Delusion or Break From Consensus Reality?

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Mike1234

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A constant theme I have experienced since I have been diagnosed with mental illness is not agreeing with the majority perspective. Certain beliefs I have are labeled as delusions. However, I don't think these beliefs are actually delusions but that people are calling me delusional to maintain consensus reality. In a society reality is socially constructed. What people accept as reality is maintained through consensus. It could be that many people labeled as delusional aren't actually mistaken about what they perceive but have beliefs that are unacceptable or inconvenient to the majority. I was just wondering if anyone here has had similar experiences or understands what I'm talking about.
 
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I am not well enough to at present to explain but I do agree with you.
 
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Thanks for agreeing. I understand if you can't share as it is a controversial issue.
 
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I agree with you Mike,I had a lot of hassle from the fascist BNP and my psychiatrist said I was delusional,that there are no fascists in society today and that I was paranoid.That didn't stop the fuckers turning me away from the bus stops when I wanted to catch my bus or stopping me going in the pub to make a phone call when I need a lift to get away from them and it didn't stop my neighbor from trying to drive me away from the neighborhood by setting fire to our boundary fence.his consensus reality could take the reality I was actually experiencing.What a nightmare:eek2:It is true I kid you not.The police even tried to make me sign a caution cos white neighbors said I was the one harassing the arsonist next door.I ripped it up and told them where to go,she tries to kill me I say and out of racist motives and you do fuck all, I am going to the newspapers I told them.They left me alone after that.Crazy people!Nikitax
 
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Certain beliefs I have are labeled as delusions. However, I don't think these beliefs are actually delusions but that people are calling me delusional to maintain consensus reality.
Can you elaborate for us what types of beliefs you have that are being labeled?
 
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I agree with you Mike,I had a lot of hassle from the fascist BNP and my psychiatrist said I was delusional,that there are no fascists in society today and that I was paranoid.That didn't stop the fuckers turning me away from the bus stops when I wanted to catch my bus or stopping me going in the pub to make a phone call when I need a lift to get away from them and it didn't stop my neighbor from trying to drive me away from the neighborhood by setting fire to our boundary fence.his consensus reality could take the reality I was actually experiencing.What a nightmare:eek2:It is true I kid you not.The police even tried to make me sign a caution cos white neighbors said I was the one harassing the arsonist next door.I ripped it up and told them where to go,she tries to kill me I say and out of racist motives and you do fuck all, I am going to the newspapers I told them.They left me alone after that.Crazy people!Nikitax
That sounds terrible. I am sorry your psychiatrist said you were delusional when you weren't. Did the police help you when they burned down your fence?
 
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Beliefs about people's actions, things people have said and past events.
 
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That sounds terrible. I am sorry your psychiatrist said you were delusional when you weren't. Did the police help you when they burned down your fence?
No,they accepted her story that it was an accident caused by a discarded cigarette,my solicitor said those fence posts are really hard to set on fire on purpose let alone by accident,he said he was 100% certain it was done deliberate!I asked the police to get the fire brigade to have a look if it was deliberate but they couldn't care less,they just let her get away with arson!I smelt her cigarette burning ,fifteen mins later the cats came running in frightened curling around me I went out and the fence was on fire and she had left the house and locked all her doors.I put the fire out but had words with her when she got back,man did I lay into her!Then I ended up with the caution,she could have killed me,if it had been the other way round with me starting the fire I'd be in prison to this day!I am still fuming about it.
 
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A constant theme I have experienced since I have been diagnosed with mental illness is not agreeing with the majority perspective. Certain beliefs I have are labeled as delusions. However, I don't think these beliefs are actually delusions but that people are calling me delusional to maintain consensus reality. In a society reality is socially constructed. What people accept as reality is maintained through consensus. It could be that many people labeled as delusional aren't actually mistaken about what they perceive but have beliefs that are unacceptable or inconvenient to the majority. I was just wondering if anyone here has had similar experiences or understands what I'm talking about.
Yes, I'm the same my ideas are usually considered strange etc. So I often keep them to myself. It's just that I see things clearer than many others and it unnerves them.
 
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A constant theme I have experienced since I have been diagnosed with mental illness is not agreeing with the majority perspective. Certain beliefs I have are labeled as delusions. However, I don't think these beliefs are actually delusions but that people are calling me delusional to maintain consensus reality. In a society reality is socially constructed. What people accept as reality is maintained through consensus. It could be that many people labeled as delusional aren't actually mistaken about what they perceive but have beliefs that are unacceptable or inconvenient to the majority. I was just wondering if anyone here has had similar experiences or understands what I'm talking about.
i personally think it's a very complex & in depth question, often individual, & with many different perspectives & opinions on it all.

Sanity & Normality is obviously basically agreeing with the consensus majority - however insane/abnormal it all is. Plenty have questioned the health/sanity of general/mainstream society/culture in different ways & have concluded it's mad.

There's a very strange & powerful aspect of reverse psychology within psychiatry & the mental health system in agreeing with them all & admitting that your mad. The truly mad don't know/think that they're mad, & i think that there is partly an actual truth to that.

My own conclusion is what we experience is real & valid, but it's the sense of reality that i'd question. Non consensus reality is Not necessarily any more real than consensus reality. i do think that there is some basis to psychiatry in that people are to varying degrees & in various ways suffering some form of distress/illness - some psychological/emotional difficulties. i would question what, why & how & the best potential approaches to it all, but people are unwell in ways imo, however caused, & when all is said & done, i think that is very hard to get away from.

If we had an ideal society & very comprehensive psychological/social help & support approaches for people, then i think that things would be very different. But we don't have that, & largely the individual has to make their own way through it all. Generally i don't think that there is the more ideal genuine/appropriate understanding, care & support that's needed, for most people. & there is the other side to it all as well, from the consensus perspectives - as in what to do with all the 'mad'?

If there were easy answers then i think that we would have found them as a society/culture - & we haven't. & when looked into 'madness' has been covered from just about every conceivable angle possible, integral/holistic, philosophical, political, biomedical, psychological, sociological, & transpersonal/spiritual/religious, & people are still debating/arguing as strongly as ever around all that. There is still a mystery to all these areas.
 
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i personally think it's a very complex & in depth question, often individual, & with many different perspectives & opinions on it all.

Sanity & Normality is obviously basically agreeing with the consensus majority - however insane/abnormal it all is. Plenty have questioned the health/sanity of general/mainstream society/culture in different ways & have concluded it's mad.

There's a very strange & powerful aspect of reverse psychology within psychiatry & the mental health system in agreeing with them all & admitting that your mad. The truly mad don't know/think that they're mad, & i think that there is partly an actual truth to that.

My own conclusion is what we experience is real & valid, but it's the sense of reality that i'd question. Non consensus reality is Not necessarily any more real than consensus reality. i do think that there is some basis to psychiatry in that people are to varying degrees & in various ways suffering some form of distress/illness - some psychological/emotional difficulties. i would question what, why & how & the best potential approaches to it all, but people are unwell in ways imo, however caused, & when all is said & done, i think that is very hard to get away from.

If we had an ideal society & very comprehensive psychological/social help & support approaches for people, then i think that things would be very different. But we don't have that, & largely the individual has to make their own way through it all. Generally i don't think that there is the more ideal genuine/appropriate understanding, care & support that's needed, for most people. & there is the other side to it all as well, from the consensus perspectives - as in what to do with all the 'mad'?

If there were easy answers then i think that we would have found them as a society/culture - & we haven't. & when looked into 'madness' has been covered from just about every conceivable angle possible, integral/holistic, philosophical, political, biomedical, psychological, sociological, & transpersonal/spiritual/religious, & people are still debating/arguing as strongly as ever around all that. There is still a mystery to all these areas.
I agree that there are occasions where a person is experiencing emotional distress and because of this may be mistaken about what they perceive and labeled delusional by the majority. However, I believe that more often than not when a person is labeled or called delusional it isn’t because they are incorrect in their beliefs but because labeling the person as delusional is a means for the majority to have social power over the person. For example, at one time in Russia political dissidents were confined in asylums and labeled delusional in order to stop their political activities. Their political beliefs were the basis of their supposed mental illness and labeled as delusions.

I agree that there is a reverse psychology in Psychiatry. Psychiatry is more an ideology than medicine. In order for a person to “recover” they must abandon their beliefs and adopt the perspective that they are mentally ill and that their beliefs or behavior is part of their mental illness. In some ways psychiatric treatment is similar to brainwashing. The person’s psyche is changed to adopt a different perspective.

I don’t understand the difference between questioning a person’s sense of reality and questioning if their perspective is real and valid. To me they are the same thing. For example, a person may have a belief that is unacceptable to the majority and subsequently labeled a delusion. Although their belief is officially branded a delusion it may very well be real. On the other hand, the person may be mistaken about their belief and in reality it is a delusion. To me it’s an either/or situation.

My point is that there are occasions where a person is labeled as delusional by the majority and the majority is wrong. Psychiatry tends to protect the status quo. Because of this, psychiatry tends to favor the majority perspective when determining the cause of a person’s beliefs and behavior.
 
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I don’t understand the difference between questioning a person’s sense of reality and questioning if their perspective is real and valid. To me they are the same thing. For example, a person may have a belief that is unacceptable to the majority and subsequently labeled a delusion. Although their belief is officially branded a delusion it may very well be real. On the other hand, the person may be mistaken about their belief and in reality it is a delusion. To me it’s an either/or situation.

My point is that there are occasions where a person is labeled as delusional by the majority and the majority is wrong. Psychiatry tends to protect the status quo. Because of this, psychiatry tends to favor the majority perspective when determining the cause of a person’s beliefs and behavior.
Very much so, & all that goes on, but it's only part of things, it doesn't apply to everyone/everything. i think that there is a deeper question as to the nature of what people are experiencing within psychosis, & how it can best be approached & healed - This has been explored by people such as Carl Jung, John Weir Perry & many others, but none of it is standard nor mainstream, in fact the comprehensive alternatives are largely ridiculed, ignored & denied, Both by the current system & wider society/culture/masses.

On a personal note i went through 7 major episodes covering some 8 years of primarily severely delusional content. Have spent the past 11 years with my own efforts trying to resolve it all more. The original psychosis, if i take it as more literally real, doesn't make full sense, & is also so preposterous as to make living in any kind of 'normal' sense impossible. It consisted of a very deep & profound realisation, & 'download' of information that the Devil, in Command of a very Dark/Evil Alien Race had total covert control of this Earth, had used & was using high technology (& other means) to turn most of the population into some form of zombies, & had already done so with most people, & would destroy the planet & take humanity & this Earth into Hell. Also that i'd lost my Soul to the Devil & was going to Hell for Eternity. Could write a book about the progression of the condition & delusions.

Have believed at one stage or another, that i was the Devil, the Antichrist, the reincarnation of St Paul, & God, there was a progression to some highly complex delusions/delusional Worlds. With some digging i found it's Not that uncommon a content. Is that severely delusional/a severely unwell state to be in? i think it is. i do think that there are a minority of people that do fit genuine/severe schizophrenia/mental illness, in whatever form/presentation, & there is a role/place for psychiatry to help them.

Part of the problem i think is that absolutely everything is all squashed under the mental health/illness umbrella, & in truth there is vast range, severity & variety in what people experience, & it can't all be considered in/on the same terms. There is partly this problem that everyone considers their own condition as serious & severe as anyone else's, whatever the difficulty, which you don't get in the same way with general medicine. There is also this lack of scientific credibility within psychiatry, it's more art form, but then it's a very badly drawn one at that, There should be far more range, depth & comprehensive understanding within it all imo, it's all far too simplistic. There are people that have tried to change it, but they seem always to be at the fringes.

i think that there is also an element to this question as to whether someone is genuinely/severely unwell/delusional; if they are Not then what are they doing wrapped up with psychiatry/the mental health system? For all the faults with this society we're Not political dissidents in Communist Russia, & if anything there is a great lack of treatment now in the UK. My problem has been the opposite & a lack of treatment, i've spent very little time overall in contact with the mental health system, so am sometimes bemused at some of what i hear on here.
 
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i think that there is also an element to this question as to whether someone is genuinely/severely unwell/delusional; if they are Not then what are they doing wrapped up with psychiatry/the mental health system? For all the faults with this society we're Not political dissidents in Communist Russia, & if anything there is a great lack of treatment now in the UK. My problem has been the opposite & a lack of treatment, i've spent very little time overall in contact with the mental health system, so am sometimes bemused at some of what i hear on here.
i also feel that there is in part some bizarre paradox, for complex reasons, that in cases the more severe the condition that less likely you are to get any treatment, help or support - & i've seen it a lot with more severe cases, especially with schizophrenia & BPD.
 
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I agree that there are occasions where a person is experiencing emotional distress and because of this may be mistaken about what they perceive and labeled delusional by the majority. However, I believe that more often than not when a person is labeled or called delusional it isn’t because they are incorrect in their beliefs but because labeling the person as delusional is a means for the majority to have social power over the person. For example, at one time in Russia political dissidents were confined in asylums and labeled delusional in order to stop their political activities. Their political beliefs were the basis of their supposed mental illness and labeled as delusions.
Sorry to make multiple posts. i used to argue far more for the anti/critical psychiatry positions & arguments. i'm Not so sure any more. It's multi faceted. We can argue what/why/how & best approaches, but people are ill in different ways to various degrees. i've changed, & can't go with the positions/arguments that basically amount to denial of illness. Yes i'm critical of the current system, & primary focus on labels & drugs, & i'm very much in favour of far more comprehensive understandings & approaches to it all. But these pro/anti polemics - what does it solve? In truth there has been some 400 years of it all, & it's resolved Nothing.
 
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There is also this lack of scientific credibility within psychiatry, it's more art form, but then it's a very badly drawn one at that, There should be far more range, depth & comprehensive understanding within it all imo, it's all far too simplistic. There are people that have tried to change it, but they seem always to be at the fringes.
This to me is the crux of the matter & the core issues.

There needs to be a meta-paradigm shift to a genuinely comprehensive/inclusive integral/holistic understanding & approach -

Some intimations -

John Weir Perry -

Trails of the Visionary Mind
The Far Side of Madness

Lord of the Four Quarters
Self in Psychotic Process
Roots of Renewal
Heart of History – Individuality in Evolution

Some others -

Jung – Symbols of Transformation (Collected works 5).
Anton T Boisen – The Exploration of the Inner World.
John Watkins – Unshrinking Psychosis.
Schizophrenia: The Positive Perspective: Explorations at the Outer Reaches of Human Experience - Chadwick, Peter

In alchemy there lies concealed a Western system of yoga meditation, but it was kept a carefully guarded secret from fear of heresy and its painful consequences. For the practising psychologist, however, alchemy has one inestimable advantage over Indian yoga its ideas are expressed almost entirely in an extraordinarily rich symbolism, the very symbolism we still find in our patients today. The help which alchemy affords us in understanding the symbols of the individuation process is, in my opinion, of the utmost importance.

C. G. Jung, CW 16, par. 220
[V5] ProBoards - Free Forums & Free Message Boards - jung-life-conclusion
 
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My point is that there are occasions where a person is labeled as delusional by the majority and the majority is wrong. Psychiatry tends to protect the status quo. Because of this, psychiatry tends to favor the majority perspective when determining the cause of a person’s beliefs and behavior.
Just to come back to this again, as i think it's an interesting discussion & thread.

In the UK at least i think it's very difficult to get a diagnosis of a major mental disorder. It took me 8 years from first major episode of severe psychosis & 3 hospitalisations before i was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

i think that there is an argument/discussion to be had as to the why, what & how & best approaches to mental health. But as to whether people are unwell, for whatever reasons, it does seem apparent that they are. The polemics of anti/critical vs pro psychiatry i think generally argue 2 sides of the same coin - There are valid arguments on both sides. i've read a fair amount of Szasz, John Breeding, Peter Breggin, Lucy Johnstone, Joanna Moncrieff, Robert Whitaker, R.D Laing, Bateson, David Healy, & many others, have researched the arguments at depth, & history of anti-psychiatry. i think part of the problem with anti/critical psychiatry is a danger in denying the realities of mental illness. People simply are psychologically/emotionally unwell in ways, some severely. Yes, it's Not exactly clear what is biology, what is psychogenic, sociological &/or transpersonal - But it's very likely that things are an individual mix of factors in each case anyway. Anti-psychiatry/alternatives imo doesn't necessarily provide any more of an answer than psychiatry, & at least in some ways psychiatry does validate the facts that people are unwell.

Psychiatry has & does survive the critics & detractors, imo for the simple reason that mental illness is real & people are suffering, & i don't see how any argument can negate that? All arguments considered there is a general validity across the main diagnostic ranges.

i'd very much agree that everything could be a lot better, as it could with everything - But how do we implement a better society & treatment of the 'mad'? There are some very powerful social/cultural forces at play.
 
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It is interesting. The fact that there is such a diversity of delusions that come out of mental illness has more or less guaranteed that these are almost never fully investigated, which means that the symbolic content and what this means on a mental and energistic level are discarded from the healing process. Certainly in that way the current psychiatric system is broken, and like CPU I think more comprehensive social approaches would yield a lot of benefits.

In alchemy there lies concealed a Western system of yoga meditation, but it was kept a carefully guarded secret from fear of heresy and its painful consequences. For the practising psychologist, however, alchemy has one inestimable advantage over Indian yoga its ideas are expressed almost entirely in an extraordinarily rich symbolism, the very symbolism we still find in our patients today. The help which alchemy affords us in understanding the symbols of the individuation process is, in my opinion, of the utmost importance.

C. G. Jung, CW 16, par. 220
I felt the need to answer this. The symbolism we encounter today is not identical to the symbolism of a hundred years ago, and I think it is useful to divide symbols up into different categories, those which arise from the body and the physical world, such as knife or book, which can be comparatively ancient, and those which arise from current mores, like the mobile phone. I'm not sure if any symbolic system can be compared to yoga, which is fully derived from the body.

I also think you need to be aware of the uses of symbolism when you choose to use it as a tool with which to dissect meaning. Often the symbolic content of a dream or image are like a secondary stream of meaning, you absorb it without thinking and process it only superficially when you come to an emotional evaluation of a scene. Whether it is useful to expose this and make it fully conscious is a deep question. It may be useful for a therapist.

Yoga on the other hand is a practice which has benefits for body, mind and ones energy, regardless of whether you are analysing the minds symbolic interpretation of what it sees. Yoga brings your consciousness to the body and the body energy, while symbolic analysis brings you more and more into the deeper realms of mind. Both have benefits but I think most people are better served through the former than the latter.
 
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It is interesting. The fact that there is such a diversity of delusions that come out of mental illness has more or less guaranteed that these are almost never fully investigated, which means that the symbolic content and what this means on a mental and energistic level are discarded from the healing process. Certainly in that way the current psychiatric system is broken, and like CPU I think more comprehensive social approaches would yield a lot of benefits.
Jung was a pioneer in attempting to Map the Psyche, & there have been others.

There is a growing movement of Mad Studies -

https://madstudies2014.wordpress.com/

The rise of Mad Studies | University Affairs

There is a very interesting list of first person accounts of madness here -

http://www.gailhornstein.com/files/Bibliography_of_First_Person_Narratives_of_Madness_5th_edition.pdf

Works - Gail A. Hornstein

i think that part of the answer to better treatment of the mad does lay in better understandings & explorations of madness itself. & i do think that there is in part a meaning in madness, it's part of the existential reality of being a human being - it's part of human experience. i don't think it can ever be fully explained in terms of biology either, it needs psychological/emotional, sociological & spiritual/transpersonal context, as well.
 
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Sorry to make multiple posts. i used to argue far more for the anti/critical psychiatry positions & arguments. i'm Not so sure any more. It's multi faceted. We can argue what/why/how & best approaches, but people are ill in different ways to various degrees. i've changed, & can't go with the positions/arguments that basically amount to denial of illness. Yes i'm critical of the current system, & primary focus on labels & drugs, & i'm very much in favour of far more comprehensive understandings & approaches to it all. But these pro/anti polemics - what does it solve? In truth there has been some 400 years of it all, & it's resolved Nothing.
I disagree. I think there are important aspects of psychiatry that are a detriment to people labeled with mental illness that need to be fought against. Viewing a person’s behavior as sick means their body can be subjected to medical treatments modify their behavior. A person can be undergo surgical operations or administered psychotropic medications in order to change their behavior. For example, the prefrontal lobotomy was once administered to mental patients on a wide spread scale. Although people are not administered the prefrontal lobotomy anymore, it’s not inconceivable that equally harmful somatic treatments will be administered to mental patients in the future. For example, in the future people may be subjected to gene therapy to treat mental illness.

Also, viewing behavior as illness precludes the possibility that it is attributed to a person’s social or political environment. There is plenty wrong with our society that causes mental health problems. Poverty, materialism, access to drugs and alcohol, bullying, are all aspects of our social environment that cause mental health problems. Because psychiatry focuses on the individual as the cause of behavioral problems, instead of changing the social environment the person is changed through medical treatment. Psychiatry protects the status quo. It protects the current state of society so it does not have to change.

I understand that there are people who are suffering but as time goes on more and more behaviors are being conceptualized as illness in our society. These aren’t illnesses. They are simple behaviors that our society find undesirable. There is a paradigm shift occurring in society. Society is shifting from controlling bad behavior through legal and moral means to medical means. It is not enough to merely offer alternative ways of treating mental illness. Directly fighting the harmful aspects of psychiatry is imperative. It is an important war that must be fought. If no one fights psychiatry one day it may dominate society.
 

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