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Schizophrenia and False Expectations

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A delusion is a fixed, false belief which is not grounded in reality, and can be a symptom of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Personally, my delusions often took the form of false expectations. After taking a three-month trip to Africa in 2002, my delusions soon became the center of my life. I did not know that emerging schizophrenia was distorting my reality.

I spent months planning my 2002 summer visit to Nairobi, Kenya, Africa where I would volunteer in a medical clinic. While there, I stayed in a little cheaply made house within a slum area. It was impossible to walk the slum without a group of Kenyan nationals surrounding me. Curious children and adults alike cried “Mzungu!” again and again, the word for white man/woman. But the woman hosting me, “Naomi,” was a lovely Kenyan woman and compassionate entrepreneur who made me feel welcome. My transition to living in a new culture was enjoyable, but stressful.

Perhaps it was this stress that lead to my first hallucination.

One night a couple of months into my trip to Africa, I was sleeping in a bedroom in Naomi’s house. Suddenly, at the foot of my bed, I saw a man with bright sky-blue eyes. Somehow, his blue eyes were burning, on fire with passion. He commanded me to establish an international nonprofit organization on my return from Kenya back to America, in order to change the world.

When I........

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