Motivated Delusion

This might be a touchy subject for several reasons.

First, as I understand it, the notion of a motivated delusion is on the decline among most people studying/treating delusion. Other models to account for the rise of delusion have gained popularity, though for some delusions like erotomania, motivation still seems to be a popular explanatory factor. (Although I personally think psychodynamic and neuropsychological accounts of delusion operate at different levels (reasons vs causes), this is beyond the point here.)

Second, the more obvious point that makes the issue touchy is that it can be taken to put blame on the patient for his suffering when one is imposing a motivational explanation of delusion on the patient. (My stance on this is that this can only be the correct interpretation of a delusion if the patient agrees with it. Again, this hinges on the reasons vs causes debate, which is not where I am trying to get at here.)

What I do try to get at is the question whether anyone else did some soul-searching during (or after) psychosis and identify motivational factors for their delusional thoughts? I found and agreed to a need to feel special that supported my delusion of a telepathic ability, which was also framed as a ‘gift’ and came with a sidestory of being ‘chosen’ etc. To find this supported by motivational factors has helped me to dismantle the delusion. For I reasoned that given this need, there might have been other means to satisfy it than endorsing this interpretation of experience. And it also opened up the possibility of working on my desires in the first place, to change character such that I would be no longer motivated to endorse this interpretation.

Hmmm I’d suspect this exists to a degree in a lot of cases.

This is the first time I’ve heard the term and it might have put things into perspective for me a long time ago.

It kind of becomes self sustaining.

An article from May this year.

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We must take care here, because we are speaking of the human brain and nervous system which are highly complex systems of different organs of thought and motivation. These can often conflict, and in schizophrenia, where there is the emergence of delusional thinking and belief, we must take it that one part of the brain holds those connections. After my psychotic breaks, when I learned - through language, to question the validity of my delusions, this occurred in the Brocca’s Area of my brain first. Healing can occur this way, over time with the restructuring of self-boundaries. But it needs to be understood that schizophrenics have no greater desire to be “special” than anyone else, but rather the desire to be special only seems fulfilled in a serendipitous way by the breakdown of ego boundaries with the fragmentation of the person’s mind. This is not by the person’s design; he or she is not to be blamed.

I think for me… there were a lot of factors that keep feeing my head circus. But being chosen… was in the mix. I remember a feeling of having purpose… and if I didn’t have the beliefs I did… then the purpose would be gone too… then what was my life good for?

I do remember there was a lot of stuff in there… that I’m still trying to sort through… there was media… and patterns that my brain refused to let go of… there was the panic and paranoia that to a basic level was justified… but not as much as my brain would tell me.

(example: kidnappers… to be aware of your surroundings and who you deal with is a basic justified level… to accuse your own teacher and coaches, neighbors and parents is off the scale.)

It is touchy because I don’t feel like I had control over my head at all during those hard years… but at the same time… when I think back now… I can understand how my actions might have keep the circus going… sort of self perpetuating.

It’s not an easy thing to face…

I feel I’m working towards this in away… things still creep in… tendrils… that get bigger and take root. But I keep working on not giving in to the sneaky brained thinking.

I wanted to add a few thoughts. Its good to question our delusions of telepathy, grandiosity and/or persecution. Wouldn’t it be nice to be that special? It is both logical and reasonable to admit that we are not. It is also a tremendous relief. Continuing hallucinations may complicate recovery, and medication may be permanently necessary - it is for me. Other symptoms may persist too. But delusions are, in my experience, the worst of it all. I have discovered that precision in language - that is, using words that are not open to wide poetic interpretations helps me avoid delusional flight.

One other thing I want you to know… you already couldn’t be more special than you already are, and you are unique. That is as special as special gets.

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Man, I need this place. There are quite a few of you who set great examples for what being grounded looks like. @SurprisedJ you’re one of them. I stray from being grounded so often but when I come around you guys are inspiring.

I’m going to keep on meditating.

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None is needed. This does play into the caveat I made concerning reasons and causes. Similar to looking at family history (at least in some cases) in interpretation of believes, this is to endorse a belief (or desire) as a reason for thinking something. This is a matter of justifying one’s actions or beliefs, such is a logical connection, not a causal one. It gives meaning to the belief/action by grounding it in other beliefs/desires. One has the freedom to interpret some previous event as a reason for acting, simply by endorsing it as such, and one also has the freedom to refrain from doing so. After all, we are free to say what reasons we have for our actions or our beliefs (of course there can be good and bad reasons, such is a normative issue). One does not have the freedom to choose a cause for one’s believes. This is why

Unless he or she endorses a motivational factor as a belief. IMO, this is where psychoanalysis has gone wrong sometimes. Imposing something that could possibly be endorsed as a reason as a cause for the patient’s belief, without the consent of the patient. Only upon such a confusion does one end in the realm of blaming.

Thank you for that…

I have help…

I’m still learning how to just let my head flow… like every wave… it will pass

It seems like such a simple concept. To just let it flow. The content is so terrible though. I’m getting better at it, had to learn what the triggers were behind each voices or statement. Like a big switch board my mind would roll all over. I’ve come a long way in just being able to relax and focus, makes letting the mind flow a lot less offensive and derogatory.


Man I never got to identify triggers for my voices… they were omnipresent.

Edit: on second thought, I did find some triggers regarding their content.

Sometimes my voices trail, sometimes they lead. Right now though I feel pretty stable and set in the mind. Voices on the periphery won’t let me totally forget the psychosis. I’m doing the best to forget any ways.

The voices for me were always on too… it’s what they were saying I had to learn to ignore. Or focus harder on the more benign ones. (my last med tinker has knocked them to a whisper)

I do know they acted up more after a huge family gathering… but for the most part… they were always there…

it was some of the delusions and the visual hallucinations that I could identify the triggers for and start to kick those down.

I wish I had benign voices. They never manifested for me. The voices will say positive things and then guilt me as soon as I buy into them. Psychosis aint fun at all dudes.

Keep in mind the good days…

Mine were very deceptive though. Got the good cop bad cop thing down pretty well.

It’s my benign voice that would never never shut up… I thought of it like the commentator…

“now James is opening the door… why? Oh… to go in there… why go in…”
Why is James using the spoon and not the fork… this is tomato soup. Now he takes a sip of water."

On and on… and on… and on… every little movement described like one of those golf announcers… in that hushed even tone… that sort of chatter all day would completely tick me off… and then some.

Yeah, that’s been vaguely on my mind. Whenever I’m down and out my mom will tell me “You don’t remember the way things are when they are good.”

I’m trying to level out man. Reducing both the bad and good for something more consistent.

Self perception and expectations and acceptance. These are things I have to keep sight of.

Right now the illness doesn’t bother me at all… It sucks though… Knowing that I’ll still wind up pissed off and ■■■■ again.

I agree that we, at length, choose our beliefs, but only at length. One must live through the vicissitudes of life to arrive at an informed decision about one’s beliefs, otherwise one is helplessly in the hands of his or her influences, and this is inescapable, since we cannot precede ourselves in sophistication. We must earn freedom of choice - it is not a given. That everyone is simply born with free will is a happy fantasy. Some people grow to develop a panoply of choice for their experience while others remain painfully limited. And these differences are as natural as are the trees of the forest.


Welcome to the forum. That’s some good stuff.

As to blame: I am not interested. What interests me is solutions to real difficulties like delusional thinking, and I think you are correct when you self-treat your delusions with self-reflection. It isn’t for me to dissuade you in your assertion that you see as the reason for your delusions a need to be special, I am merely suggesting that it may be a bit more complex than that, but including that as a component.

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