Monday, January 30, 2006

answering questions

Paul (and anybody else who has questions)

I'll try to answer some of your questions. Incidentally, I really glad to hear someone say that the posts I've written here were helpful. That makes this writing seem much more worthwhile.

As far as the extent to which psychosis may or may not be caused or worsened by outside events, I have to say that ai realy do not know a definite answer to that question. I know that, in my case, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that I believe is relsponsible for my hallucinations and delusions. I say this for several reasons, one of which is that there are numerous people who have had the exact same delusional thoughts in this world. For example, thinking one is being followed by a government agency such as the CIA, thinking one is embodying Jesus Christ, hearing voices telling one to kill her or his self - these are all really common eventts that frequently are found in people with schizophrenia. I know that questions about these types of symptoms are on psychological tests, such as the MMPI test which you may or may not be familiar with, but that's a psychological test that is commonly used in the mental health field.

On the other hand, I have had many delusions which I don't thiuk are very common, and what has caused some of them relates, in part, to events in my life, I think. Without going into to much detail, because that would be very difficult to do at this time, I will give an example. I was raised in a Christian school and frequently went to Christian churches as a child and I doubt that someone who had not been raised that way would end up having very many delusions involving doctines of Chritianity. For a while one of my delusions was that my father had to be the antichrist, and I was channeling or representing Jesus Christ. And when I was growing up, to explain this, my father never went to church and was not the one who wnated me in any Christian school - my mother was. Maybe this will help explain a tiny bit.

As far as how much the delusions and hallucinations are worsened or are triggered by outside events, I do believe they are worsened for me at times by an overload of stress in my life. Also, simply going into a crowd of people is difficult for me, as at times, in a shopping mall or some other place with crowds, I will hear people in the crowed talking (secretively) to me in double speak and that becomes very frightening. It makes me avoid crowds. Other things, for example having no place to live and having little support from other people, and having financial problems, as you mentioned, I'm sure have not helped at all with the illness, but they may or may not have made the illness worse. I honestly am not sure about the answer to that. I have read that Schizophrneis worsens under such stress.

One thing is definite to me now, and that is that taking mediations for this illness really changes the amount and the severity of the delusions and hallucinations, and it allows me to sit here typing about them, which I never would have been able to do when I was not on these medications. So for me, unfortunately, medication seems to be the key. However, the medications do not completely stop any of these problems, and I do not really know that they ever will. At leasat one doctor has totd me that I may never get rid of some of these delusions as long as I live, and that's a rather frightening prospect for me.

I think what you said about the concentrattion camps and Jews was interesting, and sounds logcial, but I have to say that I have tried that approach in my mind and it has not helped to stop the delusional thoughts. I think that the reason I developed those delusions was partly in that I felt so sympathetic towards Jewish people who went through the horrors of the Halocaust was somewhat related toward developing that delusino. Also I think that books I've read about that horror helped to contribute to my knowledge of it, and therefore are part of the reason for those types of delusions developing in my mind. Obviuosly, if I didn't know, in my mind, anything about it, I wouldn't be able to develop a fear of it happening again now, or of it having continued to happen in secrecy after our world ssid it ended.

One thing that is kind of difficult to explain is how these delusions all develop a life of their own and create havoc in my sense of reality by morphng themselves. What I mean is, as soon as I can tell myself that this logically is not happening, I seem to have developed instantly another, related, delusion that seems very real.

I live very near one of the main centers in the world for Scientology, and it is hard to explain this but the delusions of being called a Jew and the camps also changed in a related way towards thinking that the Scientologist were part of a "new world order" that was taking over the planet, and for a while I believed that I was in some sort of spiritual warfare as Jesus Christ in opposition to L. Ron Hubbard (the creator or scientology),. Then, in a morphing of this horrible delusion, I thought I was the spirit of L. Ron Hubbard (who died in 1986).

What I am trying to say here, basically, is that these delusions become so bizarre, it is really imposibble to swith my thinking by using rational, logical thoughts. I was not able to so that at all without medication, and it is still difficult now, when I'm on a great deal of medications. I can say though that for right now, I don't believe any of the above delusions were more than a delusion. I might not be feeling as strong in the reality of the rest of the world, though, even an hour from now when I will ahve at least a partial belief in them. It's hard to even disclose this information here, actually, because I do have that partial belief much of the time.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining things very well, and, unfortunately, because of the blurry vision caused by one of my medications, I can't read my own typing right now, so I aplogize if this post was full of typing errors.

Anyway, as far as auditry hallucinations go, I do constantly say to myself, upon hearing them, "no that is nto really what that person said, and here is what that person really said, and that is all they said". And I do argue all the time with the delusonal thoughts ni my mind. If I could stop them, of course, that would be much easier.

One thing I have tried, shich I should probably do more often, is making lists. For example, a list of what the delusion is comapared to the reality that exposes it as a delusion, that was something I did in the hospital a bit. I made lists of positive things in my life, lists of reasons not to kill myself, lists of good qualities I possess, etc. Mostly I've done that while in hospitals, and they were helpful to a degree. I suppose that is something I should try more often. Trying to argue with yourself inside your mind really becomes tiring.
If anyone is reading this who has schizophrenia or a related condition, or who knows someone who has such a disorder, the above is one thing I can recommend trying.

On an old post here I made a list of some of my favorite things. That was a good thing to do for myself, if only because so much of the time my mind is corroded with negative thoughts. One other thing that I've heard people recmmend is wearing a rubber band around your writst, and snapping it every time an unwanted thought occurs. I really don't think I can do that at this time, because I have so many different delusional thoughts I would have to snap the thing continuously all day long, but it sounds like a practice worth trying.


  1. Hello Beautiful Mind,
    I just thought I'd mention that although these journeys are very individual -- as is the recovery from same -- you might enjoy some of the articles posted on my blog.

  2. Thank you for making clear the fight you are having against these delusions. As long as you are working at understanding and controlling it, there is hope. I'm pulling for you all the way. Hang in there and keep up the good fight. You have come a long way in the past year.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Hi Beautiful Mind

    I liked your list of favourite things the sunsets, picking buttercups and making strawberry shortcake. I tried my hand at playing the piano for a couple of years but other things got in the way and I have only heard the clarinet a few times. Climbing cliffs came into play more than climbing trees. I am so with you on the storms, the excitement of lightning and thunder as it cracks its way, permeates the air with its dense sound waves that echo not just in the ears, but in every cell, resonating, pulsating, shaking. It’s like water touching silver.

    Time is against me, I wish I could write more. I'm wasted. Time never sleeps and waits for no one, it has an eyrie grip on the human race, regulating, ordering, pushing. Sometimes it stretches but presently it is in hyper-drive.

    Your last post was very engaging, interesting and as always, genuine.
    Best thoughts,

  5. We haven't heard from you in awhile. How are you doing?

  6. I first read this last post some time ago and later I talked it over with my girlfriend. Her experience of psychosis was in some ways typical as well, for example the feeling of being observed, in her case through cameras mounted in her apartment. Others she met in hospital also told of similar experiences. She also had particular delusional thoughts that related to her own life, but at least the common aspects seem to show that there is the possibility of finding a general explanation for what really does happen, and through that improving the therapies and treatments.
    Thanks for writing your thoughts here Beautiful Mind and I wish you well.

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