In this episode of Schizophrenia and the City, Michelle Hammer compares her experience with schizophrenia symptoms before and after she started taking medication. Before, the voices, which took the form of a girl, were unbearable. They would tell her that she should not say anything because everything she thinks is worthless. At night, the voices would torment her still, insulting everything she did that day. She cried every night, and the teachers, seeing her puffy red eyes in the morning, thought she had a drinking problem. She would talk to herself and burst into laughter in the middle of class, causing the teachers to believe that she was mocking them. Mental health was always seen in a negative light then, and it certainly didn’t help that Michelle’s constant paranoia prevented her from seeking help from anybody.
It wasn’t until she was incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder that she finally received medication. The voices disappeared, and Michelle was left in awe. Her head had never before been so quiet, and finally, she was able to enjoy life as it was meant to be. In the years between her first diagnosis and the present, Michelle would finally be diagnosed with schizophrenia and receive proper medications. Now, the voice of the girl is gone. She does still have hallucinations, talks to herself, and spontaneously burst into laughter, but the voices are mostly peripheral and much less harsh. The voices can come back if she misses her medications, but, without a doubt, being diagnosed was the best thing that happened to her.
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