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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
LISTEN to me, people, lol:

Paranoid delusions are not the same things as "psychotic episodes" or "schizophrenia"

I KNOW some of you have paranoid thoughts - and very creepy surreal ideas about the origin of reality and the nature of life/death/infinity, am I awake? "did I invent the entire world in a dream?" etc....those thoughts SOUND pretty nutty. And I do not suggest you walk around sharing them with people in your office, etc.

I had the same kinds of ideas for many years - on and off, mostly on...but I kept them to myself - never even trusting a psychiatrist enough to tell them. To me, those thoughts were PROOF that I was really insane. Doctors and therapists could reassure me to high Heaven that I was "only" anxious or neurotic or obsessive. I knew the Truth. I knew that in spite of my good common sense to HIDE them, I actually and truly sincerely believed that it was possible I was god. I thought that I had made up the entire world, or was "dreaming" it - and no one was real, nothing that appeared to exist was truly "here" - no more than some meadow or park from a dream last night was "really there."

I was nothing but Pure Thought.

I was an idea. And from my Idea, I had invented this world. And every single one of you, and my family, and every movie and every car on the street, and every piece of literature in the library....were nothing but little concoctions of mine. (on other days, I assumed this was so clearly insane that I must actually BE insane and maybe was already inside a locked ward somewhere only imagining this existence...drugged up or on shock treatments, and I was lying in a cold room some place and only imagining my daily life in a drugged stupor)

I am going to say this one more time: I was not just 'imaginging" what those ideas might be like. I BELIEVED THEM.

From the time I had my initial breakdown, those thoughts started mounting - got worse for a few years around 17-22. Then those thoughts seemed to take a back seat to just pure terror/anxiety for awhile. Then they'd come back from time to time,and got their worst ever when I was in my late 20's.

There was a morning I was out jogging - here in New York - got up very early, just after dawn...I was near the park and all of a sudden the sky looked SO odd to me...I realized that I could be totally "off" and that it was not really morning, but nightfall...and I was so confused, and had BEEN so confused...and memories from my original breakdown came flooding back and it seemed like I had not really lived the years in between 18 and 28 - that the 10 yr. period had been an illusion and that maybe I had gone totally insane at 18, and was in a hospital and had been there for 10 yrs....again, this was not a fantasy, it was a delusion. I actually believed it was true. And I was terrified. Didn't know where to walk, who to talk to, who to trust, who to lie to, should I go home and try to sleep to "wake up" in the hospital where I "really" was? I was a raging lunatic on the streets of New York in a jogging suit, absolutely terrrified that I had gone insane years before - and the Me I thought I was now was nothing but an illusion....

I quit a part-time job I had shortly after that little event in the park, and started a downward spiral of staying home, increasing anxiety states and prolonged chronic dp that didn't let up for nearly a year.....

was it another breakdown? a breakdown within the already existing breakdown? more delusion on top of anxiety? Dp and obsessions on top of stress? Paranoia on top of panic and dp?

It does not matter what you choose to call it. It was More of SAME (in a slightly new format)

And that my dears, is the kind of crap that a NON-psychotic mind can live with - we can invent horrifying thoughts that we believe - almost like some mean teenager telling horrific bedtime tales to a little kid to make them have nightmares. ANYthing I could think up, I could believe. I was absolutely at the mercy of my own imagination.

And I lived that way for nearly 20 yrs.

I did not go insane. But really, come on now, was my quality of life much better than a person who IS insane?

The good part is that my brain itself was NOT deteroriating from any kind of degenerative disease. It was "living" in a state of primary process fantasy, half in twilight betwixt reality and delusion...and for nearly 20 damn years, I am NOT exaggerating, people....I did NOT have a clear sense of what reality was or IF reality was, or if I was.

The mental states than dp and anxiety can take a person into are UNbelieveable. And very very few people want to walk around like me, lol....bragging about how nuts they once felt. So very few of us really know that other people have ever "been there." THEY HAVE. I read it all the time, encounter it all the time in case studies, etc....at the analytic institute. This is just a part of mental life that few people go public with. So you get on the internet and start looking up "schizophrenia" and think "yes! See! That's me! I am insane and noboby realizes it."

Wrong.

I was there, guys. And whether you like me, love me or find me terribly annoying (grin), clearly I am not insane. and despite your own horrible secret thoughts and fears, neither are you.

GOT it?

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Letters to Janine should be addressed to:

Janine (I thought YOU were watching her. Uh oh) Baker
New York Insititute for the Criminally Insane,
Fourth Floor Psychiatric Ward (Lock Down Dept.)
New York, NY.
 

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....lol Clay that was a good one. Janine, as always you are a huge encouragement. How you deal with us on a daily basis without going crazy is a mystery to me. You're the best.

Ken
 

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in short..

do you talk to trees and lamposts? do they talk back and tell you to eat your boogers and jerkoff in the middle of crowded shoppingmalls? do you hang out on medians and try to karate kick passing cars? do you smell like grizzly adams... and look like him too? do you pick up old cigarette butts and furiously try to relight them with an imaginary lighter? do you tug at your grizzly adams beard as you laugh uncontrollably at nothing for hours on end? if so then... ya know. :(

i dont. so im not skitso. but my doctors think i am. thats cause my doctors are crazier than me. either that or they are just trying to line their pockets as they shove more and more meds down my throat. :x
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have to say that over the past month I've decided to actually listen to Janine, to accept that I "only" have anxiety and nothing larger than that and I've been almost DP/DR free for a full month with rare DP/DR moments (usually in the evenings when I'm tired and/or after prolonged time under fluorescent lights). Then over the past 2 days I've been confused, saw some things in 2D, started questioning whether today is an "actual day" or just a dream etc. etc. etc. ... the DP/DR usual...

And I'm slowly but surely realizing how this whole thing works. I think that being DP/DR free for even a few hours allowed me to first of all notice that it is not a permanent situation and also notice that I never have it when I'm doing things I truly love, when I'm being 100% myself with no restrictions or shame or when I immerse myself in good books or movies.... then all of a sudden I start saying to myself "oh God, I didn't have DP/DR just right now" and it returns.

I think it might be different for everyone but for me, what truly truly helped was acceptance that it is not anything other than anxiety, that it is treatable, that I can make it go away if I work hard on it and that I am the one bringing it on. I went to a psychologist once who explained it to me and said that if you ask an average person on the street if your face looks weird and distorted, keep on questioning them and in a sense forcing them to stare down at your face, they WILL start perceiving it as bizarre looking.

I think that with DP/DR, we look at every aspect of our life like that.... by analyzing things that others take for granted. Others take for granted that they are not dreaming this whole world up, that they have not invented everything around them etc. We question it and get scared of it, going deeper and deeper into DP/DR.

Now when I get these thoughts, I tell myself "oh it's DP/DR" and I try not to be afraid of them. Instead, I try to focus on other things, to read or watch TV. It's the only thing that helped me calm down a bit, even if it didn't take away DP/DR completely.

As usual, thanks Janine. You've been such an incredible help to me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Janine,

I cannot begin to even tell you what type of chord your post strikes with me. Your story is so similar to what I am going through right now; I even questioned whether your post was just part of my imagination trying to reassure me that I am not imagining the world, when I really am :lol: How's that for paranoid : )

But seriously, living in this constant fear/belief that everything is purely a figment of my imagination really, really sucks. It is horrifying, not only b/c I think it, but b/c I actually "believe" it. I cannot grasp logic, and the idea seems so rational, so real, that I can't fathom it not being true.

Looking at your family, friends, and all the people you love/care for, and believing that they are just a figment of your imagination is terrifying. I am positive that either my fears are true, or that I am psychotic, and belong in a mental hospital. Either this is all just part of my imagination, or I am a delusional psychotic. It does not seem that these thoughts could come from a sane mind. Actually, being psychotic does not scare me at all. At least there is medication, and the possibility of getting better. What scares me is that my thoughts/fears might actually be true and that I will be stuck in this fake hell for the rest of my years. LOL

Well, it's not funny when you are obsessing over it (which is 24/7), but still, you've got to admire where your mind can take you (if the world really is real : )

Anyways, it seems like I will never, ever be able to go back and see the world in the way that I once did. And, I also have been scared that I am a "god" and somehow unconciously control everything in the world. I know it sounds so egotistical, but I DO NOT enjoy these thoughts or take pleasure from them, or fantasize about them being true in a positive way. They scare the living crap out of me. But, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to shake these horrible delusions/beliefs. I used to be so rational (or so I thought), but old thoughts have creeped back in, have been magnified by the dp/dr, and now I wonder/am beggining to believe that my whole life has just been a figment of my imagination.

Sorry for the rambling, but it is good to vent. I have a psychiatric review next week and plan on telling the psychiatrist everything. I do not care. I want to get better. If there was a pill I could take to abalate these thoughts I would. If they lock me in a mental hospital, so be it. Maybe they can give me some drugs to stop these thoughts. I have also told my closest friend and she is very understanding. Imagine someone telling you they think you are just a figment of your imagination :lol: Poor girl, she really is sweet. Sadly, telling her my thoughts did not de-mystify my fears/beliefs, or make the world seem more real, but at least it is a step somewhere.

Right?

Anyways, thanks so much for posting this, it couldn't have come at a better time. (I was actually wondering if the internet/computers were a figment of my imagination when I came to the forum)

With Love,

Jon

(anyone who has been through this hell and lived to talk about it has my love forever :wink: )
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this morning during Accounting class, out of NOWHERE the thought of living in the Matrix just popped into my head and that my visual disturbances are actually glitches that only myself & other people like me can see. I pondered on this thought for a while, than i was like WTF AM I THINKING??? I kinda got worried and than returned to paying attention to the professor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Janine

As always I find much food for thought in this post of yours.

I guess what I keep struggling with, and you may be able to help me with this, is how do we define "psychosis?"

In the past even so called experts have had varying opinions about the distinction between neurosis and psychosis.

For instance in my own case when I was hospitalised their was some disagreement between the two main ward physchiatrists with one claiming the opinion that i was suffering from a psychosis, while the other doctor contended that what I suffered from was a severe neurosis.

I get the feeling that you regard psychosis and neurosis to be two distinct conditions rather than simply a matter of degree of "pathology?"

Or do you feel there is a clear line of demarcation between the two?

I have never really studied the subject very much but I have always gotten the impression that it is possible for a neurotic person to experience psychotic mental states under certain circumstances. Even so called normal people are capable of having psychotic breaks. Aren't they?

I mean to actually believe that you were responsible for the creation of this world, this universe, certainly sounds like a definite break with reality. And isn't such breaks with reality the very definition of psychosis?

Anyway I would be interested to hear how you define psychosis as being distinct lets say from severe neurosis.

Is it simply a matter of semantics?

sincerely
John
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've had these thoughts even before I had dp. There is nothing insane about it, its just a philosophy. I am still open to the fact that I may be 'god'. It doesn't seem that impossible to me. Not to discredit any of you...but we are all god experiencing this 'existance' with the same consciousness. I've also given consideration to the idea that all of you are figments of my imagination and I am really dreaming...but these thoughts are not crazy at all. If fact, I feel really aware, and good right now just thinking about all these possiblilities.
 

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All in all I think I've spent about 2000 hours in total thinking about ideas related towards, in some way, me either dreaming, being in the matrix, conjuring up the world in my head, being the only mind in existence etc etc.
Although these thoughts still plague me, I have realised that they are in fact more or less totally fallacious. I've explored quite literally every possibility that the world, including other people, may in some form or another be not real, or even logically impossible. I've read tonnes of philosophy on these ideas. But in the end I'm almost certain that they're a load of rubbish, and so is any right minded philosopher. So please don't give these thoughts any credence whatsoever.
Oh and they're not psychotic in any way either.
 
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