Schizophrenia: Will it ever go away?

I came into work to find a repeat patient, someone who had been with us before. I will call him Gary. At first glance most people would be frightened of Gary, he is an older man in his 50’s very large in stature. He has brown hair that is beginning to gray that he pulls back in a pony tail and most of his face is completely covered in facial hair. His mustache literally curls into his mouth if that helps. He has absolutely no bottom teeth, just black holes where his teeth used to be.

His physical appearance may cause a person to fear him at first but after talking to him a person would see how extremely kind hearted and loving he is. He actually has a wife at home for whom he loves dearly and wishes to go home to soon. The past two times I worked I spent a lot of time talking with him. He would ask me if he could talk with me and we would sit at the end of the hallway and chat for as long as I could get away for. Gary would say to me, ” The voices tell me to go kill and rape people and  I cant live like this anymore. I just want to kill myself.” He then asked me, ” Do you think If I killed myself I would go to hell?” and then ” Do you think I’ll always be like this?” “What should I do? The meds don’t help.”

It broke my heart to give unfair answers such as, ” You will most likely suffer with this for the rest of your life.” And ” I don’t know what can help you.” I hated how there was no good answer to give him. In the psychiatric world their only fix is meds, but as someone who works in this field I can tell you that meds do not help these people, maybe for moments when it puts them to sleep but when they wake up its right back to where they started. Its a constant battle and it always will be. I have never seen a person with Schizophrenia permanently get rid of the voices. Ever.

I find myself racked with these questions constantly… Why cant there be more help for people with schizophrenia? Why does this disease even have to exist? Why does someone have to suffer with this their entire life? I keep asking myself these questions hoping that one day I’ll have a good answer for myself and I just cant come up with anything better than, ” Well that’s just their trial for this life.”

But I just can’t help but think that its not fair when I’m sitting in front of someone who says, ” Why me? Why is this happening to me?”

Count your blessings. I’ll say it again and again. If you have your mind and your body you’ve got everything. There has not been a day that has gone by since I began working at this Psych Hospital that I don’t walk out of those doors at 6:30am, look up at the sky and say “Thank you God, for I know how great I have it and please don’t ever let me forget it. I have it good and I want to always be grateful for all that I have, for I have the capacity to live a life so great that these people will never have the chance to do.”

So to Gary and to anyone else who goes through a trial like this I commend you, truly, for you are a lost and forgotten people who suffer more than most humans could ever imagine.

That’s all.

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