During psychosis, I have a mental book of tricks that I employ to cope with everything that is going on. Many of them concern the ability to see things differently, to play with interpretation of phenomena in such a way that they will cause me least distress. I have written down some of my tricks in a document on my computer, though it is not quite a book yet. During psychosis, aside from trying many new things, I also look through this document to see if there are any tools in there I can use when phenomena are distressing.
One of these tricks concerns the perception of a causal relation between two phenomena. Typically, the two phenomena that appear to be causally related are some hallucination and a bodily sensation or emotion. Sometimes, the relation is one between a hallucination and an intrusive thought. Sometimes between an intrusive thought and a bodily sensation.
The trick exploits the idea that causality is the result of an interpretation of phenomena. It is not simply out there. There is some philosophy that supports this idea, like Hume and Kant, but it is not too important now. Now the trick exploits the idea that the causal relation between them is added to the events by the mind. Since this is an interpretation of those events, another may be possible as well. So here’s how it goes:
My voices threaten to control my body in such and such a way, and lo, my body moves in such and such a way. To perceive the causal direction here from voices to bodily action is tempting in a sense. But it is also distressing. No fun being a puppet in the hands of some heartless punks. So I notice this and take the liberty to tinker with interpretation a bit. I reinterpret the causal direction and reverse it. So I interpret the content of the voices as a result of my body acting in such and such way, rather than as its cause. To me this is less distressing.