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Wonderful.Cheese

What is an irrational thought (in psych terminology)?

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I told my tdoc about my back neighbor spying on me and taking pics of me and the possibility of cameras installed by said neighbor, and tdoc said that was an irrational thought. I didn’t quite follow.

She said something else about how it doesn’t make sense for neighbor to do that and to look at the facts, such as neighbor is probably just mowing her lawn. I looked confused (I was confused because I know neighbor is taking pics of me without my permission), tdoc then said “sorry I don’t want to make you feel more anxious and confused.”

So then tdoc said to replace the negative thought that neighbor was spying on me with a more neutral or positive thought to stay positive. Which kind of made sense. I do want to be more positive.

But when I told this to pdoc a few weeks ago she said it was a delusion and part of my SZA. It’s embarrassing to bring up so I had been putting off telling tdoc because of certain privacy details. So just what the heck is an irrational thought then? How does it compare to a delusion? If at all?

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5 minutes ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

I told my tdoc about my back neighbor spying on me and taking pics of me and the possibility of cameras installed by said neighbor, and tdoc said that was an irrational thought. I didn’t quite follow.

She said something else about how it doesn’t make sense for neighbor to do that and to look at the facts, such as neighbor is probably just mowing her lawn. I looked confused (I was confused because I know neighbor is taking pics of me without my permission), tdoc then said “sorry I don’t want to make you feel more anxious and confused.”

So then tdoc said to replace the negative thought that neighbor was spying on me with a more neutral or positive thought to stay positive. Which kind of made sense. I do want to be more positive.

But when I told this to pdoc a few weeks ago she said it was a delusion and part of my SZA. It’s embarrassing to bring up so I had been putting off telling tdoc because of certain privacy details. So just what the heck is an irrational thought then? How does it compare to a delusion? If at all?

I think delusions are irrational but not all irrational thoughts are delusions. CBT aims to address irrational thoughts and replace them, but these thoughts aren’t necessarily part of a delusional pattern. For example, a student makes one mistake on a test and immediately jumps to the conclusion that they are a terrible student, even though One mistake does not necessarily support this conclusion. This is typically referred to as a “cognitive distortion.” A delusion is prevailing, illogical thought. While the conclusion that you are a bad student may be baseless, a delusion is much more removed from reality, ex “I got this test wrong because the university is conspiring to make me fail.” ... something that is beyond the scope of a “normal” person (normal in quotes because we all know how useless that term can be) 

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10 hours ago, Iceberg said:

I think delusions are irrational but not all irrational thoughts are delusions. CBT aims to address irrational thoughts and replace them, but these thoughts aren’t necessarily part of a delusional pattern. For example, a student makes one mistake on a test and immediately jumps to the conclusion that they are a terrible student, even though One mistake does not necessarily support this conclusion. This is typically referred to as a “cognitive distortion.” A delusion is prevailing, illogical thought. While the conclusion that you are a bad student may be baseless, a delusion is much more removed from reality, ex “I got this test wrong because the university is conspiring to make me fail.” ... something that is beyond the scope of a “normal” person (normal in quotes because we all know how useless that term can be) 

Thank you wise iceberg!!!!! You are so smart! This now makes a lot more sense to me. I understand the difference now. I didn’t know what the heck tdoc was talking about but now I do! Thank you again!

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Donald Trump won the election? They're putting chemicals in the water that are making the frogs gay? What's irrational is something I've sometimes wondered about. I might be a little bit crazy but I'm not ranting about gay frogs or anything. That's normal and rational is it? The world is pretty crazy and irrational. How do you even begin to make the distinction? I remember a story about a guy who was living with an African tribe (Robert Sapolsky), and a woman with schizophrenia ran at him naked and threw a dead goat at him. They were kind to her and took her to a hospital. Other people in the tribe knew she had problem and that she heard voices. But, because of their belief system, they all regularly heard voices, and Sapolsky asks "If you all hear voices then what is it that makes her crazy?" And the response was "She hears voices at the wrong time." And the moral of the story is that it's all socially defined, and "normal people" are often far from rational.

Sorry. Probably not very helpful. It's just something I've wondered about myself. "They're turning the freaking frogs gay!" O......K. I'm going to slowly back away now.  Alex Jones seems to be very successful but the guy's fucking crazy. I try to be rational and skeptical, and probably having a mental illness has contributed to this. Am I being rational? Doesn't always help but I guess it's given me an outlook which always questions people's bullshit opinions. Gay frogs! Pfft, fucking hell!

None of this is especially helpful is it? I suppose I mean that when you know that you're a bit crazy you try to be a rational and normal member of society, only to discover that "normal people" are completely irrational and crazy.

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Cheese. I don't know if your neighbor is taking pictures. That would be unusual, but possible.  But, if you think of reasons why she may be: She admires your lawn or clothes or hairstyle or is testing out her camera, it may help calm you.

I used to think I was being followed and filmed , but I never saw anyone. That was a delusion (at least that is what I am told).  it works better for me if I go along with that then  to insist it is true, even though I have doubts.  I don't feel I am being followed anymore. It stopped years ago.  A lot of things stopped at one time, with a medication change, which is more evidence that it was not real.

Fluent in Silence is right. There are a lot of things so called "normies" believe that could be called delusions or irrational, but they are accepted.

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@Fluent In Silence you make a great point. My psych advisor (and professor in several different classes) would start each new class with a reminder that cultural norms will always have an  inseparable relationship with our method of “assessing” psychology 

Edited by Iceberg

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