Mental Health Monday–Did You Hear That?


It started about two weeks ago. First, a buzzing sound, nothing serious, like I’d listened to my headphones too long and my hearing was fried. Then the whispers started, unintelligible dronings that were more annoying than anything else. At first, I’d ask my roommate what he said. After like a thousand times, he said to knock it off, the joke wasn’t funny anymore.

Last week, the voice spoke. And I understood it.

“We’re watching you,” it said.

I ignored it. The first twelve times. Then I got pissed off. Someone had to be doing this to me. Some sick bastard who hated me.

I checked the entire apartment, rushing from room to room, checking the central air vents, behind the bookshelves, all the electronic equipment. Maybe someone had bugged the place. Yes, that’s it. They bugged the place and they were harassing me. What else could it be? My roommate was at work. The TV wasn’t on. My phone was shut off. “Who’s there?”

“We’re watching you.” The voice sounded just like my uncle Jim. But he died two years ago.

“Why?” I had to shout over the pounding of my heart.

“You’re a horrible person and you should just die.”

“Leave me alone!” I argued back, standing in the living room, flailing my arms like a lunatic.

“You should kill yourself. Rid the world of your filth.” The sound came from my bedroom.

I ran into my room. No one was there.

My roommate called the cops the day before yesterday. Just because I barricaded myself in my room. It was the only safe place. The police broke down the door and cuffed me when I refused to let them in. My roommate told them I was crazy. That landed me in the psych ward.

The nurse–if she really was a nurse, I don’t know, she could have been a part of it–tried to give me some pills. I refused to take them. The voice said they were poison.

They gave me an injection after I tried to break out of the unit.

When I woke up, they told me to keep taking the medicine. I took it, figuring it would get me out faster. At least the voice has stopped. The doctor said the medicine was helping that. She wants me to keep taking it…

The above excerpt represents what someone may endure when they experience auditory hallucinations. Every case is different and hallucinations can occur in a variety of settings, but suffice it to say, the symptom is terrifying. This could be a first psychotic break of a young man heading toward schizophrenia. It could be the result of using drugs. Maybe the guy has some sort of neurologic or medical condition that has affected his brain. Maybe he’s so depressed (or manic) that he’s developing psychotic symptoms.

I hope this illustration provides some insight into what people suffer through when they have this type of mental illness.

Remember, this post is for writing purposes only. It is NOT intended to be medical advice or treatment.

Check out Lydia’s post for Medical Monday!

(link to photo)

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14 comments on “Mental Health Monday–Did You Hear That?

  1. Wow, that’s all I’ll say. The kitty is a tad freaky.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Wow, that is powerful stuff.

    Oh and the kitty freaked me out a little bit. lol.

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    LOVED how you demonstrated this so well. Really brought me into the illness for a minute there and that’s good. Nice work.

    Oh, and yeah, I agree with Sheri…that kitty IS a tad freaky!!!!!!!!!

  4. Shudder. Very scary.

    It can be the result of severe head trauma, too. My poor brother started hearing voices after a car accident, but meds keep them in line.

    That kitten needs to get on some meds. Eek!

  5. Lydia Kang says:

    So scary. I had a friend in college who had these voices saying exactly the same thing. It was terrible.
    Great post, as usual Laura!

  6. Cynthia says:

    Okay. I’m not sure which frightens me more, the excerpt or the cat.

    Good work,

    Cynthia

  7. Paul Greci says:

    I have a character who hears a voice. It’s a really interesting thing to play with in a novel but I wouldn’t want to experience it.

  8. Ciara Knight says:

    OMW- That cat!!! LOL. Wow, this reminds me of a patient I had many years ago. He kept screaming someone had planted something in his brain. Two weeks later we found out he had a brain tumor. I agree with Paul. It is interesting in a novel but I wouldn’t ever want to experience it.

  9. Writing about mental illnesses in fiction can be such a fascinating pursuit. You can get as close to it as anyone can without actually experiencing it, and there’s a certain delight or satisfaction in that.

    Aww, kitty. ❤

  10. This is a very sad kind of mental illness. I notice at the end of this piece the voices have subsided as you show that medicine has been given. Thank you for sharing this information. Blessings to you…

  11. lbdiamond says:

    Sheri & Lindsay–I know, that kitten is scary. And totally cute, lol!

    Lynn-thanks!

    Deb–excellent point!

    Lydia–it is scary, isn’t it?

    Cynthia–thanks!

    Paul–it would be very scary to experience.

    Ciara–how incredible!

    Meagan–I agree.

    Carol–some people respond to an anti-psychotic medication within 1-2 days.

  12. elisajeglin says:

    At first I thought you posted a short story, but, wow. It would be interesting to read a book series documenting the different mental disorders from the patients perspective.

  13. chandragarbanzo says:

    I agree with the others. That was very interesting, and helps us better understand people with this type of mental illness. Thank you for the information.

  14. Becky says:

    Amazing insight and very well done relating it. Can you imagine the fear and frustration and helplessness this person must feel?

    Love the kitty, btw

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