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The wikipedia definition of delusion is: A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

It's a probability but not an absolute. That's why it's defined as a belief. You could say there is intelligent life on Mars, but all of the probes and rovers we've sent say otherwise. However, nobody could say that's an absolute truth. You might say they might all be hiding underground for all we know. Nobody would probably agree with you, but nobody could disprove your statement.

If you modified your statement to say "probably false" then your first statement would be true. Your second statement starts with a truth, not a belief, and therefore is valid. I don't even want to go into what constitutes a truth. I'm sure the philosophy people on CB could create a whole thread on that.

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The thing about delusions, is that they are beliefs that exist (usually temporarily, thank god) without being based upon evidence or facts, or they are based upon some and taken to extremes so ridiculous that they are no longer rational. 

Also, the person's emotional attachment to the belief is so strong that they can't properly think about new facts or informations related to whether or not the belief is true or not and in which ways. 

I'd say delusions are a broken pattern of thinking which is not able to think about things without affectation or some breakage in the logic. 

Personally, and I realise this is controversial to some, but I think that most religious traditions are both delusional and tautological.  But they are socially guarded so much that some people freak out when you say that. 

Edited by Nystagmus
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I've had one a few years ago and 'til this day I can't work out if it was a delusion or if there was actually some truth to it.

I was doing a primary school degree at university and we had to do a few pracs. I kept failing my pracs and never could work out why as I was often told that my teaching and behaviour management were really good and I was never given an actual reason for why I had failed. So I started thinking that the university was contacting local schools and telling them to deliberately fail me as they wanted to show that not everyone can succeed in becoming a teacher.

I was so convinced of this that I sent off really long abusive emails to the head of the teaching program at the uni telling her that I had worked out the conspiracy and that I wouldn't let them get away with it. I was even planning on doing a national expose.

Looking back it probably was a paranoid delusion but a part of me thinks I may have been on to something especially since I was never actually told why I had failed.

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If something is a delusion, does it follow that it's false?

 

If something is true, does it follow that it's not a delusion?

For me yes, for both questions.  My delusions are always false, even though when I think them, they are completely true in my mind (when I am psychotic).  If it is true and I see it with my own eyes, then I know it is true.  The only exception/s to the first question is when I get a reality check of some sort, and the delusion actually turns out to be real.  But that is very rare for me.

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Thanks for the responses everyone. You've definitely given me some things to think about.

I think by definition a delusion is a false belief. Did you have something in mind?

Well... For example, I think I'm immortal, and that you could do almost anything to try to kill me and it wouldn't work. If you found something which did "work", then I'd just take a new body, or reincarnate.

On the other hand, I believe humans are probably just dead and gone when you kill them. So it's one of the things that makes me special.

Some people have told me this sounds delusional, but if they're right, would that mean it isn't true?

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Sometimes I wonder... What if it is all real? Who can really prove that it is not? But somehow telling myself my stories are just delusions makes me feel more sane. If that makes sense. 

Usually for me (when psychotic) delusions aren't real if I have reality checks that I can actually see/hold/etc.  I still want to believe the delusion/s, but if I have proof that what I am thinking is not real, then I don't believe them. 

The one exception is when people "communicate" with me and then play dumb when we are face to face, saying they don't know how to/can't speak with me like that unless in person or on the phone, then it is real.  I figure they are playing dumb though so they aren't the ones who seem "crazy."  They say it isn't real if people are thinking to each other, communicating that way.  There is something about what they say about that though that I kind of don't believe.  

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I saw patterns in numbers and was told it was a delusion due to my schizophrenia.  They said it was not real and it was part of my disease.  Over the years I have told what I saw to some friends and they see it now too. I am stable now and always wonder if I am crazy or if this is not actually a delusion.

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The thing about delusions, is that they are beliefs that exist (usually temporarily, thank god) without being based upon evidence or facts, or they are based upon some and taken to extremes so ridiculous that they are no longer rational.

I really like this definition.

I saw patterns in numbers and was told it was a delusion due to my schizophrenia.  They said it was not real and it was part of my disease.  Over the years I have told what I saw to some friends and they see it now too. I am stable now and always wonder if I am crazy or if this is not actually a delusion.

Seeing patterns in numbers is a good skill to have. You may have hit a tough spot there. Sometimes when we obsess over patterns and things that are hard to see it makes us look more ill. So a therapist might say, "It's not real", out of a knee jerk reaction. When in reality we just found something cool and have a mental illness. I deal with this once and a while because I have a mental illness and am a scientist in training and a psuedomath person.  It's when we start thinking those patterns are messages from mars telling us to decrypt the bible in a forgotten language to lead the chosen people to the stars that its a problem :)

my opinion -

I would say the experience is real. Absolutely earth shatteringly no way around it real when its happening. However, it's not shareably real in 'consentual reality'. So is it false? Depends on who is looking at it I guess. To the experiencer it might as well be true, but in most cases (in my experience) 99.9999% of the time the delusions don't live up to reality. One out of every thousand become real, and somehow though, that makes them all seem more real. It's taken me a bit of time to learn to cope with experiencing delusions by being a very passive person. 

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