How do you know that a delusion is a delusion?

Prairie Sky

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#1
I mean, if you have a delusion it's something that you firmly believe, right? So how do you/the doctor know that it's a delusion?

Are they those beliefs that you don't talk about because you know they would sound strange to other people?
 
SomersetScorpio

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#2
Are they those beliefs that you don't talk about because you know they would sound strange to other people?
I think so.
When I have/had "delusions", even if I really believe them, i've still known that others would find them strange or difficult to believe.

Hope things are ok?
 
Prairie Sky

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#3
Thanks. Yes I'm ok, just under a lot of stress atm and feeling a bit strange. My head won't stop whirling and it's making me dizzy.
 
Prairie Sky

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#4
Here are some of the things that are bothering me. Do they sound delusional?

I'm a member of a conservative religious community and we believe in "nonresistance to evil" - complete nonviolence even in self-defense. We also have our own unregistered private schools with a Bible-based curriculum.

I believe someone is targeting my church and it may be backed by the provincial government. There has been a rash of vehicle thefts - I can't remember how many, at least five or six in the last year - and thefts of tools and equipment. More recently they've been going into shops and outbuildings and rifling through people's things. Last week someone broke into the church building at night and left all the doors open and lights on, oddly they didn't take anything. It's like they were searching the place. A couple months ago I saw a suspicious vehicle pull into our yard one afternoon but they turned around and left when they saw me. The same thing happened after dark when I was at a lot in town where some of the men sell sheds. They shut off their headlights and threw the car in reverse, flying backward out the lane.

The police act like they're not even trying to find the culprits. That makes me suspicious that the provincial government is watching and testing our response. If we don't fight back to the robbers, might they hit us with something worse?

It's no secret that they hate anyone they see as narrow-minded and intolerant (tolerance anyone?) and believe that private schools and homeschooling brainwash children. I'm afraid they're indirectly trying to bully us into submission, and if that doesn't work they will take away the children and frame us as a cult, and legal action will follow.

As for me I'm nothing special, my part in all this is small; but I do feel I'm being watched or even followed when I'm at work or out in the community.

All this may be part of a wider, global plan - to demonize and marginalize religion and eventually do away with it altogether. Population control, climate modification, UFOs, fake news and false flag events are also part of it. I think the goal is to kill off most of the population and then set up a "new world order." Some of that is pieced together off the Internet, but it explains so much of what's going on.
 
Kerome

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#5
All this may be part of a wider, global plan - to demonize and marginalize religion and eventually do away with it altogether. Population control, climate modification, UFOs, fake news and false flag events are also part of it. I think the goal is to kill off most of the population and then set up a "new world order." Some of that is pieced together off the Internet, but it explains so much of what's going on.
This kind of thinking would probably be labelled as a delusion by a doctor. It’s quite widespread, there are a lot of “alternative news” sites which push these kinds of ideas but there is very little direct basis in hard proven facts.

Just the fact that a certain trend exists - a growing movement towards secular thinking and decreasing importance of religion - doesn’t mean that there is a “global plan” being enacted by shadowy figures towards this, or that you are being watched or followed. The feeling of being watched may well come from the illness, and that then leads to a lot of conspiracy thinking.
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

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#6
Yes this does sound like a "persecutory delusion". But I have similar ones. I think I've mentioned I believe my shopping habits are being tracked thru "loyalty cards" (a discount card that you use at checkout).

It does seem odd to me that quiet Canada is having such a rash of criminal activity. Maybe they believe you're an easy target as they believe you wont press charges.
 
boudreauj4

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#7
When I've had delusions in the past, I believed in certain things for sure but I realized that others wouldn't believe me so I kept it a secret until I got so psychotic that I couldn't function any more and it all came spilling out. My wife never hesitated to tell me what wasn't real, but I find it interesting that my therapist or psychiatrist never actually told me I was delusional or that I was psychotic or having a delusion. I think they are trained not to, and not to argue a delusion with a patient because it can make the patient have even stronger conviction in their delusion. I think their strategy is to fight the delusion with medications, and gently support the patient through supportive talk therapy and hope the patient gradually stops thinking about the delusion on their own. My therapist NEVER brings up the subject of my delusions. If we talk about them it is always I that brings them up. She would not want to initiate my thinking of them in any way if the goal is to get me to stop thinking about them so much. I've read that CBT for psychosis can be used to treat delusions. I have been in a CBT group for about a year but this group is to treat depression and anxiety. But sometimes at home I do a CBT thought record worksheet on things that might be a delusion that are causing me great anxiety, to help relieve my anxiety. These worksheets are a good tool to use at home for self therapy.
 
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write

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#8
I'm sorry this is going on Prairie. Is so hard, we live in a world where a lot of very bad stuff happens, and huge amounts of information (therefore also fear, "news" etc) is shared and broadcast. Not surprising when these thoughts start to gather and make some logical sense as they fit with the evidence of what you've experienced, whether the extent of the thoughts are true reflection of what's actually going on or not. It does sound frightening with the vehicles appearing in the dark, people breaking into property etc. I hope the police do act and find out what's going on, more importantly do something to stop it. xx
 
write

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#9
Yes this does sound like a "persecutory delusion". But I have similar ones. I think I've mentioned I believe my shopping habits are being tracked thru "loyalty cards" (a discount card that you use at checkout).

It does seem odd to me that quiet Canada is having such a rash of criminal activity. Maybe they believe you're an easy target as they believe you wont press charges.
Hi NCY, surely loyalty cards were created as a way for shops to track shopping habits? They are a marketing tool and they do track what we buy? x
 
Satirical

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#10
Hey, Prairie!

It does sound like what's going on is a tad of a delusion. In this case, it's drawing conclusions where they don't really fit. Having a string of thefts and also suspicious burglaries at a church is bound to stir some tension, but I don't think anyone is actively pursuing you or your church. These things can happen, but they do not imply an imminent threat or government cooperation. Have you tried contacting local authorities to see if there is an investigation open on the case? If not, I would recommend trying it. If so, what did they tell you?
 
Kerome

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#11
Hi NCY, surely loyalty cards were created as a way for shops to track shopping habits? They are a marketing tool and they do track what we buy? x
I’m pretty sure that that is true and they do.
 
Prairie Sky

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#12
I’m pretty sure that that is true and they do.
Yes, the one for the store I work at tracks what you buy and then gives you special offers on things it thinks you might be interested in. I'm the only employee who doesn't have one.
 
Prairie Sky

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#13
Hey, Prairie!

It does sound like what's going on is a tad of a delusion. In this case, it's drawing conclusions where they don't really fit. Having a string of thefts and also suspicious burglaries at a church is bound to stir some tension, but I don't think anyone is actively pursuing you or your church. These things can happen, but they do not imply an imminent threat or government cooperation. Have you tried contacting local authorities to see if there is an investigation open on the case? If not, I would recommend trying it. If so, what did they tell you?
I haven't talked with the authorities personally; according to other people from church they say that they can't find the suspects but believe some could be part of a crime ring operating out of the nearby city. They seem to be handling each incident individually.
 
boudreauj4

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#15
I've experienced this same phenominon when doing a CBT thought record worksheet. I might have certain thoughts that are upsetting me so I write them down, then in the next column I try to write down alternative thoughts that are more rational or balanced that also might be more realistic, or a more probable explaination. After seeing what I come up with, the original automatic thoughts sometimes seem silly or I feel embarrassed for even thinking them. Just doing this in my head doesn't usually help much or cause the embarrassment. Seeing it on paper, written down has a much greater effect on me.

Another way of doing this is writing down the thought that is upsetting you. Then you write down all the things that support or prove this thought. Then you write down all the things that don't support or disprove the thought. Then re-reading what you wrote makes it sink into your mind better.
 
Kerome

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#16
Oy vey. This is embarrassing. It all looks so stupid now it's out in print.
It’s taken me years to acknowledge that some of the things that I thought during my psychosis may have been rather delusional, and that I was worse off than just hearing voices back then... you’re doing rather well to manage such a quick turnaround.
 
Prairie Sky

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#17
It’s taken me years to acknowledge that some of the things that I thought during my psychosis may have been rather delusional, and that I was worse off than just hearing voices back then... you’re doing rather well to manage such a quick turnaround.
The problem is it looks stupid but my mind is still insistent it's true. Very confusing.
 
boudreauj4

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#19
Ha, ha, I just wrote a long note as a response to someone that commented on one of my posts, and then I realized their comment wasn't to me so I just edited this post to delete everything I just said. I didn't see anywhere how to delete the entire post........
 
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Prairie Sky

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#20
I've experienced this same phenominon when doing a CBT thought record worksheet. I might have certain thoughts that are upsetting me so I write them down, then in the next column I try to write down alternative thoughts that are more rational or balanced that also might be more realistic, or a more probable explaination. After seeing what I come up with, the original automatic thoughts sometimes seem silly or I feel embarrassed for even thinking them. Just doing this in my head doesn't usually help much or cause the embarrassment. Seeing it on paper, written down has a much greater effect on me.

Another way of doing this is writing down the thought that is upsetting you. Then you write down all the things that support or prove this thought. Then you write down all the things that don't support or disprove the thought. Then re-reading what you wrote makes it sink into your mind better.
This is very good advice, thank you boudreau.
 
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