As well as publishing scientific papers about mental illness, Schizophrenia Bulletin also publishes personal accounts of psychosis and schizophrenia. I’ve just discovered this incredible 2006 article where a neuroscientist recounts her personal experience of becoming psychotic.
It’s not only vividly descriptive but wonderfully lyrical as well, written with both honesty and insight.
I was awash in a sea of irrationality. The Voices swirled around me, teaching me their Wisdom. Their Wisdom was of the Deep Meaning, and I struggled to understand. They told me their secrets and insights, piece by piece. Slowly, I was beginning to make sense of it all. It was no delusion, I knew—in contrast to what the doctors said.
“Erin, you are a scientist,” they’d begin. “You are intelligent, rational. Tell me, then, how can you believe that there are rats inside your brain? They’re just plain too big. Besides, how could they get in?”
They were right. About my being smart, I mean; I was, after all, a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of British Columbia. But how could they relate that rationality to the logic of the Deep Meaning? For it was due to the Deep Meaning that the rats had infiltrated my system and were inhabiting my brain. They gnawed relentlessly on my neurons, causing massive degeneration. This was particularly upsetting to me, as I depended on a sharp mind for my work in neuroscience.
Link to ‘Being Rational’ in Schizophrenia Bulletin.