May 2, 2022

Delusion


by Interfaith

Continued from here:
https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/20137/page-4


Thomas said: 

Bearing in mind the above, I’ll get to the nub of my queries …

You’s declared the principles of the RHP a delusion, but the affirmation of subjectivity is risky when it’s evident that the self is the most fallible element in the whole equation?

The sobering message is: Those who do not learn by history are doomed to repeat it.

For me, detachment and discernment are the pre-requisites of the Great Work, without the need of rejecting the world, just a recognition of what it is.

Click to expand…

I have some unique insight on this topic. I was delusional once.

When my psychiatrist was trying a variety of different medications for me and before my current diagnosis was finalized, we looked into whether I suffered from psychotic depression. I didn’t have any of the positive symptoms like delusions or hallucinations, though, only negative ones like apathy, social withdrawal, and reduced affect.

For a few months, I was put on an anti-psychotic. This particular drug had an uncommon side-effect; it could sometimes produce psychosis in those who did not already experience it. That’s exactly what happened to me.

Psychosis is nothing like I thought it would be. In movies, you often see people hallucinate that they’re in completely different places, sometimes switching between places and all of them seeming incredibly real. This is not accurate to my experiences.

For me, psychosis was basically the exact opposite. Real-life started to feel less real. I began to doubt my own memories of past events and whether they were from dreams or not. While I was awake, I wasn’t sure whether I was still dreaming. I would get lost in daydreams and I couldn’t tell whether the daydream was real life or whether reality was real life.

When I “heard voices” it wasn’t like I could hear them audibly. I heard them in my head. I just couldn’t tell that they were imaginary because the sounds I heard “in my ears” also felt imaginary. Sometimes the voices felt even more real than real life.

There was this big problem where I would recognize patterns in things and then creatively think or joke about random explanations for those patterns. For instance, every third step in my school was a different color, probably a design choice. To me, though, that pattern seemed so obviously something else. I thought it might be some sort of occult symbolism used to ward demons away and I was afraid that it would think I was evil and that it would burn me up if I touched it, so I skipped the steps when walking up the stairwells.

At the time, this wasn’t a full-on delusion. I wasn’t really sure if that was true or not. I just didn’t want to risk it. Of course, underneath that was my emotional reasoning; I felt guilty and so I imagined the world was going to punish me. Being psychotic just turned that overwhelming feeling into a paranoid delusion that felt more real to me than real life.

I’m very thankful that I could experience psychosis because I can say for sure now that I’m not psychotic. It isn’t a state of mind that I’m still in. We took me off that medication and I recovered. Unfortunately, for many people, they can’t just be taken off their meds and no longer be psychotic. It’s a constant state for them and they don’t have a non-psychotic state of mind to compare themselves to, making it easy for them to think that they’re normal because, to them, that state of mind is normal.

So I think we should be very careful when we label people who are just stubbornly holding onto beliefs that we think are incorrect “delusional.” Real delusions are very different.

(Discussion in ‘Belief and Spirituality‘ started by Ella S. 25/04/2022)

View thread:

https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/20158/


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