I’ve had schizoaffective disorder for nearly 15 years. Usually, my go-to delusion involves me being dead or in the process of dying and just not being able to see what’s really happening. There are others here and there, but that’s my main delusion. This past couple of weeks, one of the fleeting ones has blown up to the point that I can’t shake it.
I’m really scared that my husband and two children are imaginary… we all (sz patients) know how clues can get out of control sometimes. There have been too many to ignore, now I’m stuck in the loop of “well if THIS happened, it MUST mean…”. And it’s been almost more devastating than my dying delusion, because my family is my whole world, I love them more than anything and can’t imagine being without them! I’m an amazing mother, and my kids are so beautiful and smart, and I’m so incredibly lucky to have had the son and daughter I always dreamed of… but what if they are all just me playing pretend…??
I think one of the scariest things is admitting that our delusions, are just that, but it’ll help in the long run if you can atleast realize it, which you obviously can
Hug your husband and children. They are your world. Don’t ever let a delusion become a substitute for reality. They love you. Love them.
It’s taken a lot of years to come down to this level, I only have major episodes a few times a year now. But I always sit around 80% sure that what I see is real, the other 20% questions everything every minute. This past week or so I’m back up to 50/50 for the first time in a long time…
The way I’ve calmed down is not therapy or rx, it’s been telling myself that if what I see ISN’T real and I really AM dying/dead, I would want to see/live this instead of knowing the truth.
When the clues are hard to ignore though…
Like during a convo with the hubby last week, I was thinking about the word capsaicin while he was telling an unrelated story, and in the middle of his sentence he started to say the word capsaicin. He caught himself, laughed because it was NOTHING like what he was talking about, and moved on. I immediately go to “WHY would he have said that unless HE is ME, we’re the same person…” and it’s been like that constantly.
There was a time last summer that I got stung a couple times by a wasp in the chest while outside smoking. I came in to assess the damage, and there were red marks, but then at that moment my daughter broke out into massive hives on her chest and back. The doc told us likely some type of allergic reaction, but she has no allergies…
Every time I get sick or feel run down or sore (I have fibro and arthritis) one of the 3 of them do also in a similar way. Like a few months ago, my husband had a seriously painful impacted wisdom tooth removed. Last month, the same exact wisdom tooth of mine had to be extracted for the same reason. Maybe mine started to get bad/painful a few months ago and I just imagined it was him and he had to have it removed because I was in so much pain, and just didn’t get around to the extraction until last month…
There are SO many little clues lately. I’ve been going down the rabbit hole guys, like far and often, it hasn’t been this bad in years
There is this really weird thing that happens to me at least once a day because I listen to a lot of music and I write. Two things involving the use of words. The radio says the exact word that I am writing or thinking and it happens so often that my family and friends notice and we all just laugh at the funny coincidence but it doesn’t stop my voices from thinking odd things about the fact that it happens every day.
About your husband and children, have you tried all your senses about realizing them. Do you touch them, smell them, see them, hear them and if you lick them you might even taste them. Surely you will believe one of the five senses.
Unfortunately, I did a LOT of medical research back in the beginning when my delusions/voices started, and found that there IS no way to prove it…
When I tried my hardest to prove I wasn’t mangled and dying in an accident, I found out about a lot of chemical reactions your brain goes through under distress, including DMT and others, that can literally make you see/hear/smell/taste and even FEEL as if those things were 100% real. There were times in the beginning when I would bump up against something like the kitchen counter with my hip for example, look down and not SEE a seatbelt but 100% FEEL a seatbelt and immediately think I was back in the car wreck… I’ve BEGGED multiple doctors on multiple occasions to help prove to me that I’m real and THIS is real, but there just is no way to prove it undeniably.
The more tense one is, the more susceptible to hallucinating one is. So, with that in mind, my only advice would be to relax. Not easy, I know.
The delusional brain will find “evidence” everywhere and make associations and patterns when in reality there are none. Typically when examined rationally the “evidence” falls apart. But someone with psychosis is often unable to do this because of the strong gut feeling that delusions are true the brain creates.
Instead of seeking out evidence that your delusion is true i encourage you to start seeking out evidence it is false.
I find strange coincidences still very noticeable, 11 years after starting meds. The difference now is that I don’t have the same overwhelming sense of significance attached to them. About 30 minutes ago I laughed at one strong coincidence and looked up to the heavens as if I was being made fun of by the universe. I let that one go through to the keeper. Bizarre but manageable.
Are you on medication? Do you talk to your doctor about the coincidences you see?
I’ve been off and on (on mostly) every different antipsychotic since 2006, and was in biweekly therapy about 50% of that time. I just recently started going back about a month ago. I really have felt like I’ve gotten better the past few years, it’s really few and FAR between that I have major episodes because usually I can shake off coincidences now too. They used to hit me like a sack of bricks, like as soon as my mind would put “clues” together I would feel 19 again and need talking down. But like you said Pat, it’s been a very long time since it’s gone any farther than “Oh s$@#, good thing I’m not freaking out about that haha!”
I’m not only slipping back to the dark side lately but devastated that I was wrong about that being over
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