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Most bizarre/disturbing delusions?


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I am curious as to what other people with BP have experienced in the way of delusions. I always thought that whatever I'd experienced couldn't be nearly as bad as what people with schizophrenia (etc) experienced, but I've realized that I just don't know. What's normal, in terms of psychosis, for bipolar disorder?

Also, if anyone else feels like talking about this, what was the most disturbing/hardest to shake of your delusions? I haven't been truly psychotic in several years, but I had some really bad periods throughout high school. They often involved me perceiving changes in my body that weren't really there.

In 9th grade (right after 9/11) I got carpal tunnel syndrome, and around the exact same time I also had my first ever cold sore. They were going around at school, and even though I tried my best not to drink after people or get too close to the water fountains, I got it. No big deal, eh? For some reason, at this point, I took to spending all day (outside of school) curled up in my room either asleep or crying. I wore a huge coat all day at school because I was freezing and used the hood as a pillow and slept during class. A month into this, I was pretty convinced that something was wrong with my immune system, like a defect or something, and that I was dying. It took a few months to really break myself of that one, and no numbers of doctors telling me I didn't have lupus or arthritis would shake me of it. That was really the worst of it.

I'm trying to think if I was ever delusional while manic. I know I came close a few times, but that kind of thing is hard to recognize, even in retrospect.

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For about a month in June of '07 I was convinced that my brain was rotting inside my head and that the gasses were escaping through my ear holes and nose holes and my mouth hole and eye holes.. I was also convinced that everyone could smell it. I went so far as to wear a mask over my nose and mouth like a surgical mask to try to keep as much of them from escaping as possible.

Several times I swear off electronics completely because I fear that if I touch them that they will communicate to my pdoc what my thoughts are and just how screwed up my thoughts are. Especially during the time that I thought my brain was rotting.

I've covered all the windows in my apartment once with aluminum foil and wrote in binary code on it with magic marker to keep the shadow men out. Because the shadow men only understood binary code. I also put a giant manifesto on the front door as well in binary code on aluminum foil for the same protection.

There's a lot of other things too but I don't write about that.

Oh yeah i forgot. I shaved the cat once because I thought that it would stop the family from fighting. And it did.

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The absolute worst? Someone punishing me from the grave. Everything that happened to me was out of my control & occurring because of them. They were holding the puppet strings and I couldn't find a way to appease them. They 'made' me insane & suicidal, caused my panic attacks & insomnia all night every night. They 'caused' my work & financial woes. I was constantly paranoid & living in fear about what they would 'do' to me next.

I didn't even have the slightest hint that I was actually delusional at the time (when asked by doc if I suffered from delusions I gave a definite 'NO'). Horrendous. Was glad to snap out of that one (required a shitload of meds though).

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wtf? the cat? by far my favourite. Why did that stop them fighting?

I don't know why it stopped them from fighting. It may have had something to do with me coming out of the bathroom holding the shaved cat up over my head like a trophy.

Poor kitty. It took forever for the hair to grow back.

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My delusions? Constantly thinking people can read my mind and I can read their's - I get visions in my head of what they are saying/doing. Thinking my thoughts are being broadcasted over the tv and the news, reading special messages in adverts. Thinking my dead dad has turned me into some kind of manic studying puppet and is controlling the random music on my MP3 player. Thinking the psych nurses can hear and see everything I do and are using black magic rituals on me and controlling my bowels, bladder, menstrual and metabolism systems. Hearing constant command voices and having compulsions to do things in a certain way or time or else something terrible will happen. Believing I was a psychic conduit for a war between Israel and Greece. Believing I have the powers of telepathy and telekinesis. But mainly centred around thought broadcasting. I am more schizo than bipolar though. When I have mania I just think I'm the world's greatest thing, act silly and buy courses upon courses and dresses upon dresses and end up in debt

blackbird x

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Yep the psychosis can be just as bad as schizophrenia to the point of not being able to tell the difference. People think schizophrenia is the worst maybe because of the homeless issue. With bipolar one might think one can fly and jump off a building. Is that better or worse than homelessness? The same meds help for both. My psychotic symptoms are thinking sounds in my environment are commenting on my thoughts. Same for the sounds that I hallucinate. I think everything is a plot and nothing is real. My job is a fake job one etc etc.... Once I believed my thought could control the speed of a train. You get the idea.

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Even though I believe it is real as real can be, to the "outsider" it seems delusional and I realize this. I know that there is a bomb in my neck and I have to cut it out, I tried once but I didn't press hard enough, didn't even bleed. The bomb can destroy an entire country, more powerful than a nuke and it uses technology from 200 years from now. The gov implanted it in there. I love the gov! I also have a brain chip that sends signals to a spy satellite that are my thoughts and then it beams it down to FBI/CIA headquarters so they can listen to my thoughts. This satellite is also armed with lasers so they can shoot me if they don't feel like using the bomb or if I get the bomb out successfully. It is like a big "test" that the government is putting me through right now, to see if I am willing to hurt myself to save others. I am scared for my life, I feel like crying even though I am very happy (not that this is taking place but my art business succeeding and my speaking career taking off faster than I thought was possible) and I don't want the gov to ruin my happiness. There are also tiny nanobots which are very small machines that the government uses. They can be used for good or for evil and guess which one the gov is using it for? I actually feel it moving inside of me at times. I hear the bomb as well and feel the pressure of it where it is. The gov also said that the nanobots can either kill me or turn my bones and muscles into metal and I will become a robot. Then there are the aliens from another galaxy. They have told me that I am special for them but I don't know what that means. They want to invade Earth and capture/ abduct me. This is no joke, this is all real. Not a delusion because I see it, feel it, hear it, and there have been times where I smell it. I know all this information because of thought insertion from the brain chip that was implanted in me. I sometimes hear the cloaked FBI/CIA agents in my house making noise, talking, or even footsteps. They are the ones responsible for doing all this to me. They said that they had to do it because I am the cause of the current recession or great depression or whatever you want to call it.

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Mine isn't that "terrible" but I was convinced once - for about six months - that the reason I couldn't find a job is because there was a conspiracy between all of the businesses in the city I was living in to not hire me. I just knew that every time I applied for a job they would interview me for "show" but then not hire me because they had heard from the other employers that I wasn't good enough for hire (that I was crazy). I really thought that they'd had a meeting (the ones I'd interviewed with - and the one's I'd sent resumes to) just about me and how and why not to hire me.

Even the temp companies couldn't get work for me after the initial interview... I knew it was a conspiracy to not let me work. I just knew it. I didn't know how to stop it, but the only reason I found work is because I changed careers to and someone who liked me hired me.

Of course I *know* there was no conspiracy. But you couldn't convince me of it at the time.

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Hi Protagonist

Also, if anyone else feels like talking about this, what was the most disturbing/hardest to shake of your delusions?

Here is an incomplete(!) list of my past delusions:

  • thinking I was a witch (this involved placing bundles of sticks strategically around the garden),
  • thinking I had special powers (psychic, witch-related powers),
  • thinking I could interpret information in my dictionary and that there was a secret code in the definitions of words and I was transmitting this knowledge to Greece,
  • thinking it was WWIII because all the lights were out (not connecting darkness with it being three am in the morning),
  • thinking my ex and his friends could read my mind and were sending me messages inside my mind in code,
  • thinking my brain was just a computer chip board being programmed by the Beijing thought police,
  • thinking my mind was being read,
  • thinking radio broadcasters knew who I was and could see what I was doing and were talking directly to me,
  • thinking my kitchen was installed with video cameras (think the Truman show),
  • thinking my phones were bugged,
  • thinking the Mafia was out to get me,
  • thinking my dad was in a cult and was being told to kill himself (involved me ringing the police),
  • thinking planes were dropping chemicals over my neighbourhood,
  • thinking the house was on fire,
  • thinking that another person had invaded my dad's body and taken him over.

Some of the more obvious ones were easy to shake with enough drugging up. Others persist, especially the one about people being able to read my mind. It would be good for me to do some work with a pdoc on this one as I suspect that it might help.

I always thought that whatever I'd experienced couldn't be nearly as bad as what people with schizophrenia (etc) experienced, but I've realized that I just don't know. What's normal, in terms of psychosis, for bipolar disorder?

Imho there is such a thing as good or bad delusion. Even though schizophrenia is more debilitating than BP the experience of delusions is traumatic for anyone. As you might imagine from reading my list, remembering some of these things still shocks me to the core. Maybe I am schizophrenic(?)... I've never really understood the difference... if you go crazy you go crazy, the category is just arbitrary.

I'm trying to think if I was ever delusional while manic. I know I came close a few times, but that kind of thing is hard to recognize, even in retrospect.

Hypochondria is a delusion if you ask me.

xSara

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I've never been one for delusions past your garden variety 'my friends are plotting against me/people on the street want to kill me/I can hear your thoughts' episodes. Now hallucinations are another story. I've just kinda trained myself to go 'so the people on the train station's faces are melting, huh? That's gunna take them a while to clean up when they get home'.

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I had delusions once, though kinda boring compared to some on here.

While in a bad state I was going kinda off the rails. I thought songs on the radio were meant especially for me.

I thought I could project illnesses into people. I thought I made a nurse on the psych ward sick.

I thought I had special powers of psychic ability and telekinesis and got depressed if the powers didn't show themselves.

I thought nurses on the ward had plotted to kill me with shampoo they gave me.

A shipment that was received at the ward I thought was meant for me, and it's contents were meant to punish me. I even asked the nurse this who could not make sense of anything I said.

I don't hear voices though, and haven't gotten to the point of hallucinations.

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When I was in jr high and HS I was terrified to miss a day of school b/c I knew that everyone would talk about me and decide to ostracize me. Like I thought they would hold a meeting and decide that they had put up with my weirdness long enough.

I've heard voices telling me that people are watching me and talking about me.

For awhile in the late 90's/early 2000 I was convinced that I had to act as normal as possible or I'd be hauled off to the nut hatch.

I often hear voices telling me what an awful person I am.

Sometimes you feel like a nut....

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For awhile in the late 90's/early 2000 I was convinced that I had to act as normal as possible or I'd be hauled off to the nut hatch.

Oh my, Phoenix, we missed a real opportunity to bond over coffee. I would have gone with a French roast not quite dark enough to match my mood while sharing fears about the horrible medieval asylum and how they would come to take me away... although perhaps on my better days it would have been a lighter blend and a more modern institution. Lol, we could have sung, They're coming to take me away, haha, hehe, which was running thru my head all.the.effing.time back then, too. ;)

For a while I was convinced the knives in my kitchen would attack if they saw me.

I believed my employers were conspiring to fire me a few times.

I believed that when I got in my car I thought broadcasted to the traffic cops all my transgressions and bad thoughts so they were conspiring to get me.

I believed that beyond the fog, that was in my head, the world drop off to the universe abyss.

I believed it was okay for some of the fog to be in my home.

I suspect there's more. I'm still finding stuff from the many unmedicated years which is a little discombobulating. I guess it's one of the s/e's of finally stabilizing.

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For a while I was convinced the knives in my kitchen would attack if they saw me.

Wow, that reminded me. For a long time I believed that if I didn't put my knives away every night, they would somehow fly through the air and attack me. I don't know if it was the knives themselves attacking me, or if I believed ghosts would take them up, but I have a clear picture of knives flying through the air, and I knew that I had to put them all away. I had to put them safely into drawers. Every night. I was even wary of them during the day, but it was stronger at night.

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I've not been "lucky" enough to suffer psychosis other than substance induced (another point toward the Cyclothymia dx, IMO) but I do have moments when I fear that my friends and co-workers are pissed at me. I think its a valid fear considering how much of a bitch I can be when I'm mixed or irritable hypomanic. When I'm not sure of my perceptions, I look for objective data rather than go by my feelings but even then I can't totally trust my perception. So I talk to my friends about my thoughts to get their perspective when I'm unsure. Delusions are fixed and false beliefs so I don't think worrying about others' feelings qualify.

I was delusional while high from huffing gasoline as a teen. I remember running around my garage thinking that someone was killing me. I had A/V hallucinations as well.

When I was pregnant with my 3rd son, I had an intractable migraine for 5 weeks. I had a moment when I heard music when none was playing. I also experienced the room getting smaller and spinning while various parts of my body blew up like a balloon. I also felt like I was constantly falling, floating or sliding. I later found out this was "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome" and is not uncommon with extreme migraines. Betwen the high dose steroids, lack of sleep and heavy narcs, I wouldn't be surprised if I was hallucinating to some degree, though.

Regarding whether people with schizophrenia have it worse than those with BP, most schizophrenics get to the point where their psychosis never completely resolves. That is a hallmark of schizophrenia. From what I have learned, many patients in their late 50s (especially those who have been poorly controlled throughout much of their life) plateau out wherein they never really get any better or any worse. At that point, they've learned to deal with their psychosis and can usually tell when they are hallucinating or delusional. Its when they go off their meds or the meds stop working that trouble starts up again. Honestly, this group of patients are my favorite. ;)

I'd like to hear the perspective of someone with schizoaffective disorder, though. They probably have a unique perspective. Schizoaffective dx are gaining in popularity to describe a person with both mood disorder symptoms and schizophrenia symptoms. True schizophrenia is rarely associated with mood disturbance so they needed a description for it. Schizoaffective prognosis is about as favorable as bipolar, maybe a little less if its a depressive type. My own mother is schizoaffective but lacks insight into her illness so I can't ask her.

(Note to self: Rereading this, I see that I have empoyed one of the "circling around" techniques when I am tangential. I thought about editing it to make it more coherent and oriented but eh, screw it...sorry.)

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I've not been "lucky" enough to suffer psychosis other than substance induced (another point toward the Cyclothymia dx, IMO)

Nah, I'm definitely BPII and I've never had much in the way of psychosis. Some stuff bordering on it, but it seem more anxiety-related. My reality checking is always in place.

The difference is the severity of symptoms and ability to function. Which is all pretty subjective.

I don't know if it matters though-- the treatment is the about the same for both.

Eventually you'll figure it out. It only took my about 10 years. (Argh.)

It doesn't really matter...I think I just like second-guessing my pdoc and maintaining some illusion of control by "knowing" more than her. Or maybe cyclothymic just sounds better to me for some unknown reason. I'm such a stubborn git. ;)

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