Word play in psychosis

Just found this interesting entry. The last part describes my experience of psychosis succinctly.


Language games in schizophrenia.

Effectively, I became addicted to thinking about how words could be used to make coded references. I became obsessed with playing language games instead of using language primarily as it is normally used.

I have been able to observe and converse with my fellow patients, and I have come to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of the patients are also lost in a world of language games.

People who suffer from paranoia often report a high state of arousal during times of paranoia and I have felt this too. I think that the effect of this state of arousal was to make me very susceptible to language games because I was very conscious of every little gesture, nod, and glance made by other people and seemed to interpret this eventually as evidence that a language game is being played whose meaning I would then have to decode.


I experienced something similar the first time I experienced psychosis

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Found the following interesting excerpt on the internet.

My own experience of paranoia can be succinctly described as using language games. Effectively, my paranoia consisted of the idea that everyone was playing language games and that the object that people were referring to for certain words was me. What I found was that my perception of how people conversed became reduced to the simple rules of a language game, and I was an unwilling participant in this game. The problem was that these games were not harmless communication but used as a way of persecuting me. One reason that I may have had the perception that this was happening was that at some point I began to feel that what people meant could not be accounted for in the usual sense. So I resorted to analyzing people’s conversations in terms of a language game. It is possible that my emotional fear of being singled out is what caused me to no longer understand things in their normal way. In any case, any word that could be taken as referring to me, even by oblique references, was interpreted that way. For example, mentioning “America” could be taken to mean “Am Erica,” ie, a coded reference to someone who thinks he’s a woman. I would then take that to mean that the group accepted that this referred to me, with people using gestures, nods, and smiles to confirm to each other that I was the intended reference.


This seems similiar to the delusion of ideas of reference.

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Actually my own experience of this was very sexually orientated. I thought everyone was obsessed by sexual thoughts. I found this disturbing!


I started thinking everything people said and did was an extension of their sub conscious. Everything is a symbol that is connected to another symbol kinda game.

I still think this but you might make yourself go crazy, especially when you anaylze things like your poetry and writing.

Of course my meds made it all go away and now its just kinda there, but at the same time not really. Not everything someone says has meaning, its just the schizophrenia/psychosis looking for connections that arent there.

I actually watched a video of this guy that had some sort of system that the alphabet used, had magic spells within it depending on the word. It was an interesting video but i could tell he was in deep psychosis.

Did you go hyper observant during the times you played this language game?

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Wow, you’ve just reminded me. I was obsessed with thinking I could read people’s subconscious thoughts!

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