I worked as a psychic/ghost hunter for 15 + years.
I didn't -deliberately- set out to do that, I just .. kind of always could see the dead.
I recall being about 4 or 5 years old and going with my mother to a lady's house. They let me loose in the yard while they had coffee. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little white dog zoom around a corner of the house but when I ran around to find it, it was gone.
So I'm yelling, "Here, puppy! Here, boy!" and the adults piled out to see what I was doing. Mum aksed what dog I was calling to. I told her I was calling a little white doggy, but it went around the corner and disappeared.
The lady looked at me rather funny after I said that and we went home shortly after. So I found out from Mum that the lady's little white dog had died months before...
My life is filled with stories like that. I spent my teenage years like a kid from a Freddy Kreuger movie, eating coffee out the jar with a spoon so I wouldn't go to sleep and have a bunch of clearly dead people all talking to me at once.
At times I was scared I was schizophrenic.. but it wasn't like that at all. I too did bulk research on mental illnesses, I was so scared and worried..
In my early 20's I met a lady who became my mentor for a couple of years. She was the same as me, and taught me a pile of stuff, including how to 'switch off' when I wanted to.
In the meantime, I spent a bunch of my free time doing 'readings' for people, on their houses, etc, all word of mouth referrals, until I had no spare time at all. I ended up quitting my job and charging for my time (not very much! I wasn't like a Madam Zora in a gold turban, kind of tosser) and made a basic wage off of that for many years.
I quit when Daughter was about 5 and started having a lot of very, very strange 'imaginary friends', some of whom I could see out of the corner of my eye at times.. I shut myself down and retired -- all but one imaginary friend vanished the same day I quit..
I feel I did the right thing for Daughter's sake. While my childhood was incredibly interesting, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, and being a bit of a spook magnet, I felt it was unduly influencing her.
Daughter doesn't seem to have the same 'gift' that I had, not at this stage anyhow, though she can spot a liar at 50 paces. My mother was psychic in her youth (I only found this out a few years ago), and I think her mother was too, to an extent.
So for me, it's a matter of 'believing' but of living it as a part of my daily life..