I'd like to tell you that this is a request, not a challenge. I never challenge people I know have the courage to take on such a task. LoL. So, Can you create a poem in the tone of a Schizophrenic person? telling about his feelings, his fears, hallucinations, etc. I know I always have stupid ideas, but I think it would be fantastic. Have you ever written a poem about this topic before?

— Misbah Sheikh

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Schizophrenia ~ From the Inside Looking Out

I hear these voices in my head,

some tell me I’d be better dead.

At first, I thought they were next door

or coming from the upper floor.


But soon I realized that was wrong

for the voices were too loud and strong.

They’d tell me I’m not good enough,

that I am weak, and life’s too tough.


They’d make me speak against my will.

I’ve hurt my friends, I do that still.

It’s hard to tell what’s right or wrong,

and I try to drown them out with songs.


With headphones on the music blares,

I know nobody really cares.

My psych tells me to take this pill,

a sedative to dull my will.


Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

Next month he’ll see there’re side effects.

“Let’s try a new one. What the heck!”

I’m just used as a guinea pig,

I’m just a speck, the world’s so big.


I have only one persona,

which may suit a constant loner.

And that’s enough for me to bear,

When I may feel the need to share.


I feel judgemental people stare,

wishing I could hide and not be there.

I’d put a bucket on my head

if that would ease my growing dread.


I can’t explain the pain I feel.

Did I accept the Devil’s deal?

My life has no meaning or worth,

I’ve felt this way, I’m sure, since birth.


Image by TotumRevolutum from Pixabay

Image by TotumRevolutum from Pixabay

I could have been a happy girl,

but schizophrenia rocked my world.

I’m hopeful that these things will change,

be seen as “normal,” no more strange.


I feel that way, right here today,

but soon those thoughts will drift away,

and I’ll be stuck with my fucked mind.

As the world moves on, I’m left behind.


I can’t explain my mental state

but sadly must accept my fate.

If I stay strong I will survive,

and just thank God I am alive.


The voices laugh and call me weak,

“You’ll never find the help you seek!

You’ve been an outcast all along,

it’s easier to just be gone!”


Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Delusions are part of my life,

they cause me so much grief and strife.

I see things others say aren't real,

and feel things no one else can feel.


Hallucinations come and go,

what's real or not, I just don't know.

Zombies stalk me in the dark,

an asteroid crashed in the park.


So, please just try to understand,

and if I ask, just hold my hand.

Don’t judge me, shun me, put me down,

or in those waves of hate I’ll drown.


For I’m a person just like you,

Not in a freak show or the zoo

To ogle at and make fun of.

We all deserve respect and love.


Image by janrye from Pixabay

Image by janrye from Pixabay

Am I a mindless fool? My life is a fragment, a disconnected dream that has no continuity. I am so tired of senselessness. I am tired of the music that my feelings sing, the dream music.

— Ross David Burke, When the Music's Over: My Journey into Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes a person to have an altered experience of reality. It causes psychosis when people experience delusions and hallucinations. Schizophrenia affects people’s thoughts, perceptions and behaviour and interferes with their ability to function in everyday situations like work, and school. They often find it hard to relate to other people.

One of the biggest problems people with schizophrenia face in the community is the stigma associated with it. Most people find it hard to understand this mental illness, and contrary to popular belief, people with schizophrenia do not have a ‘split personality.' Very few people with schizophrenia become violent but they do, unfortunately, suffer a higher rate of suicide than the general population.

According to a study in JAMA Psychiatry: "Those with schizophrenia are almost three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without the serious mental illness, making it second only to age as a risk factor for mortality." (thank you Misbah for researching this)

Resources

© 2021 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 16, 2021:

Hello Jo, thank you for reading this poem and for your encouraging comment. I do hope it helps raise awareness.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 16, 2021:

Hey Shauna! Glad this ended up making it to your feed. I have missed commenting on a lot lately unfortunately. I feel for that man you encountered begging the voices to shut up. 1 in 100 certainly surprised me as well.

Thank you for voting for me in the Hubby Awards, i needed it as I have no HubPages mugs left, both long broken. I have only won two haha…not regularly like some others. And they haven’t had “best poet” for a few years. I shall certainly give those kitties a hug for you. Take care my friend.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on September 16, 2021:

Thanks for this beautiful poem, John, and thanks for raising awareness.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 16, 2021:

John, I read this poem yesterday, but couldn't find it in my feed. Now it's here.

I think you did a wonderful job of writing this from the POV of someone who suffers from schizophrenia.

A week or so ago my boss and I were outside for our afternoon smoke break. A man was walking down the sidewalk by the road, a good 100 yards from us. He was holding his head and screaming, "Shut up! Shut up! Leave me alone!" over and over again. I felt so bad for him. I can't imagine experiencing voices in my head and not being able to escape them. I think I'd go mad.

I was shocked to learn 1 in 100 people suffer from this strain of mental illness. That's a staggering figure!

Excellent job, my friend. Kudos to Misbah for suggesting this topic.

Congrats again on your Best Poet award. How many is this now? Four? Five? I voted for you, by the way.

Have a great rest of the week, my friend. Give the kitties a hug from me!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Thank you for the congratulations in regard to the hubby award, Rosina. I am happy that you found this poem informative about schizophrenia. I hope your small problem is resolved soon and you are soon back writing and reading again. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Hello Audrey. I am so glad you loved this poem and feel I managed to capture what it is like living with this mental illness. Thank you for the congratulations too.

Rosina S Khan on September 14, 2021:

John, first of all, congrats on winning the Hubbie award. I have often wondered what schizophrenic patients go through. Your poem definitely makes it obvious and paints a real picture of these patients. I am glad I have a clear understanding of them now. Thank you for sharing the wonderful poem and also thanks to Misbah for requesting the poem. I have been suffering from a little problem and I hope it will solve soon. That's why I haven't been with HubPages for a while.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 14, 2021:

John

An absolutely brilliant poem! Only you could capture the very heart of a subject matter such as this. You certainly deserve the "Best Poet" award.

My best to you,

Audrey

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Hello Rozlin, thanks for the congrats. I appreciate that, and for reading my poem and your encouraging comment. Take care and blessings to you also.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Not a problem Mel. They used to put a notification on the feed and on the HP blog but this year it has only been in the forums, so I knew some people wouldn’t see even see it. It is good to see some people win for the first time. I actually voted for you but not for that particular article. This is the first I have one for many years, my last mug broke a long time ago. So congratulations again. Make sure you contact them with your details.

Rozlin from UAE on September 14, 2021:

Wonderful poem, John. You truly deserve Best poet award. Congrats for the Hubbie award. You have nicely explain and expressed the disorder in your poem. You convert any topic into poem very easily and in a beautiful way. Thanks for sharing this one. Take care, dear friend.

Blessings always!

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 14, 2021:

Yeah, I'll claim responsibility for that one. Now there's a blast from the past, dusting off some of the clutter in my closet. I never would have expected that article, but I guess I'll take it. Thanks for sending me the link. I have never received a hubbie before, so I would like to thank the members of the Academy, and of course my constant supporters like you, my friend. You're up there on the podium with me, which makes me happy. Congrats back atcha.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Thank you, MG. Yes, it is quite common. I have met a couple of people with it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Thanks Mel.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

https://hubpages.com/community/forum/352844/this-y...

How to Deliver Mail in the Dark....is your article isn't it?

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 14, 2021:

Congrats to you, too.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 14, 2021:

Ok John, I had no idea I got a funniest article award. Wow. Where do I go to see the results?

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 14, 2021:

This is a nice article but schizophrenia is something pretty common and needs to be treated sympathetically. Frankly never met a person with this malady.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

Thank you, Fran. I hoped I captured the emotions a sufferer may feel. Take care.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on September 14, 2021:

John, no one could have said it better. Your poem was right on. Great incite. Thank you for submitting.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Well, there has been discussions in New South Wales about introducing permanent travel lockdowns out of state and overseas for non-vaccinated.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 13, 2021:

John

I just heard that Australia has made a permanent lockdown for all non~vaccinated people.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda. I tried to put myself in the place of someone suffering from schizophrenia. I am glad you feel I succeeded in capturing what they might feel.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 13, 2021:

John

You definitely wrote a winner with this one.

Your words seem to describe just how I imagine one would feel.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you for reading and appreciating this, Eric. Your comments have been missed.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 13, 2021:

This is a really important piece. Thanks John

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Misbah, thank you for googling that. It is very concerning indeed. Yes, may God bless us all.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 13, 2021:

I just googled it. Here's what I found:

"Those with schizophrenia are almost three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without the serious mental illness, making it second only to age as a risk factor for mortality", according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It's also hard to convince such patients for taking the vaccine. May God bless each and every one of us. Amen!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

I do wonder about these things, Misbah.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 13, 2021:

What an interesting question, John, how someone with schizophrenia would be dealing with this pandemic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Linda, you hit the nail on the head..people do fear what they don’t understand. The answer then is trying to educate them. I hope this poem goes some way to doing that. Imagine how someone with schizophrenia would be handling this pandemic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Srushti, while researching this subject I watched a video by a 16 year old girl with schizophrenia. It touched my heart and made me even more determine to spread understanding of this mental illness. Thank you for the encouragement.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Bill, thank you for reading and for the kind comment and congratulations. Hopefully, people who need to may read this poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hi Peg, thank you for your generous words in regard to the hubby award. Well deserved to you as “best photographer” also. Yes, we need be grateful if we are not affected in some way by schizophrenia. 1 in 100 is a disturbingly high statistic.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 13, 2021:

John, this is a difficult topic and I don't know anyone else who could have handled it so well. How sad that there is still such a stigma attached to mental illness. Personally, I think most of the problem is fear. We fear what we don't understand. Poems like yours will go a long way in helping people see the world of one with schizophrenia. Thank you for writing this.

Srushti Gamit on September 13, 2021:

John what a powerful poem!!

The poem is so heart felt and the words you’ve woven describing the people suffering from schizophrenia is so pure and divine.

May god provide his strength and power to every schizophrenic person.

And thank you for sharing this with us.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 13, 2021:

Well done, John. I feel for the people afflicted with schizophrenia. The world definitely needs more understanding and education about this. Thank you for helping in that regard with this beautiful poem. And a big congrats on the Hubbie Award, well deserved.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2021:

You certainly deserve the "best poet" award! You did a superb job of tackling this serious subject of schizophrenia. It would be heartbreaking to have to live like they do, and also hard on their families and friends. As the old saying goes: "There but for the grace of God..." It could be any one of us so afflicted.

Thanks to Misbah for suggesting this topic. More people may have a greater understanding of schizophrenia now thanks to the two of you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hello Mary, I am glad this poem helped you understand more about this illness and what sufferers go through.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Umesh, thank you for reading and for your positive comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you, Manatita. I am pleased that Misbah asked me to write on this subject.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 13, 2021:

Thank you for making me understand more how people with schizophrenia go through. You have given voice to the depth of their experience.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 13, 2021:

Pain and anguish both are so well depicted. Enjoyed going through and thanks.

manatita44 from london on September 13, 2021:

Well done, John. You've done a decent job of a very difficult subject. Kudos to you. - Lantern

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you, Mel. Yes, I too read that almost everyone has experienced a schizophrenic episode at some time. Voices shouting at you in an unknown language would be rather freaky though. You are right that it would only take a small ripple to tip any of us over the edge, so we all need to show compassion to those affected. Cheers. p.s. congrats on the funniest article in the Hubby Awards.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Bill, I must say I am not schizophrenic, well at least the voices in my head tell me I'm not. I can't imagine what it would be like to live with it every day. Glad I made this sound believable.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 13, 2021:

Fantastic poem. The human brain is a mass of chemicals in a very delicate balance. One tiny ripple in that sea creates a tidal wave that could end any of us over the edge. I think all of us have suffered what could be called "schizophrenic" episodes at one time or another. When I was 8, I heard terrible voices in my head that were shouted at me in an unknown language. They finally went away in about a week, and I haven't had a similar experience since. But just about everybody I know has had something similar, and I think it shows we're all teetering on the brink.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 13, 2021:

Can you imagine that being your normal way of life? So very sad that there are millions who live like that.

You captured it so well it leaves me wondering about you. :) Have a great week!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you, Flourish. I appreciate the congratulations and am glad you enjoyed this poem despite the topic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hello, Rinita. I am sorry to hear that schizophrenia runs in your family. I am happy that you feel my poem did such a sensitive topic justice. Yes, I am glad Misbah, requested me to write this too. Take care my friend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 13, 2021:

Congratulations on your award! This is a good but sad poem about a topic that unfortunately rocks the lives of individuals and families who suffer from the illness.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you for such an encouraging and humbling comment, Chitrangada. This is a terrible and debilitating mental illness, and it deserves to be given more attention and people educated on what suffers go through. Thank you for the congratulations. Blessings.

Rinita Sen on September 13, 2021:

Only you could've done justice to this topic. Schizophrenia runs in my family so I know what it's all about. We need more advocates for mental health issues. A big thank you goes also to Misbah for suggesting this topic.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 13, 2021:

This is brilliant, John!

You have so efficiently captured the sufferings and helplessness of the persons, who are affected by this terrible health condition. This is heart touching indeed on a sensitive subject.

You truly deserve the Hubbie award, for being able to compose wonderful poems on any topic. Congratulations once again, and thank you for sharing!

Have a wonderful week ahead.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you MsDora, and the same to you with the lifetime achievement award. Your words humble me and I just thank you for appreciating my poetry. Having you read and enjoy what I write makes it worthwhile.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hello, Charlene. Thank you so much for reading, and I am glad I could enlighten you in some way about this illness. Take care.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 13, 2021:

First, CONGRATULATIONS on your Best Poet Award. Poems like this one leaves no doubt that you deserve it. Your ability to write in depth on a variety of topics is amazing. Thanks for all you've given in your content-rich, beautifully crafted poems. Thanks for continuing to enrich our taste for the finest in poetry!

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on September 13, 2021:

wow...that was so insightful and profound! I had little to no idea what exactly this illness entails:(thank you for sharing

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Vanita, thank you for sharing your own experience with your own aunt. It must be very difficult for her family to deal with the situation, especially as she is unable to take medication to help control it. I hope I dealt with it sensitively enough.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Hello Misbah. I am so happy that you liked this poem. I knew the basics about this illness, but I researched more and watched videos so that everything I said made sense and was correct as far as sufferers were concerned.

People need to try to understand and not judge things they don't understand. Yes, the best way to help people is to show them love and support.

I am glad this brightened your day. Blessings to you and yours.

Vanita Thakkar on September 13, 2021:

This is a good write, John.

I know a little about schizophrenia. One of my Aunts is schizophrenic. She doesn’t take medicines. They have severe side effects. It is very painful to see the sufferer go numb. However, it is very difficult to stay with such a person. We seen my uncle and my two little cousin sisters suffer very badly !! Negative notions are so deep rooted that counselling becomes an extremely tedious task …. One wonders what exactly is the root of troubles - fears or greed or anger / frustration that just refuses to subside …. Perhaps all this together ….

Fortunately, her daughters are both very sensitive and sensible. They stayed for a long time at my place and both are very close to me and my family. Both are married now and doing well.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 13, 2021:

Wow.... What a wonderful poem, John. Thank you so much for fulfilling my request. I am grateful, dear friend. You beautifully described the feelings, emotions, and hallucinations of a schizophrenic patient. Unfortunately, many people suffer from this dangerous mental illness. To make them feel normal, we should love and support them. They see things we can't even imagine. They hear things we can't hear. They have seizures and feel lonely. Unfortunately, their family and friends also can abandon them at some point. People make fun of them. We all need to learn and practice how to love and care for them, and you have described it so very well in your poem. You deserve to be applauded! Hats off! So Proud of you! You have responded splendidly to my request. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you for your kind words and for writing this poem. You truly brightened my day :) I also enjoyed the song. It's beautiful.

Have a joyful Monday and a super great week ahead.

Sending lots of Blessings to you and your loved ones.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Vidya, thank you so much for your kind and generous comment. I did some research watched a few video interviews of schizophrenia sufferers so I would have some idea of what I was talking about in the poem.

I hope other readers find this helpful and educational.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:

Thank you so much, Pamela. Your acknowledgement means a lot because of your medical background. I hope my poem helps others understand a bit more about the condition.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 13, 2021:

A wonderful poem, John. You brought out the feelings of a schizophrenic so well. Brought tears to my eyes thinking of the torture such a person must be feeling being judged, mocked at and shunned by society. When what they need is more love, understanding and empathy from all. Everyone should read this article and be aware that a person with mental health issues is like any other normal person and needs to be treated so. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking poem.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 13, 2021:

This is a terrific poem, John. I thunk you captured the problems and feels of this person so well. I think anyone reading the article will understand schizophrenia much better. You definitely filled Misbah's request.

Related Articles