Uncertainty, Doubt, and Normativity in Schizophrenia

Despite the fact that I am typically pretty sure about my delusions, this certainty seems to be rather the exception than the rule in my psychoses. In the sense that, it is true, I am strongly inclined to think of/report my delusion with great conviction - but everything else is uncertain to me. I have yet to discern a clear logic to my intrusive thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations - and since I plan on staying symptom free, I probably won’t - but some themes in their contents strike me as significant.

In my case, intrusive thoughts typically, almost exclusively, have contents contrary to what I used to be most sure about myself. They consist of thoughts that ‘the kind of person I take myself to be’ would not have, and as such undermine my sense of identity. My intrusive thoughts typically do not concern the nature of the external world, they do not inform me with delusional ideas. Instead, they seem to challenge, undermine the way I habitually relate to others. My intrusive thoughts are pretty much restricted to violent, sexual, racist, or sexist apperceptions of others that are in conflict with how I used to relate to others without thinking too much about it.

AVH’s in my case often act as a conscience, though in a bit of a screwed and exaggerated way. They typically criticize or reject my thoughts/behavior by an appeal to some sort of social norms. They would despise me for going to the bathroom, for it being dirty or something. They would also be dsigusted by me smoking. They sometimes would urge me to act in a way I wouldn’t normally do, but would in some sense be socially more appropriate. I recall an instance where they found it very important for me to hug my mom, they insisted on it, for I ought to thank here in this way.
Hence, it seems that a theme that can be discerned in my AVH’s, at least when contrasted with IT’s, is that they do not so much concern how I perceive of others, but how others perceive of me.

I might add, that given such themes of the IT’s and AVH’s, it is not surprising that a vivid dynamic arises between the two when I am psychotic. The IT’s make me think outrageous stuff that doesn’t fit with my sense of identity, and the AVH’s jump in to blame me for it.

I was talking to my therapist about this, and he said it’s mostly out of self esteem issues and I added self stigma also. Because we’re MI the intrusive thoughts tend to be the most disturbing because of it, its not us, its our minds that go and pick up what we think its mentally disturbing as our own. Because we don’t turn on others that way but judge others that way, we feel like we need to be judged for those same issues.

This is me trying to rationalize it, the best way to deal with them I think you know. It’s discarding as not us, because that’s not us.

I’ve found that being reverent to a Higher Power can bring good results instead of the same old bad results that keep happening no matter what the case is that I should conform to since I have always been an explorer of new ways of thinking that would get us out of this place , permanently, if we so desire to flee rather then fight., so, such is life anyway.

Higher Powers are not that appealing to me personally. What helped a bit, was first to recognize that I did not endorse the IT’s, and then to observe the dynamic between them and the AVH’s unfold. Making some sense of this dynamic, being aware of it, relieved me in some way. Being able to anticipate both IT’s and AVH’s deprived them of their impact on me.

Well then you should be so close to that same higher power that you can be like that being and so being getting something done as we are meant to do while we are here. Even Jesus stated that it was not himself who did the work through him but a Higher power ( The Father figure) in us, who he submitted too that did the work.

It used to throw me hard when my Intrusive thoughts would knit together with the hallucinations and create a hard false memory… I had a few that felt too real… and I would be convinced it happened… despite everyone else involved denying it…

Then the paranoia would kick in and I was sure the other people were just messing with me.

For me… having some faith in myself about being a good person helped… I had to build up to that.

As far as the intrusive thoughts telling me what an A-hole I was… I got help in therapy about being nicer to people and myself so I could work on not letting those thoughts take root… write down the things that I did to be nice to myself and others.

Working on letting intrusive thought just pass through like a stranger in a room…

Working on trusting other members of my family and believing them when they said something didn’t happen… that would start to help.

1 Like