Is there such a thing as a benign psychosis?

That is to say, I take it as a fact that for a vast majority psychosis is far from benign, and involves tremendous amounts of suffering, fear etc.

This, it seems to me, has to do with the contents of our voices and delusions. Common themes are threats, persecution, conspiracies against us. It is obvious that such experiences makes one anxious and afraid… Or maybe it is the other way around, that our fear and anxiety influences the contents of our delusions and hallucinations. I take it that this is pretty much the common experience of psychosis: scary as ■■■■ and certainly not benign.

I wonder at times though why all this psychotic material needs to be this negative? I realize that studies concerning psychosis are also subject to trends, and it is currently slightly out of fashion to try and make something of the contents of psychosis. It is something that fascinates me though: why would my voices say this rather than that… My voices were friendly at times, but only temporarily and they would turn evil quickly. Felt like I was being deceived by them when they were friendly.

Yet, a hallucination need not be evil necessarily, I would think. There are people who hear voices that merely chatter away without showing any harmful ‘intent’. Some would feel as if they actually help them. I am not sure whether these people would qualify for a schizophrenia diagnosis. Some may have sort of delusional beliefs to account for the voices, that these voices are guiding angels, or passed away loved ones, helping them or just accompanying them. And these people may experience and believe these things for quite some time as well. As such, it seems they could qualify for the sz criteria of the dsm. Yet for such people their experiences do not affect everyday life as much as it does for us with schizophrenia. When symptoms are benign, it seems fair to think one simply does not come to enter the mental health system. These people’s experiences and beliefs seem not to harm or impair their functioning, and as such, it could be said they do not really have a problem to be solved by psychiatry. So is one’s functionality a criterion for having schizophrenia? That our symptoms impair our everyday functioning? I don’t think I saw that in the DSM.

I dont think a break from reality is ever benign. Even if it gives us pleasure, well being and comfort.


My old CPN told me about a Dutch study where an advert was shown on national television asking the general public to phone a certain number if they ever hear voices when nobody was there. It didn’t specify if they were persecutory or not.

Apparently a large amount of folk reported hearing voices - of which a lot were not feeling persecuted.

Not sure about how scientific this study was but I think maybe some 'normies ’ have hallucinations and that these events are not always scary.

My instincts tell me that psychosis is the result of intense negative pressure. We don’t have the need to dilute or reform positive pressure. However, some religious experiences involve hearing voices, and stuff like that. I think Joan of Arc was reputed to hear religious voices. That might be regarded by some as a positive psychosis. As for positive psychosis, I’ve known people who had intensely pleasurable delusions - thinking they were God, or Christ, or some kind of prophet, but I bet those delusions are unpleasant for the people around them. I don’t think you can be forcibly committed just for being psychotic. I think the criteria for an involuntary commitment is that you have to be “a danger to yourself or others, or so psychotic that you can’t protect yourself in society.” That means if I want to think I am Barney the Purple Dinosaur I can do that, as long as I don’t think I can step in front of cars on the street and not be hurt.

Well when I think of the word “benign” I think of the medical definition of the word, or “not harmful in effect”. And yes I think there is psychosis that is not harmful. I also think that culture is a huge part of it, though. In some areas of the world, for example, schizophrenics are viewed in a more spiritual, positive light and treated well by their communities, and also their psychosis experiences, such as hearing voices, tend to be far more positive in nature. I also don’t think it will always be one way or the other for people who do experience some benign psychosis. I rather enjoy the music and consider it benign, it’s very soothing to me but doesn’t distract me to an extent that I couldn’t focus on tasks. Everything else sucks, but the music is nice. When it’s just the music and nothing else, I would consider it benign.

Umf. Organized religion: Seems to be benign for many folks. Others, not so much.

And that’s all I’m sayin’.


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For me it ceases to be benign when it involves one or more of distress/danger to self or others/ marked problems with occupational and/or social functioning .
At that point some kind of intervention is necessary. Without those things do we (a) call it “benign psychosis” or eccentricity (b) If psychiatry seeks to intervene in the lives of such people is it not declaring itself a tool of social control where anything that strays from some kind of societal norm needs to be “fixed”?

I didn’t read through all of this…

I would say psychosis is always bad as it is typically inclined to make someone believe and unreality… that’s bad to me.

Benign voices on the other hand… I’ve heard of those…

Even crafted a couple myself… they’re are more like the internal telepathy thing… have a odd gray scale silhouette face with an emotion state… they’ll mouth words without making sound… Most of the time I call upon them for support and then they go away…

balances the onslaught of this negative judgmental ■■■■■■■■ that the others bring down… from their firm seats of conceited judgement and narrow opinions that they have to hold to out of fear that they might lose their ■■■■ if they don’t… but those are just my voices… the embodiment of things I hate and had wished to escape… now a permanent part of me… so I made some friends… well namely one… but whatever its a start.

My delusions were not scary and they did not make me suffer. Don’t get me wrong, I did suffer a lot, just not due to my false beliefs. Some of my hallucinations are scary but most are not.

I have never had a ‘benign’ psychosis, but I do have a couple voices that are supportive and kind, one is my grandfather, one if my step grandmother, and the third most common is my dead GF. I also hear voices that are associated with my dogs…

My Dog Luna for example has a voice that is slightly husky (haha) and sounds like a teen girl of maybe 17, she discusses things like child rearing and how long she has to wait for a new sibling…

My Dog Little Brother has a timid voice, that is always asking how he can help.

I like to imagine (mini intentional delusions) how it would be if my dogs turned out to have super powers! I think Luna would be a shape shifter and a fighter, and Little Brother would probably be a healer…always pictured myself as a Dream God really. Dreams have always interested me…

Yeah thats really cool :smile: but those are not delusions, you don’t believe them as real, you just use your imagination that’s awesome.

I have benign hallucinations and scary malignant ones too. Maybe I didn’t have paranoia and delusions and other stuff when I saw rabbits at work, or when everyone turned into a clown and work was a circus. But when I’m seeing rats and monsters and am paranoid etc, it’s called psychosis.

I now agree with this. When I was younger I had a few breaks that were completely euphoric… super human… I felt angelic… (even though I’m not from a religious family)

It was calm… blue… and amazing… I was loved by the universe and found a calling… (my mind was certain)

It felt great… no need to sleep… barely needed to eat… just lived on air and pure love. It was the calmest and most excited I ever remember feeling.

But it wasn’t real… even though I felt great and calm… and euphorically high on life… I was NOT doing well according to my family. In my mind… I was healing the world around me… pure calm … joy and peace.

To my family… I was getting further and further out there…

Exactly, same here. Great times, but not benign for my life.

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