What is it like to be in the eyes of a person with a mental ailment?

This was inspired by a manga titled 'Hero', a mature, slice of life manga revolving around a middle-aged mangaka assistant with schizophrenia and how he manages with everyday life. Story concept, not really sure if I'll continue this.


"She cheated her way out of the psychological evaluation yet again, bringing her usual image as the spotless, obsessive-compulsive executive. Though the usual battery of tests should have discovered more than that, she had multiple helpers in mind that helped her project herself in such a manner. IN MIND, mind you, think of it as literal as you could. As most would see and feel her condition as an affliction, she found more use of it for practical use, and even more for companionship. Can you guess what she has? Hint: Visual hallucinations as a symptom. If that isn't already a dead-giveaway to you, I suggest you go read more than your fair share of pornography and vanity.

I could only hope to imagine, what it feels like to see 'imp-like creatures, pouring fictional champagne on your business partner when he or she would likely double-cross you in the near future', 'three ten-legged men, briskly punching the face of a courter who would surely end up being a sex-driven fiend" or 'mist-like hands, pointing out the correct responses in all psychiatric tests that helped her avoid any possibility of looking incompetent or insane.'

I have writers as friends, but even they could not formulate such bizarre, yet highly detailed depictions. She mentioned she could even count the number of creases on the skin of every creature that had appeared before her. 'The imps have 72 on each cheek. The men had 257, mainly serving as the outline of their faces…' and she continued on without flinching, stating the fine lines in her images as if they were common knowledge. This could all end up as an elaborate joke, yes, if only I could sense any sign of humor or lie within the tone of her voice, or within her pulse for that matter. I've worked as a lie detector, just so you know. A lot of felons tried to act their way out of it, but to no avail. That spotless record earned me quite a bit of a name as a professional witness. However, though no legal disputes are involved, this time may be the first dent in my record. Would this be the first time my method and machine failed? Or am I really going to dig deeper to see an actual 'truth'?

Obviously choosing the latter, I had to ask her an obvious question: "If what you say if true, how could you not have turned crazy? Seeing such creatures ever since… when, exactly?" She gave a hearty laugh, one that still had humor and reason in tone. 'They are my companions. They have helped me countless times and have never crossed me. Isn't that a basic element of civility?'

A weird sense of precognition, a science-fiction power placed within an affliction. But, I may have to take back the last word from the previous sentence. Knowing by heart the DSM, putting it as the psychologist's 'bible' in an almost literal state, the phrase 'interferes with social and professional functions' comes as a prerequisite for a condition to be labeled as a 'disease'.

From where I stand and what I have witnessed… touché diagnostic criteria".