How and Why Schizophrenic Voices Manipulate
Their Perception of Reality
December 09, 2016
By Jerry Marzinsky BA M.Ed.
Introduction: This article describes how the voices distort the schizophrenic’s perception of reality forcing their victim to interpret what is going on around them in a perverted fearful and negative manner. The purpose is to generate in their victims the negative emotional energy on which they feed. In this article we will reveal the how’s and why’s of this phenomenon. Although the distortion and negative interpretation of reality is most clearly seen with schizophrenic patients, we are all subject to this, especially those who have experienced certain life traumas. Classic examples of this are depicted in the movie “What The Bleep Do We Know”. Click the picture below to watch the movie for free.
There are no accidents: Recently I came across one of the first unpublished articles I'd written on this topic. With my busy schedule, I ignored two previous reminders of the importance of getting this information out. Stumbling across my old article was a third prodding that caused me to feel like the universe was urging me to make this information public for the benefit of others now rather than later.
Contrary to popular belief, the voices are the engines that drive paranoid schizophrenia (see my article on why schizophrenia is not due to chemical imbalance).
Once these voices are weakened or eliminated by any means, all symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia follow suit and vanish (see my article on why the voices are not hallucinations).
Positive to negative, in to out, heat to cold, seeking harmonic balance, the voices schizophrenics hear operate completely against these rules of nature. Rather than being random in content as are real hallucinations the voices do not waiver from their objective which is horribly negative, abusive and destructive. What is their objective? It is to cause the individual to see reality differently from what it is. Truly this is a form of mind-control through severe emotional abuse.
The very last thing the voices want these patients to know is that these horrible thoughts are invasive insertions; they do not belong to the patient and are not thoughts generated by their own mind. They are demonic, destructive alien insertions.
Patients and their families need to know that the voices which trigger deep depression and destructive behavior in their loved ones are parasitic conscious entities. This can be both horrifying and difficult for family members to accept so practitioners who are willing to consider what is being said here must tread carefully.
Be assured that the voices will use trickery and deceit (and any other means) to thwart attempts to reveal their true parasitic nature to the patient. Their reaction is analogous to that of exposing a notorious criminal for breaking the law. Any attempt to inform a patient of the true nature of these voices will trigger a strong reaction from the voices. They will tell the patient you are stupid, crazy and not to listen. This reaction is both consistent and predictable. If you have the patient’s ear, you can ask them if that is what the voices are saying.
If the voices are very strong, they will tell the patient to attack you. If that fails, they may use other means to try to scare you off. In the book I am writing, I describe how the voices tried to scare the pants off of me for revealing their true nature to some of my patients.
One of the main tactics the voices use is molding the individual’s assumptions and interpretation of reality by manipulating information coming in from the outside world. Like all of us the victim of paranoid schizophrenia conceives reality based on past experience and the interpretation of information presented from the environment.
In the case of the schizophrenic, this information is significantly warped by the voices with a strong negative spin INTENDED to drive the victim to make a negative and erroneous interpretation for the purpose of generating fear, paranoia and anxiety. The voices sound just like the patient’s own thoughts. Patients seldom tell anyone about their voices. The reason can be summed up in one brief sentence: There are numerous negative outcomes and not one positive outcome in informing others of what they are hearing.
(1) They think these thoughts belong to them and that they are generating them. Therefore they are too ashamed of what they are thinking to expose these things to others; and
(2) When telling others of their voices, people think they’re crazy, become fearful and avoid them. Several patients have told me that the voices themselves said that if they spoke to anyone about them they would be locked up in a mental institution, and in many cases they were right.
After over 35 years of studying these voices, the following is a summary of how they destructively warp the patient’s perception destroying both the patient and disrupting families and relationships with others.
Here’s how they do it: Bits and pieces of neutral information coming into the schizophrenic’s perceptual field are intercepted by the voices. The voices, sounding just like the patient’s own thoughts and with the patient believing they are his or her thoughts are directed to view this neutral information as a threat. As the patient’s paranoia increases the patient generates increasing amounts of negative emotional energy which then mysteriously vanishes at some point after their anxiety level grows high enough leaving the patient completely drained and depressed.
Don’t take our word for this: If you work with schizophrenic patients or are struggling with one in your family, ask them what happens to their energy level after being attacked by the voices. Although they will tell you they feel completely drained, they will have no idea where their energy went despite the fact that they are aware they didn’t use it. As the voices parasitically feed off the patient’s vital energy the patient feels depressed, withdraws inward and isolates. As they begin to sink deeper into paranoia and depression they are worn down by the constant attacks of the voices. With little energy to resist these attacks and unable to ask for help their resistance to the mental/emotional abuse and manipulation by the voices dwindles.
The cycle is vicious.
The most devastating of these attacks is when numerous voices attack the patient all at the same time often upsetting them so badly they need to be sedated.
Over the many years I worked in the mental health field, I’ve asked hundreds of schizophrenic patients how much energy they had before and after being attacked by the voices. On a scale of 1-10 the difference was significant. Their energy levels prior to an attack were 7-8; after an attack they were in the 2-4. All who were willing to respond used words like worn out, exhausted, and drained after being attacked. Some patients described feeling like they’d been digging ditches in the hot sun all day. Many said they didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. Some said they could even feel their energy leaving.
High Strangeness: Despite the fact that these patients experienced this energy drain associated with the attack of the voices, hundreds even thousands of times, they could not see the correlation between the appearance of their voices and their energy levels dropping to near zero nor did the vast majority even realize they were being drained. Even after the correlation was clearly pointed out to them, they still could not see it. It was apparent that some force was blocking their reception of this knowledge.
The mind of the attackers: The psychotic voices make a concerted assault upon the victim’s reason. They accomplish this by getting the patient to believe that the horrible and embarrassing thoughts being injected into their minds actually belong to them. Not realizing that thoughts can come from anywhere else other than themselves the patient will buy into the belief that these upsetting negative thoughts belong to them and are being generated by their own mind. They feel confused. They sense that they are losing their minds yet don’t want to admit this or tell anyone.
The constant bombardment of these terrible paranoid thoughts weakens and destabilizes them to the point where they no longer trust their perception, their reason or themselves.
The more negative emotional energy the voices can generate and consume the stronger their ability to convince their victim that the things happening around them are dangerous, people are talking behind their backs and plotting to kill them.
If not interfered with by drugs or other means and if the patient doesn’t come to the conclusion on their own that these voices are alien to who they actually are, the patient will come to believe that they are what the voices are telling them they are and the false reality painted by the voices is true. Then patient’s original personality will collapse and disappear as though sucked into a black hole.
In other words, the patient’s original personality is hijacked to the point where their families can barely recognize them. They are mere shadows of who they used to be and families feel like they have lost their son or daughter and are now living with a malicious stranger. The fact is that they are. Without interference, if the patient continues to believe what the voices are telling them and acting on their lies, they will continue to sink deeper and deeper becoming less recognizable as the person they once were until they are eventually unreachable.
One characteristic of the influence of the psychotic voices is self centered preoccupation where everything relates to the self. The patient’s ego expands astronomically and attempts by family members to show them love and concern are viewed as fake and hollow. They experience what psychiatry labels as “ideas of reference” where everything that happens around relates to them in some negative way. Attempts by family to help or correct their perception are translated as infringement or attack. Many times family members give up, seeing the patient as a lost cause. If the patient came from a loving environment which happens but is rare, it can be a painful nightmare for family members when they see they just can’t get through to their love one any more.
A good example of this is the story one of my schizophrenic inmates told me. He became psychotic due to the abuse of amphetamines. I’d been seeing him as a patient on a regular basis while working in the psychology department of a large state prison and studying the voices:
After reacting to what the psychotic voices were telling him about members of his family, this inmate had alienated his entire family except for one brother he’d been close to all his life. Despite having driven off the rest of his family and being sent to prison, his one brother was hanging in there and continued to support him. Despite the patient repeatedly and viciously verbally attacking his brother and accusing him of all kinds of horrible things, his brother refused to turn his back on him as other family members had done. Instead, upon each prison visit when my patient lambasted his loving brother, the brother replied:
“That’s not you talking. You’re not yourself.”
It was his brother’s continual reminders that awakened the inmate to the fact that the negative thoughts which flooded his mind were not his or who he and his brother knew him to really be. He slowly came to the realization that his brother was right. The horrible things he was saying to his brother who knew who he was better than anyone else weren’t consistent with who he remembered himself to be and their long time positive relationship. After thinking about some of the terrible things he’d accused his brother of, he realized they weren’t true and he admitted to his brother that he didn’t even know why he had said those terrible things about him.
Once he realized his brother wasn’t going to reject him, he told him of the voices he was hearing and admitted that he was not himself and that it was the voices talking. Although this admission spooked his brother, both the inmate and his brother were greatly relieved with the realization and the abuse stopped. They both realized that the abuse was not coming from my patient’s heart but from the mysterious voices neither understood.
In the therapy sessions that followed this inmate told me that he struggled with the interpretation that the voices injected into his thoughts about his brother, often doubting the truth of what the voices were saying, but when the thoughts were charged with negative emotion, they burned with life and were very difficult to ignore or treat as invalid.
Had this inmate not had a brother who intuitively knew that it was not my patient who was accusing him of these horrible things, this inmate like so many others whose family relationships had been severed by the voices would have been cut loose and set adrift in the violent prison environment only to be released years later in much worse shape than when first incarcerated.
Despite the understanding the two brothers had come to, there came a time when this inmate’s brother wrote and told him that he had come upon very hard times. He had lost his job and was facing divorce. Struggling with his marriage the brother ceased all contact for over a month. This inmate came to the psych department in despair and informed me that his brother had cut off all contact with him. His voices had kicked in taking advantage of his despair and told him his brother’s demonstration of concern was a deception, a lie, and that his brother had abandoned him just like the rest of the family.
He told me that each week that passed without hearing from his brother the voices grew stronger and more convincing. His brother was a fake. He said that his voices told him repeatedly that nobody could really care about a worthless failure and drug addict like him. He said they were telling him that he was a burden on everyone around him and that everyone in his life would be better off if he were dead.
He showed me a letter he’d written but not yet mailed to his brother. It was filled with scathing accusations and demeaning remarks. I strongly advised against his sending it and recommended he throw it out and write another containing nothing negative. I asked him to take into consideration that the voices made him forget about the severe problems his brother was facing and that most likely his brother hand his hands full treading water with problems of his own and would be in touch when things settled down. I emphasized the fact that his brother was the only family he had left and that the voices were doing all they could to destroy this last connection. The perception of reality the voices had implanted was nearly impossible for him to dismiss and had it not been for the support of myself and the prison’s chaplain, this man would have listened to his voices and kicked his brother while he was down most likely snapping his last link to the love and support leaving him alone and isolated with his voices.
The Victim’s Journey: One way of looking at the way victims experience paranoid schizophrenia is to imagine sitting in an IMAX movie theater projecting beautiful movies of the Grand Canyon, then slowly, almost imperceptibly, the picture begins to slip to into a picture increasingly negative. From a distance the movie might show someone falling over the edge into the canyon. Later on, a helicopter crashes then much later, ghosts come out of the canyon which first begin to speak to you then slowly turn malicious and begin mocking and laughing at you. You’re caught by surprise but by then you are so wrapped up in the IMAX surround sound movie you forget it’s just a movie. You believe its reality. You forget the images on the screen are fabricated and don’t know that all you have to do is get up and walk out of the theater. This scary place becomes your reality if no one is there to snap you out of it.
There are a number of cases where a psychotic break seems to come on suddenly, but usually there is a hidden background that was building up. It’s analogous to a house infested with termites. Everything looks fine from the outside until one day, there is a breaking point and the structure collapses, making the collapse appear to be sudden when the hidden deteriorating systems were actually present for a long time. That said most often symptoms leading up to psychosis noticeably come on slowly as the patient gradually and almost imperceptibly to him or herself begins to slip from one state to another. Often the patient is bombarded by negative thoughts for quite some time before negative actions begin to manifest. Like priming a hellish pump the process of a consistently negative train of thought is often first initiated by severe physical, sexual or emotional abuse and trauma or the abuse of such drugs as methamphetamine. All of these experiences trigger the production of massive amounts of negative emotional energy.
Like the parasitic, opportunistic predators they are, they attempt to isolate and go after those individuals who have been emotionally damaged by intense physical, emotional or sexual abuse and work to split off their prey from the support of the pack, i.e. family and friends. One of the first things they attempt to sever is all positive human bonds and relationships. They try to block or thwart authentic relationships where there is love. They seek to destroy any connection of their victim to friends and family, and consequently any grounding they may have. Once they have isolated their victim who slowly begins to feel that no one understands what they are going through – not even themselves – the voices urge the individual to withdraw, lock themselves in their rooms and stay away from everyone. This leaves the voices unopposed allowing them to carry on their vicious assaults unimpeded. See our section where we have listed the most common lies these voices tell people.
Eventually the voices convince their victim that the world and everything happening around them is an attack or threat, their condition is unfixable, and that everyone has either abandoned them, is going to abandon them or planning to attack them. In clinical terms, it’s called paranoia or “Fear of everything.” Being around a schizophrenic family member or friend is anything but pleasant for those who struggle to maintain ties with these people.
This is a slippery road because being treated decently is foreign to those who have suffered severe past abuse. They don’t know how to react to people who treat them well. They are not attracted to people who treat them decently. They often perceive abuse as love and see the world only in negative terms. This makes them prime targets for the voices. Once drugs and alcohol are added to this already damaged individual, the voices are attracted to an already existing negative state and prompt paranoia. What are people thinking about me? Do they see what a worthless individual I actually am? The paranoia grows. By seeing the entire world through dark glasses where everything is negative, dangerous, and harmful, they have adopted the mind of the voices without realizing it.
It takes an extraordinary person to stand by these people during their darkest moments. However, when we know that their reality is being manipulated, we stand a better chance of helping them realize that these negative and destructive thoughts and the illusion they’ve created have been implanted in their minds and do not belong to them. Once they realize this, their chances of returning to sanity are astronomically increased. There are programs that can help significantly. They can be taught to implement the That’s a Lie Program and other methodologies we have found to combat the voices and to eventually eliminate them from the person’s life all together if the patient and those who have the light to see what we are pointing out want to aid in their return.
Voices as friends: For those schizophrenic patients who see the voices as friends or for one reason or another don’t want to get rid of them, there is little chance they will return to resume life as their normal selves. Their only recourse to the management of their symptoms is strong anti-psychotic drugs that with long term use will typically rot out their nervous systems.
See the light: For those for do have the internal light to see what we speak of here, bringing your loved one back still won’t be an easy or smooth process. It will require considerable and consistent effort and will entail considerable conflict but contrary to what the authorities would have you believe, schizophrenia is curable if the patient is not so far gone as to be unreachable. I’ve seen many in the grip of this terrible disorder struggle to eventually turn themselves around, get off the dark path, and return to progress on a positive spiritual path to help others. Recovery from this dreaded condition is possible and is considerably improved with the help of family members who are aware of what’s really going on.
END OF ARTICLE: HOW AND WHY SCHIZOPHRENIC VOICES MANIPULATE
THEIR PERCEPTION OF REALITY