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Being Schizophrenic: The Two Minds and The Demon Voice

the-hell-cayman-islands-1547561I’ve often remarked on how I feel as if there are two minds inside my head, one that is essentially me and my body and the down to earth human, and the then the mind that sits just above the top of the head who drives the body and who processes complex thought.

The one above is like the psyche, it’s the one that makes the decisions and who recognizes the world as a humorous, often times ridiculous set of circumstances. It’s the one who is at the heart of the question, who am I?

The one down below is the one that interacts with the world and moves and sees and inhabits the body.

When social interactions occur it’s as if the driving mind has to consciously process when to laugh, when to emote, the right words to say and everything else, it has to feed these things to the body to perform the interaction correctly.

The higher mind sees and processes everything while the body is the one affected by circumstances.

For example, when something not quite right happens the body gets nervous, its heart rate increases, it can feel pain, it can shake and it can get sweaty but the higher mind just sits there observing the physical and emotional processes and analyzing what needs to be done.

It’s weird that I feel like two beings inhabiting the same being, an ethereal higher mind and the conscious body.

When I get nervous or anxious or depressed I retreat to the higher mind and watch it all unfold and while these things still make me nervous it’s cool and weird and helpful that I can recognize them as bodily processes.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone but it’s something I’ve experienced and needed to examine.

At the same time though there’s a devil that lives inside my head that can throw both minds off. He says that people are making fun of me or out to get me.

I know that voice is not part of the main two minds and it seems to just come out of nowhere, out of darkness and I can’t seem to rationalize it in the moment. It’s like that voice is not a part of me and is just invading my mind space. I don’t know where it came from and I know it won’t go away and my higher mind, although rational gets caught up in everything it says.

I realize none of this may make sense but it’s the stuff I deal with every day of my life.

From talking with other people with schizophrenia I know I’m not alone in this.

Usually at this point I offer up advice to be able to ignore the myriad voices and to center yourself in the rational higher mind but the only thing I’ve ever been able to do to quiet the demon is to escape the situation I’m in and rationalize things by talking myself down.

My body still gets nervous and anxious and my higher mind gets confused when the demon speaks.

Acceptance of the voice though goes a long way, if you just accept that there will be situations where the demon voice will speak and confuse you, you can learn to live with it and realize that it’s just part of the experience of being schizophrenic.

It will happen and in those moments, when you realize that it’s happening you can take the power back and find solace in the higher mind.

Being Schizophrenic: The Two Minds and The Demon Voice

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). Being Schizophrenic: The Two Minds and The Demon Voice. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Aug 2015
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