Whether it brings the
voices of heaven or of hell, it causes what must surely be the worst
affliction a sentient, conscious being can suffer: the
inability to tell what is real from what is imaginary. To the
person with schizophrenia the voices and visions sound and look
as authentic as the announcer on the radio and the furniture in the room.
In paranoid schizophrenia,
the patient becomes convinced of beliefs at odds with reality,
hears voices that aren't there or see images that exist
nowhere but in his mind. ...The voices the patients heard were therefore
as real to them as the conversations in the hallways they passed through
en route to the lab. ...(Andrea) *Yates, who has a deeply religious
background had satanic hallucinations. ...The seeming authenticity
of the voices means that people with schizophrenia can be barraged by commands
that, they are convinced, come from God or Satan. That inference is not
illogical; who else can speak to you, unseen, from inside your mind?
Newsweek, cover story on schizophrenia (Newsweek, March
11, 2002, p. 46+)
*Andrea Yates (of Texas) drowned her five children because
"God" told her to.