Metaphors in conversation wear me out

I am Erica from the UK. I am on 600mg of ampisulpride daily.
Does anyone else believe or know to be true the use of metaphors in conversation to communicate what can’t be said?
“The meats a bit thick” could mean I am being thick
Or analogies like talking about a dead person’s funeral somehow meaning I seem dead?
Even with my parents I sometimes get the impression words, especially negative words are aimed as a dig at me

I only ask as over Christmas my partners parents came to stay for 5 days and I have only managed to socialise around 6 hours of the day and then I need to go to bed. Not always asleep but I start to find socialising and wondering what people mean very hard work and feel the need to be alone.

My partner says it’s hard to understand when we are just sat on the sofa, how that can be tiring for me (paranoid schizophrenia is my Dx).

Can anyone help me clarify why I am doing this? Or can anyone relate or know how I can help myself?

Thanks and merry Xmas x


Welcome Erica,

These sounds like ideas of reference and they are very common in psychotic disorders and in related personality disorders.
Sadly the medications don’t work well for these ‘mild’/sub-psychotic symptoms…

Yes it is hard to understand for healthy people how this mix of negative symptoms(no motivation, pleasure or ambition), paranoia and anxiety makes it hard and exhausting for us to socialize and enjoy these holidays… :frowning:


I think my anxiety meds help me not get too upset about metaphors and things I might interpret as negatively directed at me. You may consider starting an SSRI or an SNRI with your doctors approval. Just a thought.

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Yeah it used to exhaust me no end. In fact this “self referencing” was (and sometimes still is ) the worst aspect of psychosis. Not just metaphors in conversations (because sometimes those metaphors are intentional and its hard to know when to take them seriously) but also metaphors in actions - like when someone is digging up the garden you think you are being told to dig deep for some emotion or something- or if you see someone searching with a torch then “they” are telling you to look around etc. Phew that can be soooo exhausting and never ending. What you are doing is very constructive - ie having insight that this self referencing is happening and its time to rest, sleep or take some meds. Its a tough journey that is for sure because basically anything could be a metaphor when your brain is all fired up…hope things get better for you.

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Six hours is a long time.

You did very well lasting that long if it exhausts you.

I get exhausted from socialising.

Even with people I love .

Short time is more doable but I can truly suffer attending dinners or being longer time with people.

I can go hysterical and mute and feel like someone else.

Usually a man I like n live platonically but not sure what relation we have .
I used to wonder if he was my real father.

But I am accepting my family on paper as my family now although I heard them .

My body can twitch , eyes blink n go round and I can feel so intense and my body and being suffers but I do not feel like myself and can not understand what people are talking about .

I struggle to try and understand.

I think you should be proud of six hours although I do not know how it felt for you apart from exhaustion.

Happy new year to you.

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Thank you Zeno for your helpful comments.
Yes, I can recall now explaining these symptoms to a psychiatrist who referred to my dx of schizophrenia as ‘mild’ so it makes sense.
I hope you had a good Xmas!

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Good idea.
Thank you Hop3.
I did take Sertraline at one point. It made me lactate - i discovered one night in the throws of passion and that boyfriend didnt last long after! Quite funny in hindsight, but I will count myself lucky to have a better partner this Xmas for now and look into SSRIs :slight_smile:
Happy 2018!


Hi unaventures, thank you for your comment.
I can relate very much to what you say and experience and I got a bit better since 2010. I used to think the police were after me, and that any bars on windows or prison references, were installed on purpose to cause me distress (which they did!)
I feel ok about that now and the problems are mostly just in conversation. But surprise guests or lots of guests can start me off.
Sometime the unusual beliefs can be pleasant though such as messages from angels or feeling I can fly.
Hope you had a relaxing holidays


Erica we will better soon…i have lots of cognitive and negative symptoms… med never affected my cognitive and negative symptoms…are u on disability…

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Thank you Zilija1 for your encouraging comment.
My therapist who I saw in 2014 told me to be “kind to myself” and in that regard I agree 6 hours is a long time so - let’s give some mutal back patting for the new year for surviving Christmas! :blush:
P.s I also can’t believe my father is my father and ordered an urgent delivery of my birth certificate last year! Apparently he is!

Yes I get ESA and PIP here in the UK!
About £600 a month. I can also work a limited 16 hours a week and I write about living with sz…
Thank you far_cry0 O


How old are u Erica… Are u married… i am 31 still unmarried… no planning to get married…!!! We dont have esa and ssi ssdi here in Nepal…!!!

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he didn’t last long meaning he enjoyed it? what a pleasant and funny story, you made my day!

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I am 37 Far_cry0. Too old to to be unmarried.
My partner says he’ll get married next year but I suspect he is cheating on me with younger women of 25 years. He says it’s past and we should move forward and I am trying hard to.
He works as a lecturer and I found out last month that in 2015 he lied about staying in a hotel with a woman student. He said they booked an apartment, and how lovely this apartment was. When I asked him why it said he was at a hotel in his diary he admitted he lied and despite they were drunk nothing happened.
We bought a big house last year and when this girl (as he says they’re friends) came to see the house she said “OMG, it’s so big!” and he replied “Don’t say that you’ll give me a big head!”.
I think this maybe as far to evidence I have got. I am not sure what to do…
Sorry it’s a long answer! Thought someone on the forum might say what they would do.
If he’s cheating and lying knowing I am paranoid and how this effects my mental health, that’s really very cruel! :frowning:


I will pray for u sister… hope thing will work…u are beautiful for sure…!!!


Yeah I know what you mean by sometimes the messages can be funny or comforting like making you feel you are an angel. I think out brain when its damaged tries to make us feel good and creates some of these delusions. Sometimes when the delusions and self referencing dries up I kinda feel all alone …like where did they go?Sort of like Christ on the cross saying "father why has’t thou forsaken me …"
But its also a GOOD feeling to not have the constant self referencing and involuntary reading into metaphors.
RE your Lecturer boyfriend that is a tough one - a) I think someone who loves you would TRY and understand what you are going through - not dismiss the tiredness you feel by saying “oh you are just sitting there why are you tired?” Would he say that if you had ME or Cancer ? No …but people generally are dismissive of mental problems. Your mind is going 500 miles per hour trying to sort all these "messages’ out and he - if he truly loves you will try and understand that. b) my experience with lecturers and academics is that they thrive on word games - makes them feel superior if they can say one thing and also simultaneously mean another. Also they tend to come from families that indulge in that sort of rubbish. Its a whole layer or strata of society who pride themselves on their verbal prowess of being able to "say one thing while meaning another " or to "say something without actually saying it’. Even worse they think one of the highest acts is to make someone do something without explicitly telling them to do it.
There are even tomes of literature on this very subject - NLP (Neuro Lingustic Programming) . The great NLP 101 example is to get someone to scratch their nose by casually saying things like “who KNOWS (ie nose) how to make a pie from SCRATCH” and they get a big kick if a few seconds later you subconsciously scratch your nose. These type of people disgust me to my core and I try and avoid them if I can. When you are a recovering schizophrenic they are the last people to be around. I talk from bitter experience as this describes my family -or sad to say -ex family in most cases.
Still having a relationship has its benefits and one must be realistic in ones expectations. All relationships have problems and need to be worked on so its hard to give advice. Its difficult to believe he would be purposely making you paranoid more likely just a tad insensitive or maybe he has insecurities as well. Tough one.
Overall I think you are handling things like a trooper - 6 hrs is awesome ! I couldnt last more than a couple - specially around a troupe of them - family reunions are the worst at the best of times - haha
Keep strong and get plenty of rest. Hope 2018 continues to trend up for you.

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Thank you unaventures! It’s hard to keep my wits about me, when my reactions are blunted by medication. Do you get me?
Sorry to hear about your family. They can be the worst, as I also know from my sister.
I think in some cases family or bad relationships can actually cause psychosis or a relapse. Mine did, too.
Sent a quote to a friend on Whatsapp this morning and you might like it.
"Everyone will make you suffer. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for."
Thank you again for your detailed feedback. It means a lot. I like this forum and the community here.
Take it easy :slight_smile:


Wow! That’s great! :heart_eyes:

“It’s hard to keep my wits about me, when my reactions are blunted by medication. Do you get me?” I kinda get you.
Before I went psychotic I was blissfully unaware of all these “hidden messages” " and people speaking with very sophisticated multi level meanings etc. I am so envious of those days and wish I could throw a switch and not hear or understand these types of communications.
Hopefully one day I will. I much prefer being the happy - but oblivious fool than the paranoid freaked out person that reads too much into things being said. Some people do use double meanings all the time - its like skill or talent they have and it comes easy for them. I think these people learn early in life that they can do this and influence people around them - and start to communicate with other people who also have this talent - these then become the dominant layers of society because they can spin webs of intrigue and deception around the rest of us. I have tried to do it myself but end up seriously not knowing what is really being communicated and what isnt. So for me I prefer to switch all that off and just enjoy life. That is why I adore dogs and cats and animals generally coz they are real - if they like you they will show it and you can be sure there isnt a bigger game being played out…
Thanks for words of wisdom. I am new to this forum but already it has touched deep chords in me. Its good to share with people who share at a gut - ground zero level what you are going through. Peace :peace_symbol:


All language is a metaphor of some kind that parallels the concept it is addressing.

All thoughts, sensations, and sense are the same. For instance the sense of hunger means you need food, and the sense of pain means your actions put you in danger.

It’s not a perfect puzzle.

Language can come out as completely illogical, and so can a movie plot, a painting, a building, an entire society and the government too.

So can the brain’s thoughts, sensations, and senses.

Language simulates something else via its context.

Metaphor is a simulation that is expressed over the original context. In other words it’s a double metaphor then.

But really the brain’s inner mental workings including all 5 external senses are the original simulation, and the words of language are the next tier in the order of simulation, and the metaphor one above that.

The simulation and metaphor are essentially the same in that they represent something else in parallels, and…

…the inner mental goings on all combined have the same essence in that they are simulation and/or metaphor to represent something else in parallels.

Parallels is the business of the brain. There is nothing literal about the mind other than it is the mind like there is nothing literal about the reflection on a mirror other than it is the reflection on the mirror which contains information.

What is dangerous about this business of parallels in the mind is that if we get confused, we can mess ourselves or others up. If we take metaphors as being some kind of telepathic brainwash or something, or we take logical fallacies as the logical truth, our brains can “completely implode in irrational disorder”…

…like someone who talks about lies or in irrational gibberish or constant phantasmagorical metaphors.

What is literally is subject and predicate reality. A subject is literally real, and there is no real subject in external reality. A predicate must be real, and be the truth about a subject for it to be logical. If this logicality of reality is broken in language, then it is literally not literal.

So to if the brain does anything mentally to break that logicality about external reality, then it is literally not literal. It is only metaphorical anyway, but the concepts that it depicts regardless may or may literally be…

…not literal.

I think I sort of understand what you are saying here. Its “the map is not the Territory” rationale …

I think johnapples is posting about people who may be intentionally appearing to talk about “map A” but surreptitiously are using words and phrases to plant in her mind - even below the level of her conscious awareness - ideas and potential actions about “map B” and if she twigged to that and called them out about it - they would look at her in disbelief and totally deny it thereby further “gaslighting” her sense of reality.

It is my growing belief that there are whole strata’s of society that operate like this as a matter of course and in tandem with each other. Nothing conspiratorial or weird -just like people who have access to a different language will sometimes communicate with that around people who dont speak that language.
These people are highly fluent in appearing to say one thing but intentionally evoking something else - the real target of the communication.

Generally they do this to influence and get others around them doing things that they may not otherwise intend to do. I am not talking about psychic thought projections into your mind - just seemingly normal conversation - carefully chosen to evoke in the listener something completely different to what is being apparently talked about. It is an awesome skill to be able to influence people around you without their knowing how and who is doing that and I believe it is routinely deployed …and abused.