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December 14, 2021

I Need Someone

Reality Break

I’m alone, locked in this bathroom stall while the beautiful aliens wander the halls of this school looking for me.

I can’t stand them. Can’t stand crowds. Don’t trust the teachers. They suspect me.

But if I stay in here with my feet up on the seat, I’m safe. For now.

When the bell rings, I’ll wait until everyone’s in class and sneak out through a back door. Run like hell across the field and get home before anyone realizes I’m missing.

Everyone’s against me. That’s what’s so damn lonely. Even Naresh, my former best friend. Now he can’t look me in the eye. They poisoned him, too.

Mom and Dad will still be at work so I can shut myself in my closet and wait for the informant to contact me. When he does, I’ll get the signal to withdraw all my money from the ATM, get to the bus station, and head for the capital. That’s where we’re meeting, me and the others chosen by the informant. So we can save the world from what’s coming. Or die trying.

What is schizophrenia?

A complex mental illness that affects how a person behaves, thinks, feels, and responds to others. Its active phase is characterized by disturbing hallucinations and delusions—that is, a person has difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Some people with schizophrenia feel extreme distress, are depressed, become isolated and withdrawn, cannot manage everyday activities, and have disorganized thoughts, speech, and behaviours.

Schizophrenia by the Numbers:

What might put me at risk for developing schizophrenia?

Anyone may develop schizophrenia, but some indicators are:

HELP! I need somebody

Schizophrenia is often hard to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other mental illnesses. But the earlier this issue is diagnosed, the more likelihood of a positive outcome from treatment.

Seek help from a doctor if you

  • are withdrawing from friends and family
  • find your grades and performance in school are dropping
  • have trouble sleeping
  • are experiencing hallucinations
  • lack motivation for ordinary activities
  • know about a family member who had schizophrenia
  • hear voices or experience delusions
  • are feeling paranoid/worried about things that other people are telling you are not real
  • people who love you are concerned about you

Try this at home

Recovery from schizophrenia is highly dependent on a treatment plan which can include medications. Things to try alongside medications and professional medical help are:

  • join a peer support group or a provincial schizophrenia support group
  • find meaningful connections with others and within your community
  • create a dream journal or collage
  • imagine your future; map it out

Cultural strategy

Strive to achieve balance between body, spirit, mind, and emotions. If you are inclined, speak to someone in your community centre, mosque, or family about traditional practices that can help you feel connected to those around you. These could include:

  • playing music in a group
  • finding an elder or traditional healer you might work with
  • learning about and practicing other cultural teachings

For more information: