Today, while hard at work and not procrastinating in the slightest, I found an incredible if somewhat disturbing way to get a glimpse into the world of a schizophrenic with auditory hallucinations. An article on buzzfeed recounted a segment on Anderson Cooper in which he donned a pair of ear buds recreating auditory hallucinations experienced by some schizophrenics and tried to accomplish different tasks. He is seriously impaired and disturbed by the voices coming from the headphones. When you watch the clip, it’s easy to feel like he’s playing it up for effect, and that perhaps the sounds aren’t quite as distracting as he lets on. Very kindly though, the people at buzzfeed gave an example of the auditory hallucinations for any readers who wanted to experience them for themselves. I couldn’t not click it. As soon as the voices started, I got an incredible sense of foreboding, like when you watch a scary movie and you know something bad is about to happen. As I sat there eating my lunch, listening to the voices, to me it really felt like I was going insane. Even after the voices stopped and I got up to do some work, I found myself still distracted, thinking about those voices. It almost felt like at any minute I might start hearing them again.
But don’t take my, or Anderson’s, word for it. Try it out for yourself.