Psychosis can create a particularly terrible kind of pain that leads to suicidal behavior. Robert Bayley, who suffered for years from schizophrenia, recounted his struggles with extremely frightening hallucinations:

The reality for myself is almost constant pain and torment. The voices and visions, which are so commonly experienced, intrude and so disturb my everyday life. The voices are predominantly destructive, either rambling in alien tongues or screaming orders to carry out violent acts. They also persecute me by way of unwavering commentary and ridicule to deceive, derange, and force me into a world of crippling paranoia. Their commands are abrasive and all-encompassing and have resulted in periods of suicidal behavior and self-mutilation. I have run in front of speeding cars and severed arteries while feeling this compulsion to destroy my own life. As their tenacity gains momentum, there is often no element of choice, which leaves me feeling both tortured and drained.

—ROBERT BAYLEY

“First person account: Schizophrenia”



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