Mother’s Day on Sunday brought the end of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 68th Mental Health week. In commemoration of this week, many different societies got involved, putting out campaigns and wellness tips for people to get educated and take care of themselves. Some places, such as The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society, created ways for people to really understand just how much mental illness can affect someone.
They created Songs of Schizophrenia. No, this is not the edgy name of some rock or trap album, it doesn’t fit the stigmatized bill of being scary or creepy; it’s simply an album created to showcase what those suffering from psychosis might experience in their everyday life. To create it, the BCSS collaborated with 10 Canadian Musicians, editing the songs provided to emulate what it can be like to experience auditory hallucinations.
When listening to the songs, you will hear voices, ranging from encouraging and friendly to threatening and unsettling. The voices play throughout, some accompanied by other sounds such as banging on a door. They hope the project will help people, whether they know someone with the disease or not, understand what it’s like to suffer from it.
Schizophrenia is a brain disease that is the result of physical and chemical imbalances in the brain. It causes things such as delusions and hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and can go hand in hand with other mental illnesses like anxiety or depression. Worldwide 1 in 100 people are affected and over 47,000 British Columbians and 360,000 Canadians live with it, this number goes up even higher with psychosis, a condition that causes a detachment with reality.
While the audio may be quite disturbing to some, it’s a good reminder that many people around suffer from things like it that they cannot simply press pause on.