Schizophrenia

Chris wears a hat, in the jail, believing that it will protect him.
“Does your hat still help?” I asked.
“It stops the aliens from reading my thoughts or from hurting me, and I wanted to tell you to get one as soon as possible.” I thanked him and wished him luck. “They will take the hat away and I will be lost,” he said, his face sad. I wondered where Chris’ family was, why no one had visited him. Someone must have been helping him pay for his apartment, but no one had come forward.
“Good-bye, Chris. Be careful and take care of yourself.” I thanked the guard and walked away.
Chris watched her go; he liked Elizabeth, but he had liked the woman who befriended him at the apartment also, till she turned. He thought back to his childhood. He was a genius, his parents always told him so. He could read and write by the age of four, but the aliens were always there even then, though they were just soft whispers. His
mother called them angels watching over him. By the time he was six, he knew they weren’t angels, but something bad and nasty. They said mean things to him about his mother and especially about his younger brother. He tried to tell his parents about the voices, but his father never took him seriously, and his mother only looked afraid. His father began to scold him, telling him he was too old to be playing these games and he didn’t want to hear about it anymore. His mother would listen and cry sometimes. His younger brother laughed at him.

Then on his seventh birthday, his brother changed. At first, Chris didn’t believe it; he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. The voices were screaming at him, “look, look!” and he had looked. He remembered distinctly how his brother’s face changed, just for a moment, then changed back. “Did you see?” said the voices. “Did you see?” they repeated again and again. He was scared. He wanted to tell his parents, but was afraid to upset his mother, and he didn’t want his father yelling at him again. He was even afraid his father might hit him, though he had never done that before. He had heard his parents fighting one night, something they never did, and he had heard his name. Were they angry with him? Did they know about his brother? He watched his brother’s face every day; he stayed in the house not playing with his friends, yet nothing else happened, except for that day.
It was a long time before his brother changed again. It was a Friday and they were watching a Disney movie. He couldn’t remember the name of it now, however, he remembered it had been a wonderful night. But then his brother turned to him, asking him a question, and that face was there again, leering at him. The voices had been silent for some time, but they were back now, and he had to cover his ears they were so loud. When the voices subsided, he told his parents to look at his brother.
“Look at his face, Mom,” he pleaded. “Please look.” Instead, his parents looked at him and he knew they didn’t see.
The next week he went to see a doctor. It was the first of the many times he would see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed him with schizophrenia, explaining to his parents that Chris was hearing and seeing things that weren’t real. The psychiatrist started him on pills and his mother made sure he took them. His brother’s face was his once more. But when Chris turned thirteen, he knew it was his brother making his parents believe he needed medication, making them believe he was sick. The voices told him this and much more. They told him to
stop taking the medication. The voices warned him that if his brother stayed in the home, his parents would get rid of Chris. “Get rid of your brother first,” said the voices. “Kill him,” they said again and again. “Kill him before they get rid of you.” His brother’s face was changing again, and he knew the voices were right—he had to be free of his brother.
When his brother didn’t show up on the bus from school, his parents drilled him. Then the house was full of police and everybody was talking loudly. That night they found his brother’s body. His mother took him to her room and hugged him.
She said, “I know you didn’t mean to do it, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have had children. My sister was sick all her life, as were others in my family, and I should have told your father.” The following day, he was sent away and he never saw his parents again. Excerpt from my book “And Some Will Triumph”

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder whereby the person has psychotic features, that is he or she cannot tell what is real and what is not. The person has hallucinations, mostly auditory, that is they hear voices or noises in their head that no one else can hear. They can also have visual hallucination. They also suffer from delusions, false beliefs that people are out to harm them or that they are an angel or God. It is one of the most difficult mental health disorders to control and all need medications. If you feel that someone you know is suffering from this, by all means get help.

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