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Dr. Sanity speaks about delusion

Old 02-10-2011, 06:07 PM
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Dr. Sanity speaks about delusion

Dr. Sanity is a Psychiatrist who also runs a very enlightening blog. I recommend reading her blog regularly. I found this gem today. The context is global warming/end of the world hooey. But the explanation of delusion is excellent. I think you will see someone you know in this.

This process is something we refer to as a delusional disorder. A delusion is basically a fantasy that is mistaken to be a reality. ( The Greek word for delusion is phantasia). In psychiatry, a delusion is defined as pathological , i.e., the result of an illness--i.e., a biological process of one or another variety; and they are held despite any evidence to the contrary. It may be due to a primary psychiatric disorder (like schizophrenia) or a severe brain disorder (like dementia).

But we all know people who are not "ill"; who do not suffer from schizophrenia or other major psychiatric or medical illnesses; who do not take drugs that alter their brains, but they have delusions nonetheless. In this case, the delusion is more of a firmly held belief, despite all evidence to the contrary. A belief that, for the individual who has it, explains or hides an aspect of reality that otherwise cannot be accepted.

Thus, you can think of the etiology of delusions as being on a spectrum where at one end there are biological factors which cause the brain to malfunction in its perception and analysis of reality; and on the other, the brain is intact but there are psychological processes (e.g., defense mechanisms(unconscious processes) or conscious and willful abdication of one's mind to avoid reality)

<---------DELUSIONAL SPECTRUM --------------------->
<---Biological--------------------------------------Psychological/Social-->
....
The social/psychological delusionist, however, chooses to remain delusional in order to protect their self-image or their hidden motivations or to preserve an ideology that does not work in the real world. They do not want to accept reality and prefer instead to claim their dysfunction is the only reality.

When the facts go against them, the true delusionist will alter the facts. For them it is a psychological necessity.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:11 PM
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Yes. That was me. I was certainly delusional about the fact that I could get him to change. And that the situation was OK really.

I know you wanted me to say that it was him, and I agree, he does fit that bill. But where does that leave any of us?
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:19 PM
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it leaves you knowing you are not crazy, and the person you live with manifests real, tangible, crazy behavior. And there is not a darn thing you can do about.

And you might too!
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:54 AM
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Thanks for posting that. I see recovery (in Al-Anon or in AA) as learning to unpeel layers of delusion. That is acceptance--recognizing what truly IS.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:08 AM
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That was me. I was only talking to a friend today about the fantasy world I lived in. Scary. The more recovery, the more reality steps in. I don't know if I like it as much. lol, but at least it's real! No more 'magical' thinking for me. My life depends on me living in the real world. Thanks Zrx
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:04 AM
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What fantasy world were you living in Floss?
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:23 AM
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Dr. Sanity
that's her name for real?

how appropriate!

we all live in our own reality and perception of life no matter if you're deluted by alcohol or life itself.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:58 AM
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I think I get what Floss is trying to say - I don't like my reality much either. But that doesn't mean I prefer it over the delusion I was living. Just that my fantasy in my head was better than both reality and the delusion! The dream I had for this marriage, family... I know now its not my reality and that just sucks.

But I don't think the delusion was mine - I think my RAH was the one who was delusional. Some of the crap he made up was priceless - truly creative! I wasn't the one with the messed-up brain high on drugs and alcohol. I was the one standing on the sidelines watching this all and saying WTF is the matter with this guy? Then I went to an Al-Anon meeting, got handed the newcomer's packet and the clouds parted and I could see clearly now. Amazing how my whole perspective shifted and everything suddenly made sense again. I never believed the delusions, I just thought he was nuts. Now I know he's just an alcoholic.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:43 AM
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I think we're all deluded--and I'm not talking about only alcoholics and people who live with them.

Human beings have fantasy images in their minds all the time about who they are, who other people are, how the universe "works".

I don't know that it's possible (unless you're a buddha) to have a completely delusion-free life. To the extent we can recognize delusions and replace them in our minds with reality, we suffer a lot less, IMO. The delusions can work just like booze--allow us to pretend that what's there isn't really there, or that something isn't there that is.

I'm not a Buddhist, but a lot of the philosophy of Buddhism really speaks to me.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kiki5711 View Post
that's her name for real?

how appropriate!

we all live in our own reality and perception of life no matter if you're deluted by alcohol or life itself.
no. most people are now forced to blog under false names. People are loosing their jobs, getting criminal charges filed against them, and becoming targets for what they say on line. Dr. Sanity is her blog name. But she's real.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for this thread. Reality also has a lot to do with living in the present moment. I am getting better at that and I am so grateful. In my case, I lived in the past. Now I am finding my mind in the present 80% of the time or 20% in the future. It is way better than suffering for past events. Today I am alive and I can navigate my day with peace, patience with myself, and see what is in my hands to feel better in spirit, body & mind. Priceless gift.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:18 AM
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Oh and I have been totally delusional, mistaking cruelty for love. And mistaking myself for a doormat. Or an emotional punchbag. Now it starts sinking in that I am a worthy woman. Another priceless gift.
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