Imagine being under the belief that everything that happens in reality somehow ties back to you and an action, or series of actions you took. Further, imagine that every single person you encounter is, for some reason, steadfastly fixated on you, the world is fixated on you. This is a delusion of grandeur, and delusions are the main facets of being psychotic.
A delusion is a thought or a set of thoughts that have no basis in reality as we know it, are actively untrue, but for some reason have weasled into our brains to make us think things are different than they are.
Superstitions are delusions, they may not be necessarily as harmful but they are set of beliefs we’ve ascribed to in order to find higher meaning in the world.
For example, there’s no proof that rabbits feet are lucky but but we’ve ascribed that notion to them regardless and by now it’s a collective societal delusion.
As a person living with schizophrenia, I am no stranger to this and have loaded up (perhaps to a detrimental degree) on superstitions about the way things are.
The danger comes when we start spiraling on the basis of these superstitions, holding them as unshakable truths upon which we pin more and more superstitions and delusions until we are, essentially in our own world, motivated entirely by thoughts that have no basis in reality.
Having been at a place where I thought that I was a prophet sent from God, to be king of America, I can tell you that it’s easy to start believing in things if they make you feel good and important like that and it’s easy to take it to extremes.
Psychosis is essentially like being in your own personal Truman show scenario. In fact, that movie is a pretty perfect representation of how it feels when you start to experience psychosis. The difference between the Truman show and real life though, is that the things you are suspecting about yourself, being the central point in a universe made up entirely for you, are not real.
There are times for me, where I wish my delusions were real. There are also times where I get confused about what’s real and what’s not. My brain is so reactive to even the smallest stimuli that sometimes little nothings become completely overblown. It’s like my brain feels the need to assign some greater meaning to the smallest most inconsequential events. Sometimes to the point where the meanings of these events signal some greater hidden truth.
These events though, they don’t actually mean anything and I have tell myself, at least a couple times a day that I’m being delusional. It sounds scary but I’ve been dealing with this for 17 years now.
The main point is that when you have a mental illness it’s easy to fall into psychosis, it’s easy to start believing things that aren’t real. You have to be aware almost constantly about the actual state of reality and the things your brain is manifesting. Which for some people, is extremely hard.
If you’re a parent, sibling or caretaker wondering what it’s like to have psychosis, your empathy is valued and as a person with mental illness I can tell, we greatly appreciate the concern. Just know that we’re, just like any other person doing our best with what we’ve been given.