See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 24, Issue 4

How to Live with Voice Hearing

A student's journey from “normal” to “schizophrenic” and back highlights shortcomings in how our society deals with mental health

More In This Article

When I left home for the first time in 1999 to go to university, I was brimming with hope and optimism. I'd done well in school, expectations for me were high, and I gleefully entered the campus life of lectures and parties. To all appearances, I was a feisty, energetic and capable person with everything to hope for and aspire to.

Beneath that veneer, however, I was deeply unhappy, insecure and frightened—frightened of other people, of the future, of failure, of falling short of the punishingly high expectations that I had placed on myself. And, possibly most of all, I was frightened of the emptiness that I felt was inside me. I was skilled at hiding all this, of course. This aura of invulnerability I had created was so complete that I had even deceived myself. There was no way anyone could have predicted the catastrophe that was about to unfold.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content

It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article