Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition believed to affect around three million Americans. For the rest of those living in the U.S. who do not have schizophrenia, it’s hard to imagine what living with this condition is really like. Thanks to social media, those living with schizophrenia and other mental health disorders are able to share their story and give the world a bit of an idea of what it’s like to walk a day in their shoes.

Scottie Long is just one of many schizophrenia patients who has documented his episodes on his YouTube channel. What makes his videos so truly fascinating is the heightened awareness that Long experiences when he distinguishes a hallucination from reality. “Obviously, this probably is an episode, but I just want to show you what can happen to you or your kid if you don’t get your s--- done and get it done early, for detection, for any kind of mental illness. This is what life could be like,” Long says in the video. You can witness his hallucinations in real time as he answers a phone, although it doesn’t ring, and as he checks outside his house for “people watching him,” although the camera shows there is no one there.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, those with schizophrenia may hear voices other people don’t hear, will believe people are reading their minds or controling their thoughts, and, as shown in Long’s video, even hallucinate. “In the shower, I seen four or five people looking in the mirror at me when I looked at the shower door. … It freaked me out,” Long explains, showing just how frightening living with this condition can be.

Long’s video is unsettling, and his warning of treating mental illness before it progress too far is heard loud and clear.

Published by Medicaldaily.com