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Author Topic: Religious = Schizophrenic?
Snafu
Deck the Malls


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A friend I've known for many years has recently returned to town after being away for about six months - he's totally lost the plot. He is - in my completely un-qualified opinion - suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia; he's hearing voices in his head, he believes the TV is commanding him to carry out disturbing acts, he's adament that his best friend has been raping him during his sleep and so on. We've come to the rather obvious conclusion (as has his therapist) that doing nothing but smoking heaps of weed 24/7 for the past eight years has brought him to this point.

Now, a friend of a friend is a carer in a psychiatric hospital, and apparently, there are dozens of patients in the hospital that have the exact same symptoms as my friend, and again, they've reached this point by smoking way too much weed when they weren't mentally-sound in the first place. I have no reason not to believe this. But here's the thing:

Are there any people locked-up in these places with 'positive' symptoms of Schizophrenia? I've never come across a case of Schizophrenia that's positive in some way - all the Schizophrenia sufferers I've ever heard of seem to have nothing but demons speaking to them (not angels), or they have the TV telling them to kill (not asking them to do a little volunteer charity work) etc. I don't imagine there are people held in these places that show signs of 'positive' Schizophrenia, simply because they wouldn't need to be locked-up - they wouldn't be a threat to themselves or others.

Anyway, just a couple of days ago, I had the chance to speak to a Christian street preacher, and I realized he exhibited most all the signs my friend exhibits, but in a 'positive' manner - God told him to do good work, he believed angels were watching his back etc.

It made me wonder:

Are religious people showing signs of an inverse Paranoid Schizophrenic state? And like regular Schizophrenics, could the severity of the condition range from person to person?

Pre-apologies to all the people of faith on the board - I'm not calling you all mentally ill, merely pondering one of the many (probably ridiculous) thoughts I think on a daily basis. [Smile]

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RainyDaze
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Actually it sounds quite reasonable to me. Not all schizophrenic people have voices telling them to do violence. One of my wife's co-workers had mild schizophrenia. The co-worker was on medication but still heard voices talk about cantaloupe and other harmless things.

(I know that anecdote does not equal data)

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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That's a pretty amusing (and that the same time, interesting) thought. I'm sure in about 3 posts, someone's gonna get real angry and come up with a lot of reasons why this is a ridiculous comparison. But until that happens, I am inclined to go along with this theory.

It's neat.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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There is a difference between schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia. My personal opinion is that SOME "normal" schiz is misdiagnosed or purposely under-diagnosed and SHOULD be labeled as paranoid schiz. (sorry but that's a long word and I'm lazy!).

If I hear voices telling me to do good things, then I try to "justify" them and I know that angels do good things... so the voices must be from angels! (sloppy logic)

If the voices tell me to kick puppies and make the baby Jesus cry, then the voices are telling me to do evil and only demons do evil stuff like that... same faulty logic.

I agree, it does sound reasonable.
_________________

My question, which is an offshoot of yours, would be: what happens when a god/demon DOES talk to someone? What would happen if your friend is really just somehow able to hear the voices like some people are able to hear with perfect pitch? Is he REALLY crazy or chemically imbalanced, or are we just not able/willing to hear what the voices are telling him?

What would happen if your DOYC spoke to YOU? Would you follow what the voice told you? You know, lead your people out of Egypt, build an ark, carry new laws to the masses, blow up an abortion clinic type stuff... would you do it?

The "problem" is that some folks might actually hear "real" voices and not be able to justify them in their own (petty, mortal) mind. Would YOU be able to handle hearing the voice of DOYC?
_________________________
Sorry, just an aside - I'm feeling all metaphysical today!! [lol]

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Another fun point. I've often wondered this myself. If God talked to my friend, I would probably consider him crazy before I would believe God actually spoke to him. If God talked to me...well [Eek!] I have no idea! I'd probably demand all sorts of ridiculous proof, like crackling electric rainbows of fire spelling out YOMANK and stuff only God could do. Or I'd ask him to play me the greatest song in the world.

But I'd also probably make a doctor's appointment in a hurry.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
There is a difference between schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia. My personal opinion is that SOME "normal" schiz is misdiagnosed or purposely under-diagnosed and SHOULD be labeled as paranoid schiz. (sorry but that's a long word and I'm lazy!).

What would be the motivation for a doctor to purposely "underdiagnose" paranoid schizophrenia?

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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In my opinion, it would be rare for this to be a positive thing, as the unconscious mind is not a very nice place. It's where we stow the childish impulses that, as civilized adults, we aren't allowed to act on.

Having an "open channel" to this part of the mind would seem to me to invite uncontrolled and rambunctious thoughts.

I do hold the theory that creativity is closely akin to madness, but it is a kind of madness that is kept under control. It might only be a tenuous control -- can the elephant handler ever *really* be in control of the elephant? -- but it is still a cooperative venture rather than a competitive one.

When the unconscious (the Freudian "id") is allowed to speak freely, it doesn't say "The quality of mercy is not strained," it says, "Gimme donuts and tits!"

Silas

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
I do hold the theory that creativity is closely akin to madness, but it is a kind of madness that is kept under control. It might only be a tenuous control -- can the elephant handler ever *really* be in control of the elephant? -- but it is still a cooperative venture rather than a competitive one.

This was one thing I was terribly worried about before I went on meds to treat my depression. Well actually 2 things:
1. Would I lose creativity?
2. Would my spritual experiences be stifled?

1. No. I was able to be more creative since I was not fighting the grey beast anymore.
2. Not that I have noticed. Although I no longer pray nightly (or nearly nightly) to die, so I guess I am suffering in practice a bit. [Roll Eyes]

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Schitzophrenia is quite a touchy subject when it comes to diagnosis, in part because there seems to be little to no consensus on how to diagnose it, and in some circles doubt as to whether it even exists as a single disorder/disease. The Wikipedia article gives a fairly good overview. Szasz also makes some good points tho he himself is a bit mad at times.

One thing I remember from most accounts of religious experiences I've read is how much they could be taken to parallel certain mental disturbances - falling, frothing at the mouth, epic visions, voices, etc. Even on the less dramatic level, the idea of schitzophrenics constantly feeling watched, being talked to, etc. isn't too far from even just reasonably devout believers.

one day they understood mental illness as the supernatural. now we diagnose the supernatural as signs of mental illness.

or something.

--------------------
Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name?
Hello! I'm good for nothing - will you love me just the same?

Greetings from the dark side...

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Snafu
Deck the Malls


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quote:
What would happen if your DOYC spoke to YOU? Would you follow what the voice told you? You know, lead your people out of Egypt, build an ark, carry new laws to the masses, blow up an abortion clinic type stuff... would you do it?
Like MapleLeaf, I'd want some proof. I'd ask to hear the greatest song ever (what a great idea!). If I didn't hear the song, I'd get help. If I actually heard the song, I'd section myself. Now, I can't decide whether I'd do that because A) I really, truly don't believe in God, and I really would think I was insane, or B) Because I'm too much of a coward to confront the fact that I could communicate with God.
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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The temporal lobe of the brain controls both sensory responses and what they call spirituality. It is entirely possible for a person to have a partial (localized) seizure in the temporal lobe which activated the spirituality and the auditory areas of the brain with the net result that the person hallucinates a voice and believes it to be God (or the Devil).

ETA: Unfortunately, the first response to hallucinations it to treat it with schizophrenia drugs which can lower the seizure threshold and make the condition worse.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The causal association between cannabis/LSD/PCP/amphetamines/etc and the onset of schizophrenia's subtypes is tentative, at best. The chemical composition of cannabis and LSD is too varied and ultimately unpredictable, as a consequence of its illegal status. Unless you've concocted the drug in a lab, you never know what you're getting. Hence, the extreme difficulty in testing/examining patient histories.

In 2004, The British Journal of Psychiatry published the oft cited paper entitled "Causal Association Between Cannabis and Psychosis: Examination of the Evidence". The results were, in the end, mixed:

quote:
On an individual level, cannabis use confers an overall twofold increase in the relative risk for later schizophrenia. At the population level, elimination of cannabis use would reduce the incidence of schizophrenia by approximately 8%, assuming a causal relationship. Cannabis use appears to be neither a sufficient nor a necessary cause for psychosis. It is a component cause, part of a complex constellation of factors leading to psychosis.
The strongest correlation is still merely between substance abuse and diagnosed patients: "This study examined baseline correlates of substance use in the NIMH Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness project. Approximately 60% of the sample was found to use substances, including 37% with current evidence of substance use disorders."

As far as the rest of the OP is concerned: I try to prescribe to Stephen Jay Gould's nonoverlapping magisteria resolution when it comes to mythology. Because I don't read the Abrahamic texts literally, I see no need to interject with present medical diagnoses for the Hebrew Prophets or Jesus of Nazareth.

As far as living people are concerned: Is an extremely devout person, "speaking" to their deity, inevitably schizophrenic? Possibly. The patientís auditory/visual hallucinations are culled from their own life and fears. If a religious upbringing is in the patientís past, then I donít think thereís call for surprise that these symbols should resurrect in the psychosis.

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Unfortunately, the first response to hallucinations it to treat it with schizophrenia drugs which can lower the seizure threshold and make the condition worse.

I've found this to be quite contrary to my own experiences (worsening of the condition, etc.). Just an anecdote, of course. This disease is degenerative, though.

ETA: "Degenerative" is probably an inaccurate word. "Available treatments can relieve many of the disorder's symptoms, but most people who have schizophrenia must cope with some residual symptoms as long as they live."

--------------------
The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Unfortunately, the first response to hallucinations it to treat it with schizophrenia drugs which can lower the seizure threshold and make the condition worse.

I've found this to be quite contrary to my own experiences (worsening of the condition, etc.). Just an anecdote, of course. This disease is degenerative, though.
Do you have temporal lobe partial seizures which were made better by antipsychotics?

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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I'mNotDedalus
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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Unfortunately, the first response to hallucinations it to treat it with schizophrenia drugs which can lower the seizure threshold and make the condition worse.

I've found this to be quite contrary to my own experiences (worsening of the condition, etc.). Just an anecdote, of course. This disease is degenerative, though.
Do you have temporal lobe partial seizures which were made better by antipsychotics?
No. But I must've misread your post: I meant that the hallucinations cease after the medications have been reintroduced into my system after about two weeks. An improvement upon the condition, so to speak.

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The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Unfortunately, the first response to hallucinations it to treat it with schizophrenia drugs which can lower the seizure threshold and make the condition worse.

I've found this to be quite contrary to my own experiences (worsening of the condition, etc.). Just an anecdote, of course. This disease is degenerative, though.
Do you have temporal lobe partial seizures which were made better by antipsychotics?
No. But I must've misread your post: I meant that the hallucinations cease after the medications have been reintroduced into my system after about two weeks. An improvement upon the condition, so to speak.
I reread my post and the fault is mine. I was not clear that I was saying that the symptoms which often lead to the diagnosis of schizophrenia can be caused by partial seizure from temporal lobe epilepsy. TLE is by no means the only cause of those symptoms.

ETA "not"

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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It's an interesting question. Right now I'm in the midst of my yearly Winter Blues. In the midst of ever increasing dosages of psychiatric meds, I am somewhat irreligious. OTOH, I was irrelegious in December long before I was introduced to the wonderful world of psychiatry. It's not so much a loss of interest in religion as a loss of interest in pretty much everything. Sex, music, hobbies, work, my own kids--nothing has any particular appeal to me. The only thing the now, in my own opinion near-overdoses of Paxil, etc is doing is keeping my usual suicidal tendencies in check. I have no desire to die this year, which is more than I can say for some Winters.

Regarding drug use, I often wonder if it isn't a pre-disposition toward using recreational drugs on the part of the mentally ill rather than mental illness caused by prolonged drug use. It seems to me that a certain amount of attempted self-medication would be likely in such cases.

I don't discount that some people have positive spiritual experiences apart from any mental illness. One would think that if God has a will, he must express it to somebody sometime for the will to be accomplished. If God has an enemy in Satan, it is only logical that Satan would attempt to pass off his messages as being from God, or a result of mental illness or whatever.

I think in the end the biggest question surrounding any potential diagnosis of mental illness is whether or not said problem impairs daily functioning. If a preacher hears regularly from God regarding what to preach, that may well be an asset. If a doctor is constantly distracted by dark oppressive thoughts whilst performing a surgery, there's a problem.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Thus spake Sara:
The temporal lobe of the brain controls both sensory responses and what they call spirituality.

What?

--------------------
Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name?
Hello! I'm good for nothing - will you love me just the same?

Greetings from the dark side...

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:
quote:
Thus spake Sara:
The temporal lobe of the brain controls both sensory responses and what they call spirituality.

What?
I suspect that you are whatting the spirituality part. If I'm wrong, let me know.

--------------------
Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
What would happen if your DOYC spoke to YOU? Would you follow what the voice told you? You know, lead your people out of Egypt, build an ark, carry new laws to the masses, blow up an abortion clinic type stuff... would you do it?

I would try to assess whether what the "deity" was saying was reasonable to me and agreed with my own standards. If it was, or did, then I might try to do it - depending on difficulty or danger and so on.

If it wasn't, then I wouldn't. I don't think a voice in itself could be much of a persuasive influence if you were otherwise thinking rationally. Of course, if it went on and on and on over the course of months and years, I might eventually come round to the point of view of what the "deity" was saying, and start to think that it was a good idea.

Either way, I can't see how I would think it was "God" speaking to me. (Obviously not, being an atheist, so that's a moot point.) Personally, I would assume it was a mild hallucination where my conscious brain became momentarily disassociated from the part that was thinking the thought, and so rather than it being a subconscious background thought, I perceived it as an external voice.

If I was religious, and the voice was a good or neutral one (for the purposes of argument, if it said the type of thing that I would happily admit to somebody else) then I could imagine thinking it was "God". If it said something so horrendous that I would never admit to thinking it - and I'm sure most people do have thoughts they would never admit to - then I can imagine thinking it was a "demon".

To my own mind (as I am), this would correspond an externalization of my own thoughts - sometimes I think things and then tell people about them or use the thoughts in conversation; sometimes I think things and either am ashamed of myself or decide they're best not mentioned. And sometimes I say stuff without consciously thinking.

Taking the religious viewpoint slightly further, though, if I believed in God then I would surely also believe that God is truth and love and so on. The idea of morally disagreeing with God would surely be unthinkable*. So only the good "externalised" thoughts, that I agreed with anyway with little internal conflict - which "felt right", in other words - could possibly be from God. I can imagine thinking this was usual - God is speaking to me; it must happen to everybody but some don't recognise it. So I might not mention it, or if I did, I would do so in those terms and people would accept it. (There seems to be a level of basic acceptance that "God speaks to people" - I have no way of telling whether the people who believe that think of it as an external voice audible only to themselves, or as an internal one.**)

I would therefore only consider it a problem to myself if the "externalized" voices kept saying things that I wouldn't like to admit to thinking. So in this picture, anybody with this religious outlook who thought of these voices as a problem would necessarily think that they're demons. And these are the people that others would be most aware of.

* Do any people who believe in a God of morality ever have private moral conflicts with that God?

** Again, any religious posters who believe that God speaks to them care to comment on this?

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Scout
The First USA Noel


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I listened to a radio programme a couple of months ago that dealt with this very subject (BBC radio 4 I think, though I can't remember what the show was called), I thought it was fascinating and seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

I'm sure one of the people talking on the program was doing some kind of study in to it, I'll have a look on google and see if I can dig anything up.

Scout.

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"Abandon shop. This is not a daffodil, repeat, this is not a daffodil!"

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Snafu:
Are there any people locked-up in these places with 'positive' symptoms of Schizophrenia? I've never come across a case of Schizophrenia that's positive in some way - all the Schizophrenia sufferers I've ever heard of seem to have nothing but demons speaking to them (not angels), or they have the TV telling them to kill (not asking them to do a little volunteer charity work) etc. I don't imagine there are people held in these places that show signs of 'positive' Schizophrenia, simply because they wouldn't need to be locked-up - they wouldn't be a threat to themselves or others.

My wife used to be a nurse on a psych ward, and she had to deal with all manner of religious schitzophrenics. One lady was bound and determined that her "healing" would be the evidence that got the Blessed Someoneorother to be canonized as a saint, so she kept injuring herself or otherwise making herself ill so her recovery could be attributed to a "miracle". Others would stay in their rooms all day because God told them not to go out into the common room or some such. It was a common enough problem that one of the other nurses was asked not to "witness" or otherwise talk about her religion at work, as it got these patients worked up.

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"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My brother had a friend who believed that my brother was God...
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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
I would try to assess whether what the "deity" was saying was reasonable to me and agreed with my own standards. If it was, or did, then I might try to do it - depending on difficulty or danger and so on.

If it wasn't, then I wouldn't. I don't think a voice in itself could be much of a persuasive influence if you were otherwise thinking rationally. Of course, if it went on and on and on over the course of months and years, I might eventually come round to the point of view of what the "deity" was saying, and start to think that it was a good idea.

Either way, I can't see how I would think it was "God" speaking to me. (Obviously not, being an atheist, so that's a moot point.) Personally, I would assume it was a mild hallucination where my conscious brain became momentarily disassociated from the part that was thinking the thought, and so rather than it being a subconscious background thought, I perceived it as an external voice.

I found your entire post interesting, Richard, so apologies for taking the scalpel to just your beginning paragraphs.

I suppose there are two ways to play with Malruhn's thought experiment. In one, the deity speaks to the rational, cognitive you. The experience is isolated and *snap* happens immediately. For the most part, I read Richard's post in such a light.

The other way is to imagine yourself as a schizophrenic, how an individual with a history of this psychosis handles these situations. I realize the impossibility and stupidity in generalizing how every schizophrenic deals with the onset of hallucinations. But I think my personal context hasÖwell, relevant context.

With the illness, a squeeze has been put on your organ's perceptive and interpretative abilities. In an unmedicated state, the hallucinations will most likely spawn at a gradual pace. Thought patterns emerge, at their root right in degree, but askew as the mosaic projects.

What I mean to say is, there is next to no rational delineation occurring whilst unmedicated. It's all very deceptive; even medicated, as I look back, I don't understand how I fall to prey. In fact, my doctors & family have informed me that I'm not even supposed to log which thoughts I deem as ill (an incredibly difficult feat when youíre in the sway of things); you're only supposed to isolate behaviors that you've been trained to recognize as detrimental, and then notify someone that you're in trouble. A permanent position of embarrassing subservience.

I otherwise consider myself as an agnostic, but during my last episode of falling off meds (August/September), the goddamned Devil spoke to me from the attic via the radiator. Again, a gradual hallucination: a week's time of sitting in depressive critique eventually led to a demonic voice issuing said criticisms. I don't recall any period where I startled, "But wait! I'm an agnostic! What spiritual implication does this pose, Oh Devil of mine? Surely this isn't real." There's only blind acceptance.

Imagine the inherent absurdity in agreeing that, for today, the law of gravity has suspended. No memo. More importantly, no suspicious puzzlement. Just a vague notion that there was probably no gravity yesterday, as well. And why didnít you notice yesterday? Probably because youíre too stupid, all intellect is a front with you, thatís why you have no friends, just another reason why she left you, why youíre a burden on your familyÖ

It's all very terrifying and...humiliating. Oh, relative web anonymity, how you hide my shame. But Iím trying to teach myself that this is no more shameful than a diabetic posting to the boards that they recently had an attack.

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The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Wow, yes - that's interesting, I'mNotDedalus. I was definitely thinking of a situation where everything was normal, I was alone and I suddenly heard an external voice. So in my scenario, I would be able to analyze it rationally. Yours must be closer to the reality for most people in that situation.

I guess I've never experienced anything like your illness. The nearest I can think of that sounds similar is a feverish "delirious" state, or a half-awake dreamstate. I've never had a fever that's made me delirious for more than a day, though, and my dreams go away when I wake up.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Wow, IND, I had no idea. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but that's absolutely fascinating.

I thought that I knew the basics of schizophrenia, but it seems that I don't. Do you know any good resources to read up on it?

FWIW, I think that speaking out about it, as you have done, is nothing but a good thing. It helps people to understand. And understanding leads away from fear. So, while I can understand your feeling of humiliation, certainly as far as I'm concerned, there's no need for them. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Snafu
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Again, a gradual hallucination: a week's time of sitting in depressive critique eventually led to a demonic voice issuing said criticisms. I don't recall any period where I startled, "But wait! I'm an agnostic! What spiritual implication does this pose, Oh Devil of mine? Surely this isn't real." There's only blind acceptance.
The sitting alone in a depressive critique is what I think pushed my mate over the edge. His mother kicked him out because of his intense, unpredictable temper, and the fact that he would regularly attack his sister. He got his own place and pretty much became a recluse untill his mother allowed him back.

If he's left alone for any length of time his abillity to appear somewhat 'normal' diminishes rapidly. I find he's most like his old self when he's had a few beers at the pub, and there's a group of us just chatting away - it seems to stop him having any time to think anything that'll take him down the road to getting depressed and talking crazy.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
I guess I've never experienced anything like your illness. The nearest I can think of that sounds similar is a feverish "delirious" state, or a half-awake dreamstate. I've never had a fever that's made me delirious for more than a day, though, and my dreams go away when I wake up.

That's probably an apt comparison, as best as I can tell.

quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Wow, IND, I had no idea. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but that's absolutely fascinating.

I thought that I knew the basics of schizophrenia, but it seems that I don't. Do you know any good resources to read up on it?

What leads you to think that your understanding of the basics is lacking? But then, the basics for this disease are always being contested, even today (as JonnyT pointed out earlier). Personally, I comply with most of the male statistics for subtype 295.3/F20.0 (paranoid--if the citation still holds true): diagnosis at 22, history of major & chronic depression, etc. Where I significantly deter in my patient history is having held a long-term intimate relationship (in fact, my diagnosing doctor was so suspicious of this fact that she thought my ex was quite possibly a delusion--either in her literal existence but more likely that there was no real relationship between the two of us at all, that it was a delusional misperception on my part).

The difficulty (aside from our fledgling knowledge of the human brain) is in schizophrenia's commonalities with so many other illnesses: all of depression's subtypes--which schizophrenics commonly exhibit and are also treated for--, Sara has mentioned disorders which cause seizures (i.e., epilepsy, etc.). In fact, a number of antipsychotic drugs were previously administered as antiseizure medications which medical trials "accidentally" discovered treated schizophrenia.

For reading material, I think you'll find the Wikipedia article very informative. One of their better ones, loaded with medical citations. Back in February, the The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Schizophrenia was published, a tome of information gathered by MDs from the U.S. and U.K. It's a very expensive book, so I'd suggest gettin' it through the library if you're interested.

For the schizophrenic experience, there are also hundreds of books available. IIRC, I think one of Dr. Oliver Sacks' eminent texts gives one of the more insightful schizophrenic histories. But of course, I always prefer Finnegans Wake. [Wink] That book will tap you in like none other. (Joyce, who according to Jung, probably lived on the threshold of the disease whilst his daughter, Lucia, ultimately drowned in it).

quote:
FWIW, I think that speaking out about it, as you have done, is nothing but a good thing. It helps people to understand. And understanding leads away from fear. So, while I can understand your feeling of humiliation, certainly as far as I'm concerned, there's no need for them. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
Thank ya', kindly, trollface. I suppose what aches me is the common misconception that, because of the illness, I'm dangerous and/or a builder of shrines. I try to have a sense of humor about it all, but as you can probably deduce, these misconceptions are often why I generally keep quiet about it.

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The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
In fact, a number of antipsychotic drugs were previously administered as antiseizure medications which medical trials "accidentally" discovered treated schizophrenia.


Which would these be? To my knowledge, antipsychotics (major tranquilizers) lower the seizure threshold. I am aware of people diagnosed with schizophrenia who improved when taken off antipsychotics and put on anticonvulsants -- but not the other way around.

Speaking of other causes of behaviors normally diagnosed as schizophrenia, did you ever read this about van Gogh and Geschwind's syndrome?

I, for one, look forward to the day that there are definitive diagnostic tools for these conditions we call "mental illness".

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Which would these be? To my knowledge, antipsychotics (major tranquilizers) lower the seizure threshold. I am aware of people diagnosed with schizophrenia who improved when taken off antipsychotics and put on anticonvulsants -- but not the other way around.

As I understand it, drugs such as Seroquel and Abilify (ETA: and Lamictal) were first administered as antiseizure/anticonvulsants; but during the trials, doctors reasoned that the drugs acted more proficiently with schizophrenic/depressive patients. IIRC, these drugs aren't generally prescribed anymore for patients who suffer from epilepsy, etc. I could be wrong, of course: I'm hardly an expert. We had a snopester named Allison who, IIRC, is a doc in the field. Unfortunately, I haven't seen her about in some time. She's soitenly missed.

quote:
Speaking of other causes of behaviors normally diagnosed as schizophrenia, did you ever read this about van Gogh and Geschwind's syndrome?
Right, I've read much criticism about the 5-points for Geschwind's diagnosis: "that includes hypergraphia, hyper-religiosity, unstable sexual behavior, intermittent aggressiveness, and 'stickiness' (i.e., clinging behavior)." One can easily imagine such symptoms in most any mental illness case. Of course, the Geschwind diagnosis makes it a point that these symptoms are particular to temporal lobe epileptics between periods of seizing.

quote:
I, for one, look forward to the day that there are definitive diagnostic tools for these conditions we call "mental illness".
You and me both, sistuh'. But for the time being, I settle for what's available. Tired of fighting the treatment, donchaknow. This goddamned disease has already robbed me of so much from my life (i.e., my wedding engagement, my previous high-paying job, my pursuit of a degree, my functionality around family, ability to make friends, dates, etcÖHush! I hear a lilí violin!); I'd like to eventually attain some semblance of happiness. The drugs currently on the market have been helpful, thus far. Itís slow goinsí.

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The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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IND, may I say publically that you totally rock? My already great admiration for you has just increased. I, for one, am glad you are my friend!

--------------------
There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Which would these be? To my knowledge, antipsychotics (major tranquilizers) lower the seizure threshold. I am aware of people diagnosed with schizophrenia who improved when taken off antipsychotics and put on anticonvulsants -- but not the other way around.

As I understand it, drugs such as Seroquel and Abilify (ETA: and Lamictal) were first administered as antiseizure/anticonvulsants; but during the trials, doctors reasoned that the drugs acted more proficiently with schizophrenic/depressive patients. IIRC, these drugs aren't generally prescribed anymore for patients who suffer from epilepsy, etc. I could be wrong, of course: I'm hardly an expert. We had a snopester named Allison who, IIRC, is a doc in the field. Unfortunately, I haven't seen her about in some time. She's soitenly missed.

The clinical trials for Seroquel and Abilify were as atypical antipsychotics (major tranquilizers) which is what they are approved as. Like all antipsychotics, Seroquel and Abilify have cautions for use by people with seizure disorders. Lamicatal is an anticonvulsant, not an antipsychotic; it is not approved for use to treat schizophrenia. All three are approved to treat one aspect of bipolar or another.

--------------------
Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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mraiford
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
I otherwise consider myself as an agnostic, but during my last episode of falling off meds (August/September), the goddamned Devil spoke to me from the attic via the radiator. Again, a gradual hallucination: a week's time of sitting in depressive critique eventually led to a demonic voice issuing said criticisms. I don't recall any period where I startled, "But wait! I'm an agnostic! What spiritual implication does this pose, Oh Devil of mine? Surely this isn't real." There's only blind acceptance.

Imagine the inherent absurdity in agreeing that, for today, the law of gravity has suspended. No memo. More importantly, no suspicious puzzlement. Just a vague notion that there was probably no gravity yesterday, as well. And why didnít you notice yesterday? Probably because youíre too stupid, all intellect is a front with you, thatís why you have no friends, just another reason why she left you, why youíre a burden on your familyÖ

It's all very terrifying and...humiliating. Oh, relative web anonymity, how you hide my shame. But Iím trying to teach myself that this is no more shameful than a diabetic posting to the boards that they recently had an attack.

Wow...

Having gone through an episode of depression psychosis, I find your description eerily similar. Only 'God' spoke to me. Sometimes I look back on this episode and scoff at it. Other times I really wonder if it was real. At the time it was happening it certainly seemed really real. I didn't have the persecution in any of my hallucinations, as you did, which was good...

Though I had some very frightening threats made to me if I spilled the beans on certain things.

I can certainly understand how someone can be lead to think they're a self-professed prophet. Makes you really wonder about some of the biblical accounts.

Oddly, while I was in a Catholic school as a kid, I didn't really have a belief in God at the time that it happened. Though I sort of do now. Kind of because of the experience, and kind of because of my new wife. [Smile]

So, I suppose in a way its a persistent delusion. I occasionally get 'echoes' of what happened, not necessarily the God thing, but other things.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by TGal:
IND, may I say publically that you totally rock? My already great admiration for you has just increased. I, for one, am glad you are my friend!

Awww, TGal always makes me blush. Except for that one night! That was purely an accident! An acc-i-dent, I tellz ya!!!

quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
The clinical trials for Seroquel and Abilify were as atypical antipsychotics (major tranquilizers) which is what they are approved as. Like all antipsychotics, Seroquel and Abilify have cautions for use by people with seizure disorders. Lamicatal is an anticonvulsant, not an antipsychotic; it is not approved for use to treat schizophrenia. All three are approved to treat one aspect of bipolar or another.

Fascinating. I've got all three in my cocktail (with a sprinkle of Wellbutrin for flavor). That Lamictal is some serious chemistry, let me tell ya (those goddamned periods of ever-so-slight increase in milligrams that take weeks to reach the prescribed full-dosage are annoying as all hell). Once, when I went off meds, I put myself back on at full dosage. Lamictal had me goin' on like a raving lunatic. When I spoke, I would only quote Dante for about a week. In the Italian! I don't even know Italian! (much less its medieval variety) [lol] But I had memorized the side-by-side textónot all of it, of course, just the pertinent parts that pertain to such lunacy.

Gah! But I have to return to work, now. So sorry for the PMs Iíve been ignoring. (You know who you are, you plunderers, you)

--------------------
The salty fragrance of LíEau IímNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
Fascinating. I've got all three in my cocktail (with a sprinkle of Wellbutrin for flavor). That Lamictal is some serious chemistry, let me tell ya (those goddamned periods of ever-so-slight increase in milligrams that take weeks to reach the prescribed full-dosage are annoying as all hell). Once, when I went off meds, I put myself back on at full dosage. Lamictal had me goin' on like a raving lunatic. When I spoke, I would only quote Dante for about a week. In the Italian! I don't even know Italian! (much less its medieval variety) [lol] But I had memorized the side-by-side text—not all of it, of course, just the pertinent parts that pertain to such lunacy.

Don't kid yourself. All those drugs are serious. I know people who were raving lunatics on the others you mention. Did you restart all your meds at the same dose at once? (If the answer is "yes", the next question will be "How do you know it was the Lamictal that made you loony?" The reason one moves up slowly with Lamictal is because of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, not because of psychiatric issues.)

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I think the implication was the Lamictal was the only one he resumed, Sara. He was off his meds totally, and didn't ramp up on the Lamictal, just took the full dose right away. I think the answer is simple deduction...

And I am pretty sure, since he's the one taking them and all, and being a more than slightly intelligent and inquisitive person, he is aware of the dangers of the drugs.

But that is always the question with drugs for mental illnesses isn't it? Are the seculae worth the benefit.

I know this morning, I heard there is a group seeking to ban SSRIs because family members had committed suicide while taking them. My initial reaction was "You will pry my Lexapro from my cold dead hands! How dare they condemn me to a living hell again because their loved one died and they decided the drug was to blame!" I realize that sounds a bit callous, but I know that for me, I am more likely to die from suicide without the drugs...

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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