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SugarBooger

Psychic or Psychotic

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So let's say you can read people. You have the ability to accurately read tarot cards for people and can even hear the voices of their deceased family members. You hear voices of people talking and they are sometimes telling you things about strangers that the strangers can verify. Sometimes they're just talking or laughing to no one in particular. Let's also say that you believe that birds are personal messengers for you and they relay information to you from your deceased father.

Where's the line then, between spiritualism/psychic behavior and psychosis? Like, should your doctor know these things, or since they're relatively harmless, is it ok to just kinda leave them out of your symptom list? How about if you're already taking all the meds you'd need if it were actual psychosis? Is it ok to leave them out then?

I'm so interested in what people have to say about this! It's been a topic of obsession for me for weeks.

Edited by SugarBooger

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You really need to be telling your pdoc all of this, and letting him or her decide how it should be handled. Honestly, hearing voices is always a psychotic symptom, as far as I'm concerned.

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Is this something that you are experiencing currently?

I had something similar a few years ago. I was receiving messages from dead relatives and it was horrible experience. :Trigger: The messages were about things such as self harm and suicide. This on top of the thought control that I had and also the depression.

Then also I have times (much more recently) where I will receive messages say in the baseline of other people's music. I had to tell myself (this being before I went on meds it bothered me more) that yes the messages were there but I had better things to do than decode them. Personally I found all this stuff to be very annoying.

Also when I was a teenager, I would receive messages from God. Many of them were directing me how to live as I was to be some important Messiah, then later I amended my understanding of what these messages meant to that I was a Prophet. The messages would come as either voices or thought insertion.

But I would tell your pdoc about this. Nobody here can diagnose you, but it does sound more to me that this stuff is part of a psychotic experience. But then I do not believe in psychic abilities personally. Pdoc should be able to make that distinction.

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A huge part of whether you have an issue that you need help with is how it's affecting your life. If it's not negatively affecting you, it's less important/problematic. You could do an experiment with AAP's to see if adding them gets rid of your experiences. That would be an indicator. Yes, you are taking Geodon, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's effective enough. Bringing it up to your pdoc - especially to discuss the Geodon, is a good idea. I would stick with the spiritual stuff like tarot cards and finding meanings where there may be none at first.. then go on to the voices etc if your pdoc brushes it aside.

I personally believe that people experience things out of the realm of logic that cannot be explained, but are nonetheless real. My general belief when it comes to possible psychosis, is treat first to err on the side of caution.

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Guest Vapourware

Generally speaking, how I'd draw the line between psychic and psychotic is whether or not it is controllable. My experience of spiritualism has been that the energy flows into you, and you can control how much energy enters you, and when the energy leaves.

If you are hearing voices unbidden, it is probably more of a manifestation of psychosis.

I read tarot cards too, and also am fairly accurate, but that's more about energy flowing into the cards and being able to accurately interpret what is being said. I haven't told my treatment team that I read tarot cards, because I think it is superfluous to my symptoms, but if you are hearing voices, I would definitely be telling someone.

There was a time before my auditory hallucinations were controlled that I used to think I was having conversations with God, but now that they have gone away, my head is a rather more serene and peaceful place.

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pragmatically speaking (and according to the DSM) what doesn't disrupt your life does not constitute a mental disorder. there are such specifiers for every disorder.

it is ultimately your choice whether not not to describe your experiences to your doctor, but if you've had psychotic experiences that did disrupt your life before (or even if you didn't), whatever you are hearing or seeing now could be either a warning of more severe psychotic symptoms to come, or residual symptoms that, if they're gone, may lead to better quality of life. also, if you tell your doctor it may lead to a more accurate diagnosis and better treatment in the future. as cetkat said, the type and dosage of the antipsychotic you are taking may not necessarily be effective (although of course neither her nor i know that for sure).

of course, some of what you may be experienced may be spirituality and not psychosis. pdocs are trained to try and differentiate the two. if you trust yours, bring it up and discuss it with her/him.

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The main concern I have is that this might become worse if it's not dealt with. Right now the voices aren't harmful, but that doesn't mean they can't become harmful later on.

I'm also concerned about the degree to which they might interfere with your life. They can still be taking up an inordinate amount of your time and energy, even if they don't actually bother you. You did say you've been obsessing over this issue for weeks.

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After suffering through psychosis, I have to say I now believe a lot of weird stuff. I believe people are abducted by aliens. I believe in hypnosis and thought control. I believe in machines to control people's brains. I believe in telepathy. I believe God talks to people. I believe in demon possession. And, YES, I BELIEVE IN PSYCHICS. I actually know a man who told me he heard my voice in his head about a year before he met me. He told me I was laughing. Laughing hysterically is actually one of my worst symptoms because I will literally laugh for 2 hours straight. I never told him this was one of my symptoms, but I did tell him that I believed he was psychic.

Even though I believe in all this stuff, I believe it's very difficult to open up the mind to these capabilities without making it sick. For example, the man who heard the voices of people he was about to meet was so bothered by the voices that he had to seek help. He also had anger issues and other emotional problems.

With that said, there are also people who just suffer from old-fashioned delusions with no special talents. When I was in the hospital, one woman kept saying, "I'm going to have 17 children. You know how I know? God told me." The woman was about 45 years old and said that 100 times a day. She was just plain crazy.

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Thanks everyone, for your answers. Up until I switched to geodon I was still hearing the voices. I haven't heard anything in the last 3 weeks, but I haven't tried, either. Psychic or not, I don't think I *want* to be anymore. I think that's why I'm looking for evidence that it's psychosis, not psychic. Some of the things, like the birds and tarot don't bother me too much. But mentally seeing and hearing people can be distracting and occasionally disturbing. Trying to fall asleep with people talking in your ear or laughing maniacally isn't comfortable. I'm switching doctors next month because I'm moving out of state. I'm going to confess to my next one and start off with full disclosure, even if it gives me a different diagnosis.

By the way, giving readings to someone when you're telling them about their deceased relatives is scary, hard and the pressure is immense. It's so hard to get it right and people will try to make it fit, even if you're a little (or sometimes a LOT) off. I do them online (for free - I don't play the money game, I think it's unethical) so I don't even know if I'm really telling them anything accurate at all. Some people will lie so that they don't hurt your feelings. That's what I usually believe they are doing.

On the other hand, it's awfully fun to believe you're psychic. blush.gif

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i think the psychotic/psychic line is hard to draw, but one indicator would be disruption of life function.

anna

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I was in a similar place for quite awhile with the tarot and such. A few years ago I stumbled across a podcast called the Skeptics Guide to the Universe. It often attempts to explain/explore phenomena of this type with a skeptical mindset that I found VERY helpful. I didn't want that "skill" anymore. In hindsight what I think was happening is that a) I am a very creative person and b) when I'm in the "fun" stage of mania I have rapid recall and association skills that haven't yet started to form too tenuous of connections between things and I am somewhat charismatic so people cut me slack when I "miss" and gush when I come close to something that makes sense.

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I was in a similar place for quite awhile with the tarot and such. A few years ago I stumbled across a podcast called the Skeptics Guide to the Universe. It often attempts to explain/explore phenomena of this type with a skeptical mindset that I found VERY helpful. I didn't want that "skill" anymore. In hindsight what I think was happening is that a) I am a very creative person and b) when I'm in the "fun" stage of mania I have rapid recall and association skills that haven't yet started to form too tenuous of connections between things and I am somewhat charismatic so people cut me slack when I "miss" and gush when I come close to something that makes sense.

This makes a lot of sense to me. The thing is, I worry that continuing to practice, therefore encourage, the voices will lead to bad things. In the psychic word you have to protect yourself from the negative entities from coming in. I'm worried that If I continue on, maybe those are the voices that will take over and kind of push me over the edge.

Either way, I think I'm going to stop doing all this. And, I'm going to come clean with my doctor. It's time to let the fantasy go.

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Good for you for coming clean the with doctor.

I agree with a few, catch it early before it becomes really bad.

Good luck with your doctor, I hope all goes well and it gets sorted out.

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unless your doc is into Jungian ideas and among the few that believe in the metaphysical, telling your doc will only do one thing- he will tell you that is crazy and all psychics are crazy. I think if you are able to function OK in your life, you can choose to believe in the metaphysical if you want to. People pray to God and believe He answers prayers -would you feel the need to tell your doc that? No probably not b/c it is an acceptable thing to do,our culture sees that is OK. If you tell your doc you can communicate with the dead and do accurate tarot card reading you will just be dealing with his own personal ideas of what he feels is right or wrong.

I think the key here is

do the voices tell you to hurt others or yourself? If not and they don't bother you then I think it is possible you could be psychic. I do believe some people are. Psychiatry says anyone who talks to the dead is nuts. That is their viewpoint.

Jungian therapy is very much into metaphysical cal.

if you don't have problems, why make them? Do you know that if you went to a tarot board they would tell you to relish your gift?

consider how you function, what the voices say, and if they are negatively affecting your life.

BTW, many folks on tarot boards have experiences with spirit animals and believe just like you do . It is all in your perspective and if it is not harming anyone, why throw away a gift?

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I think the key here is

do the voices tell you to hurt others or yourself?

When I was a teenager, yes. Now - it's mostly the mocking laughter that I don't like. However, there was one VERY scary night when it did tell me to hurt someone else. I did not, thankfully, listen to it. That was within the last year or two.

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I don't think a psychosis delineating point is whether or not the voices tell you to hurt yourself or others. It's just the simple fact of hearing cohesive thoughts and words that have no physical reason to be there.

I personally don't hold much in the belief of the spiritual side of life, and more specifically in the thoughts on what happens after death/heaven/hell/etc. So I can't comment on your personal abilities beyond what I said above.

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My (admittedly biased) opinion is that if it doesn't bother or hurt you or if it doesn't make living your life difficult, then treating it is optional (though encouraged under the prevention model of treatment). But after deciding to treat the unusual things, you get to discover if treating them is better than not (an "is the grass is greener on the other side" kind of idea I suppose). I personally find treating my unusual thoughts/beliefs much more problematic than living with them, but people are different and you might find you feel better treating them. However, for one to take this approach requires a sufficient amount of insight to know what is and what is not your personal norm (and being aware that that norm is not the norm for the majority of people in the first place).

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OK, if the voices have told you to harm yourself or others then I find that the basis of whether they are a "gift" or psychosis.

Also, folks who have these 'gifts" are able to lead normal lives , have friends, work-- you know, the normal life stuff. Usually folks who have psychosis can't do that so that kinda is diagnostic by itself.

After you start of new meds see if the voices go away. Try and do a tarot reading and see if you can. many folks who read tarot feel the cards just tap into the subconscious, so northing crazy going on there.

I like to play with tarot cards and find them harmless. I don't try and communicate with the dead, however as first I don't think that is possible .

Your spiritual beliefs are your own and your doc should not interfere with that. if it all goes away when you change meds then it was probably not a gift, just psychosis.

we give up so much of our lives to a psychiatrist, they tell us what is OK and what is not. a person should be able to believe anything they want as long as they are not harming themselves or others.

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Hm.

I believe that spirits do hang around, and that they may make contact. But not unbidden.

As you have clarified, hearing voices telling you to self harm sounds like psychosis.

Serendipity has followed me around for my whole life and my acknowledging it was fine, but me reading into it and looking for answers in it was, imo, psychosis.

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