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Grandiose thinking or big dreams?


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I have various things I'd like to do with my life. Move cross country. Write a book. Go to law school. I even at one point wanted to get a business degree and open my own nightclub. I was thinking about this one tonight.

And I sat back thinking, is this just a crazy thought? I haven't been sleeping lately. I've been having racing thoughts, feeling dissociated a little. Am I hypomanic? I just saw the pdoc yesterday. She didn't seem concerned but I didnt really mention these 'dreams.'

So are these just dreams that I would like to fulfill like every normal person or am I having grandiose thinking and minimizing it?

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hi,

to me there is a difference - am i thinking about it? or have i already invested hundreds of dollars into a business that isnt happening??

right now im thinking about a lot of things - taking a photography class or a religion class (due to time it cant be both....although there are parts of me that say "yes it can.") plus where am i gonna get the $$$ for these classes. even if the classes were free - id still have to find a reliable babysitter...blah blah blah.

so to me it is:

thinking???

or

spending real life money on ventures that dont happen.

and it sucks ass.

db

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could you write it all down?

then wait a few days... and read it again.

i think things make more sense or are clearer when you write it out - explaining things to yourself. (sometimes).

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I think context is important. The idea of writing them donw and looking at them a few days later is good.

How often do they occur? Are they realistically achievable goals?

We all have fantasies from childhood on of things we would like to be or accomplish. Big league hitter, rock and roll star, famous writer. Thats ok, and can be enjoyable and encouraging fantasies, as long as they don't interfere with our normal life. On the other hand, there are people who society considers "dreamers" who never really settle down and are constantly looking ahead to something better.

Do you see a pattern of grandiosity? Do these ideas come and go or re-intensify when you are having a hypo/manic episode? If so this could be one more of the classic symptoms for a bipolar episode. If on the other hand, you have always wanted to be a lawyer that may just be a dream, even if you are not able to achieve it.

Be sure to tell your pdoc about this question. Print out this thread as a reminder next time you see him.

I'm a little puzzled over your pdoc's non-reaction. The symptoms you list are normally red flags to a pdoc. Poor sleep, racing thoughts, dissociated feeling are all the indicators of a possible hypo/mixed/manic episode. If this gets worse or goes on for another week, I recommend that you call your pdoc immediately and tell them of your symptoms and concern. I don't know what your triggers are, but my pdoc would push my sleep meds and probably give me an AP to slow me down, just for example. Again, this depends on severity, and how this fits your usual pattern.

Hope you feel better, a.m.

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I did tell her I'm not sleeping well and she put me on a scheduled 2x daily dose of Zyprexa instead of my usual 'as needed' dose. She said it may help my "anxiety and sleep" but didnt mention mania outright. It was also her last day as she is a "fellow" and not on staff at the hospital. I get a new pdoc next month- about my 5th pdoc in a year because of the rotating fellowships and stretched thin psychiatry staff. Frustrating. The 2.5 mg of Zyprexa and 30 mg of Paxil a night isnt cutting it for me though. I'm wondering if I should take the whole 5 mg at night. She mentioned putting me on Vistaril for anxiety if the Zyprexa doesnt work because "this is the only combination that has worked for you."

The writing/law stuff is stuff I've always wanted to do. The nightclub thing was something I wanted to do before I got married/divorced/had kids, so I'm wondering if it is just me wanting that normalcy back again from before my life changed. Who knows.

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To me, there are dreams and then there are dreams.

I'd like to write a book too. Or let me rephrase that; I'd like to have written and published a book. Do I want to sit alone for days trying to write it? Live with the frustration of not being inspired or motivated for years maybe? Struggle with publishing companies? Hell no. But it's nice to think about.

On the other hand, you gotta keep those dreams alive. If you're interested in another part of the country (and not just relocating in itself) - visit it. If you're interested in law - read on your own/volunteer at a place which does that kind of work. If you're into writing - do it on your own/submit articles to a local newspaper/take a short class.

Do you know what I mean? Are you dreaming of the title itself (having that degree, having written that book, having opened up your own business), or are you dreaming of living with the hard work it takes every day, for years?

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So are these just dreams that I would like to fulfill like every normal person or am I having grandiose thinking and minimizing it?

I'm so glad you brought this up! I also have trouble figuring out the difference between dreaming big and grandiose thinking.

I know there's nothing wrong with having big dreams or lofty goals even if you're never actually able to totally achieve them. And I know it's okay to dream big then change your mind about following through for one legit reason or another. And I know that believing I can be queen of the universe is more than just a little grandiose.

But I'm extremely confused as to which category many of my thoughts and dreams fall into. Are they big, but achievable dreams that I eventually dismiss due to a lack of confidence, lack of stick-to-it-iveness, or simple laziness? Or are they grandious thoughts that seem achievable only while in a hypomanic haze?

In other words, where does creative dreaming stop and delusional thinking start?

Yikes. My head hurts.

-- Sara

"If you don't dream big, what's the use in dreaming?"

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I have various things I'd like to do with my life. Move cross country. Write a book. Go to law school. I even at one point wanted to get a business degree and open my own nightclub. I was thinking about this one tonight.

And I sat back thinking, is this just a crazy thought? I haven't been sleeping lately. I've been having racing thoughts, feeling dissociated a little. Am I hypomanic? I just saw the pdoc yesterday. She didn't seem concerned but I didnt really mention these 'dreams.'

So are these just dreams that I would like to fulfill like every normal person or am I having grandiose thinking and minimizing it?

Let's be VERY CLEAR on this one.

Big dreams are _not_ a disease, they are what we should have and have in abundance. They are our gift.

Being too weak to implement them is the disease.

Thus instead of fearing the big dreams, be motivated to work on the implementation.

What am I already committed to do? If I'm over committed, keep an "ideas book" where you park the Big Dreams until you have time.

What impediments do I have? Physical and mental illness, money problems, emotional problems, family problems. Maybe I need to park the idea somewhere until I'm stronger / find a work around.

Concentrate on the notion of Earned Value. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earned_value_management

Whatever you do, no matter what size, what scale.. No matter how Big the dream, no matter what the Dream...

* break it into small enough chunks

* prioritise the chunks into highest earned and bankable value soonest.

* then take whatever chunk you are already working on now and keep at it until you have earned and banked the value out of it.

* implement your ideas "Test First". Work out how you are going to test, prove, declare fit, know whether it works first. Then implement

whatever it takes to pass that test, demonstrate that it worked, prove the concept, show its real and bank the value.

Learn to park ideas. Good Ideas improve with time. No matter the ruddy TV infomercials say, very very very few things in this world require you to act now or lose. In fact, the greater the time pressure, the higher the certainty of return you must require.

Once you have a small bankable chunk, with reality check thought through and ready in mind, let rip, just do it, prove it, bank it and seek forgiveness later with the value in your pocket and a smile on your face.

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Sometimes my dreaming and planning is not a full blown grandiose delusion but it is a way of escaping a painful reality by going to a future place that I would enjoy being in more. That can be a coping mechanism in and of itself. I think you have to look at the impact on your own life of such dreaming.

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I definitely prefer the title over the work. LOL But that was true with becoming a mommy - I preferred the title over the job but now have both. And same with having a degree - I liked the idea of saying I was a college graduate but not the work put into it, but I did it anyway. So while I prefer the title over the work, I definitely know the work goes with it.

But I have thoughts in the middle of the night like, "I'm going to sign up for a degree in business so I can learn what I need to know to open my own nightclub."

As far as writing, I am clueless as to what really goes into writing a book or trying to get it published so I have always just said, "I'd like to write a book." But never really took the time to see what that entails. Funny, writing is more important to me than the nightclub idea.

I think of moving cross country with 2 kids and say forget it. it's too hard. But it's something I'd LIKE to do. I DREAM of doing it. Making the dream a reality and putting the work in, I'm not so fond of. LOL

So wacky.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest lostinthoughtandjaded

My only way of differentiating is that Big dreaming involves planning and time, but Grandiose dreaming makes you feel like it's gotta be done nownownownownow.

When I feel like I can't wait an hour or a day to do something, I try and remember that it's an impulse, and not necessarily a productive thought.

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My only way of differentiating is that Big dreaming involves planning and time, but Grandiose dreaming makes you feel like it's gotta be done nownownownownow.

When I feel like I can't wait an hour or a day to do something, I try and remember that it's an impulse, and not necessarily a productive thought.

I like that! Thanks!

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