Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Picked -- I am.
-- If I do anything good in this world.
It is -- at home.
Being born beef up.
But it doesn't work it's.
Nothing can -- time for.
It's one of medicines great mysteries schizophrenia.
Pamela Wagner has been living with illness for most over 57 years.
There's a divided consciousness between what I'm supposed to believe him -- -- And when you hear things.
They can be very dangerous.
If you're apt to act on them.
You know they're called command hallucinations and if they tell you to do things I mean listen to them here -- tropical.
Hallucinations and hearing voices that are not really there are common symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.
In -- case the voices are delivering a dangerous message.
-- their command hallucinations.
And and I don't.
Tell me to do things like fittingly like on fire and a half.
Cent while -- campfire because there's a system with -- again.
And I want.
I walk because the whole point.
Is mark of Cain is supposed to keep people away from me.
So why won't hurt anyone now -- so -- won't cause any more evil in the world.
Psychiatrist doctor -- has -- can't quite wrap her head around -- -- Perhaps that's because they're identical twins.
It was very difficult to have my -- twin sister telling me these things it's very hard to get around that.
Have asked the strange for me -- -- Your -- twin sister that's.
It is hard for anyone to comprehend.
-- are genetically identical yet as adults the want a psychiatrist the other crippled by mental illness -- and Caroline were born in 1952.
They were inseparable from the moment Caroline arrived just five minutes after her sister.
I don't know what it's like not to have somebody that's my best friend always there.
That's always been able to feel close to her even when I know there's something wrong with her.
Like many twins the -- shared everything.
From their looks to their live experiences.
But things change as the girls grow and by the time they got to middle school there were noticeable differences between the two.
She started hearing voices and opinions sixth -- I had this identical twin and she's not washing our hair she's not trying to wear the right clothes she's not taking shower.
And the trouble is -- knew something was wrong that my parents.
We now they thought -- she's just growing up later.
Then in 1963.
When the girls were just eleven years old the nation suffered a monumental tragedy.
The assassination of president Kennedy but -- illness senator reeling with a different kind of grief she believed she was responsible.
I was devastated.
And not just devastated I heard things.
And those things.
People told me.
And I felt somehow but I -- out.
I'm never told anyone how she was feeling.
To the outside world -- future seemed to be full of promise in 1971.
Of -- and Caroline enrolled at Brown University.
But -- life soon began to unravel.
I was very depress.
I was hearing things but I was also parent night I believe -- Roommate went she wore -- red -- it meant that she and her friends were plotting against me.
College -- almost impossible for -- Did in 1975.
Both ways graduated.
Two years later they started med school.
-- at the University of Connecticut and Caroline at Harbour.
Not long after -- classes began administrators became concerned with her behavior and asked her to leave.
Once medical school -- basically.
Lost touch with.
In the sense that they didn't know what to do it didn't know how to help.
Caring for a loved one -- mental illness can drain and even destroy a family.
Unable to hold down a job because of her deteriorating mental health.
Pam found herself -- in and out of hospitals.
Caroline was focused on building her own life as a -- I needed to get to just get away from her.
I needed my own identity.
Then in 1981 while on call -- Massachusetts mental health center Caroline got an urgent phone call from a hospital in Connecticut.
Only this time the patient was her sister.
Pam was finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and put on medication.
I didn't even.
Believe that I haven't LS.
Until -- take -- medication that made me feel father.
And then I began to say you could say to myself.
These agents now.
Pam and Carolyn can an autobiographical novel called divided minds and just this here.
-- published her first book of poetry it is achievement is like these that -- contradict the stigma so often linked to schizophrenia.
The incidents of violence with schizophrenia is is no more violent than the general public is just -- the media.
That's usually when most people here it's a -- when there's some violent crime committed.
Today she spends most of our time writing painting and making jewelry.
But even with medication she still has a lot of old demons to overcome -- Often.
Won't have to -- -- that I do.
Emulate myself that I have to.
This is -- good.
This illness is really quite.
Draining in spite of all of the treatment and she's incredibly talented.
And it's got a break her -- to realize how.
Much more she might have been able to do.
Patients like -- are not without hope.
Talk therapy and you medications have proven their value.
There's so much -- there.
If the medications were looking.
And if the medications work they are lucky.
Because then this whole life.
They gave me.
A life worthless.
And Canon and cry.
It gave me smile.
He really -- it.
Filter by section