I’m reading Daniel Paul Schreber’s book Memoirs of my nervous illness. This guy had some amazing delusions and hallucinations. Apparently it’s a well known memoir that Freud analyzed in depth. I’m having problems finishing it because he goes on and on about this wild conceptions of his reality at the time of his being institutionalized. The book was written in the late 1800’s around 1894. Just wondering if anyone got through the entire book.
Did not get through the entire book…
Not all of it, but quite some excerpts in Louis A. Sass’ interpretation of them. Which shows that, at times Schreber is quite “insightful”, and careful, when it comes to the reality of what he is experiencing. What resonated with my personal experiences, is that he does not quite straightforwardly always mistake his schizophrenic experiences for real, objective, publicly accessible events.
In schizophrenia, there is sometimes a sense of a whole different world opening up alongside the ordinary, rather than one simply replacing the other. That is to say that there sometimes remains a sense of what does and does not apply to intersubjectively accessible reality as we used to know it.
For instance, I would see signs along a road, and I would be sure that they meant something to me, yet I would also have the sense that they meant this to me only. Other delusions of reference had a similar quality to them. So when I experienced the tv speaking to me, I had no concern the other people in the room would be aware that it was about me as well. It was clear to me that this was for me only, and not quite because I had come to realize I had special powers or something, it was more immediate.
I think these aspects of my psychotic experiences allowed it to go unnoticed to my friends and relatives. I did not speak about them, and barely acted upon them - as one would expect if I would take such experience to be real in an ordinary sense. Yet, I must admit, I do feel inclined to say that these experiences were very real to me. But then again, “reality can be said in many ways”.
Thanks for detailing your own experience. I had some similar experiences when I was first diagnosed and before I started taking Haldol. I remember having some hallucinations that things were in a ;picture that was on my parent’s wall that weren’t in reality in the pic. My mind continued to have delusions and hallucinations until the antipsychotic started to work. But the way Shereber invented a whole new reality and was able to desrcibe it was pretty amazing to me.