Concrete Thinking

I have very concrete thinking. A lot of times I don’t understand humor and especially sarcasm. I’m a Buddhist and it’s hard to study it because a lot of it is parables. Apparently this is part of sz. Does anyone else struggle with this? It’s really just a social issue but it’s frustrating. I usually don’t read the Lounge section of this site because I don’t get it. :sunny:

I have concrete thinking, it makes it difficult for me to learn new things and get interested in new things. I also have stereotypical thinking where I can only focus on a few topics and everything else I neglect. I’m at community college and it makes learning harder. I still understand humor though. When someone posts something funny on this forum I laugh. Most of the funny people on here are just corny though.

Yup. Do you meditate? I try to imagine my hard & stubborn thoughts melting away like wax. It seems to help a lot. I also do ink drawings which really helps relax my thinking and not try to quantify everything.

Also Zen, since you’re a Buddhist you might give some techniques a peep.

I guess I meant concrete thinking like when a pdoc will ask “what does it mean by those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” I take it literally and think it’s about gardeners because they’re talking about greenhouses. A lot of humor is abstract and I understand it in a literal sense. That’s great you’re in school. Keep at it. It took me years to earn my BS but I graduated at the top of my class. :sunny:

I don’t meditate but I chant. I guess it’s meditative though as most prayer is. I used to do ink drawings a lot. My major in high school was art. I don’t have the patience for art anymore but I used to love to get lost in it. That’s great you found something that works for you. Do you practice Zen? :sunny:

Comedy is a hard medium to follow sometimes. I’ve used it mostly as a defense so many do.

This might interest you ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) is based on Buddhist mindfulness might be up your alley .

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Not really, but I find some of the techniques & concepts very useful. It’s really hard to do sometimes. I can understand why people don’t like it.

I am Zen, I thought
And at that moment I realized I wasn’t. :grin:

Thanks for the tip @Dreamscape2 :slight_smile: I think you’re right about comedy being a hard medium to follow. I’ll look into ACT though as I’ve never heard of it. I’ve learned mindfulness in therapy before when I did DBT. It really helped with the PTSD.

@MoeFaux I’m not too familiar with Zen. There are so many sects of Buddhism. I guess you could say that about a lot of the world religions. I practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. Basically what it boils down to is we believe the original Buddha’s teaching of the Lotus Sutra is the vehicle to enlightenment. We chant the title of the Lotus Sutra and portions from two chapters of it. We strive for world peace and believe if everyone were happy there would be world peace. So we chant for whatever will make us happy and then it manifests in our lives.

My mom has been chanting since she was pregnant with me so I grew up in the religion. Tried Christianity for a while and that only fueled my psychosis so I rededicated myself to Buddhism in 2010 when I developed sz.

Long story short I found what works for my life. We all have our own paths though. :sunny:


Is Australian but there are two self help books on ACT around both by Dr Russ Harris that I know of. The Reality Slap and The Happiness Trap both worth a read.

Tons of info on ACT on the net and in the archives on this site.

Thanks for the info. What’s different about ACT that you think would help with concrete thinking? My tdoc is cool. She does a mix of therapies. I picked up on CBT and DBT but she does others too. SZ sucks because it really affects so much of your brain. I feel like the DSM only tells part of the story. SzAdmin once broke down before all of the negative symptoms and it made so much sense. I sometimes get lost in the labels. I’ve learned when I go to my pdoc to just talk about the facts of what I’m experiencing and not try to label what I’m experiencing. I wait for him to label it. Anyways thanks for the reply. I like this site because I don’t feel as alone. :sunny:

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Those books where part of my cbt homework might be something your tdoc might like to incorporate.

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Words are very concrete for people who live with sz, because we don’t attach as much emotional significance to them as people without sz. Abstract emotions are felt as relatively distant. Poverty of thought, oh yeah.


That’s really interesting. Thanks for the explanation. Is it related to poverty of thought? Is that like when you have no thoughts? I know I had poverty of speech the last time I was psychotic. I also thought I was fine and the psychosis wasn’t that bad but not only didn’t I talk much I couldn’t process in my head the necessary steps to do things like get dressed. :sunny:

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I agree. Well said.

The thoughts are either moving too fast to sort out the useful stuff or emotionally we process them in a different (wrong way). sz has a lot to answer for in many debilitating cases. It is not laziness or lack of effort. It is precisely that it takes too much effort.

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We seem to have similar negative symptoms, I also suffer from poverty of speech. Poverty of speech and concrete thinking are my two persistent symptoms. How long did it take you to get better?

@thedeepestdream For a long time I wouldn’t do anything all day even things I usually enjoy because of the effort. I struggle with this still and really have to force myself to do things. Negative symptoms are much more insidious than positive ones. At least with the positive ones I see and hear and feel the manifestation of the illness. In a sense it’s easier to fight. I’ve had my uncle call me lazy for not helping my mom around the house. It pissed me off but I believed I was lazy for a long time. When they increased my Geodon it helped a little. It does take a lot of effort but I’ve been forcing myself to leave the house and be around people almost everyday. Thanks for your insight. I’m a natural problem solver so I feel like if I understand sz well enough I can fix it or at least come up with ways to cope. My tdoc is really working with me concerning the negatives.

@eduvigis I’m doing a lot better now concerning the positive symptoms but the negative and cognitive I battle every day. Once I started receiving ECT the positive symptoms went away so I got better from that part after two or three years of trying almost every med out there. I realized yesterday that sometimes I have a bit of disorganization going on. When I get talkative I start on one topic and end somewhere completely different. I really suggest working with a good tdoc if you don’t already have one. That continues to help me. Plus they pick up on things you don’t notice and can point things out. Sz is very painful because of how debilitating it is along with the stigma. People just don’t get how much we suffer because they can’t relate. I’ve been on this site though since the old forums. I don’t post as much as I used to because I’m a little paranoid as how anonymous I am. Once something is on the internet anyone can see it. I also have a hard time relating to people and even on a sz site I still feel like an outcast. But anyways it is taking me years to “get better.” :sunny:


Same here. Often I am trying to analyse why it is funny rather than having a gut reaction.