Voices in her head


Despite by busy schedule, I sometimes pick up a few hours at a local retail store.

About two weeks ago, while upfront at the cash register, a customer that I've seen shop in the store before came in. She looked agitated, but I didn’t read too much into her attitude, because at that store its not uncommon to see patrons not in a good mood.

Suddenly, she yelled, “When I do this, you do that!” I assumed she was talking to someone through a bluetooth headset, because she came in alone. When I realized she had no bluetooth, I got nervous, as I was the only clerk in front of the store.

 When the lady was walking down the health and beauty aisle, she started yelling in another language (it sounded like Russian). I was even more nervous.

But it was then that I realized what I’m pretty sure was wrong with her: she was schizophrenic. 

I feel bad when I say this, but I started believing the misconception that schizophrenics are violent. And based on how she was yelling, I hoped she would attack the voices she heard and not me.

She quietly came to my cash register and bought a welcome mat.

Although I'm not sure if the woman had schizophrenia, according to Mental Health Foundation her speaking aloud to the voices in her head is a common hallucination in people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

I became enlightened that day that people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia can manage and lead a normal life as best they can.

They may argue aloud with voices in their head, but it doesn’t make them violent.