I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this. I think most people with schizophrenia have that one delusion that they keep going back to that, no matter how hard they try to get rid of it, always sticks around. For me it’s the notion that people are making fun of me.
I don’t know why this is such a hang up for me as it really doesn’t matter either way but I’m constantly worried what people think of me and no matter how much therapy or how many antipsychotics I put into my body this delusion always remains.
It’s so persistent that there have been times I’ve succumbed to it and started to believe it as the truth. It’s caused me to be on my guard whenever any offshoot of the notion comes up and it’s caused me to be wary whenever I hear someone laughing or whenever I see someone whispering to their friend.
No matter what, I always think it’s about me and this is not a good thing.
I’ve heard stories about other delusions like this but a lot of the time they have to do with some unrealized fear people have so their very hesitant in sharing them. They stick around though, and we all know that.
In my ten years of living with schizophrenia I’ve come to some seemingly strange techniques for dealing with the delusions and while they may seem to be funny, they do seem to quell the delusion somewhat.
The first and most important way of dealing with these delusions is to be honest about them with people who love you. Chances are, they can help you come to terms with how ridiculous they are, they can tell you the reality of the situation that you seem to be missing and they can help you calm your nerves about the whole thing. They can tell you if what you’re feeling is normal and acceptable and they can reinforce the normality by letting you know that they’ve been through similar frames of mind.
The second and most important way of dealing with persistent delusions is to use radical acceptance. That means accepting them as the unequivocal truth until it becomes ridiculous and you realize the hilarity of what you are thinking. Just say “I accept this” say it until your comfortable with it. If you’re comfortable with it, you don’t have to fight it anymore.
Most of the time when you’re comfortable with an idea to the point that it doesn’t have any power over you anymore you can see the ways in which it’s misguided or wrong and you come around to the reality of the situation. In my case I’ve said that I accept that people were making fun of me more times than I can count and it’s never been true so I know it’s just a function of anxiety and insecurity.
This may sound really strange but welcome to the inner workings of a schizophrenic mind.
Maybe it’s just that you think snakes are following you, accept fully and completely the possibility that snakes are following your every move and then look back and realize that there are no snakes. It’s complicated and I realize that but that’s how it is.
Accepting and being honest about your persistent delusions is extremely important in getting comfortable with them and getting them off your chest.
I’ve been there and I know. And while it may hurt to come to terms with these delusions you’ll become more self aware than you can believe.
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