What This Pandemic Is Like for Someone with Schizophrenia

One person with schizophrenia tells her story of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted Mar 31, 2020

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

I'm scared all the time. I'm washing my hands a lot. Every time I touch anything, really. A case of water. A door handle. The remote control. I'm disinfecting my phone so much. 

I ordered delivery today. There is an option to have the delivery left at the door, but the delivery person refused and insisted on handing me the food. I couldn't eat it. I couldn't touch it. He wasn't wearing any gloves and I can't count how many times I've washed my hands since touching the delivery box. 

I'm scared all the time. 

My experience, though, isn't really all that different from the next person, I don't think. Everyone is scared. Everyone is washing their hands (I hope) every time they touch something. 

I don't know how, but I'm not hearing voices. The extra stress should make me hallucinate, but the medication is keeping the voices at bay. I'm better than I ever have been. 

I'm so grateful to be working from home these last three weeks. Not everyone is so lucky. I watched a video from an employee of a well-known corporate company who was scared out of his mind to be at work. 

Quarantine is strange. I shared that I'm talking to my cat more and that worried people, I think. I've been alone for days. My family is out of town and I haven't seen anyone except the delivery people. I spent the day working in the backyard today. The cat caught a lizard and was playing with it. Cats can be evil creatures. 

It shouldn't be weird for me because I've spent months off of work when I was on medical leave. The difference was that I was severely depressed and was sleeping a lot. These days, the medication wakes me up early. Really early, like 3 a.m. I take my shower early and drink tea when everyone is sleeping. I color in my paint by numbers app. I browse Instagram and wait until my early call with my boyfriend. 

Like I said, COVID-19 is really no different for me than anyone else, I don't think. And that's kind of the point. At least for me. Living with schizophrenia can be extremely scary and I don't want to downplay that. But so is living in a pandemic. I just want you all to know that I'm here for you during this time, as much as I can be.