Hallucinations and delusions are unrealistic beliefs that are made of a wrong interpretation of one’s experience and observation. Delusions are often based on an agonizing or frightening experience. Sometimes delusions are born in a situatuation that reminds of a traumatic childhood memory. Delusions are a common symptom of schizophrenia and delusional disorder but delusions can be a symptom of a psychotic depression.
There are different kinds and different levels of delusions. Especially schizophrenic delusions can be very odd. Typically delusions are unrealistic beliefs of being persecuted or being followed by someone. I am not diagnosed with schizophrenia but my own delusions are mostly about being persecuted or followed. A person can also believe that that he/she is being talked or written about on a tv, radio or magazine. Grandeur delusions make a person think he/she is better and greater than anyone else. Religious beliefs make a person believe he/she is a God or next to God. Delusions can also be erotic, somatic or jealous.
Like I already wrote, my delusions are beliefs of being persecuted or followed. I have to say that I really don’t know when or how everything started but I believe there must have been many factors and not just one. When it happened had to be a special time and place too like staying awake all night long with three small children and being dead tired and exhausted. I believe my neighbours follow, talk ill and persecute me. I believe they think I am worse and judge whatever I am doing.
These unrealistic thoughts have made me avoid things that make me anxious. I avoid situations where I could meet my neighbours. I avoid talking with them or any other action. Just thinking of these situations make me anxious and panic. I can’t go outside, not even my own yard, I can’t take trash out or get mail. I can barely walk to my car. I do it because I have to but it’s a chaos in my head. This is how it has been several years now. I used to go outside with my kids and work on backyard but now I just can’t anymore. Anxiety makes it impossible.
Few years ago I had a great opportunity to work with a psychologist. I met this psychologist once a week and we worked on my delusions and avoiding certain things that the delusions caused. There is only one effective way to win this battle and that is to put yourself in these situations over and over again until you gain some good experiences. I can tell you that these practices are so hard! But you have to do it in order to survive as a winner. These excercises are very slow, I am talking about a few minutes at a time here. Unfortunately working with the psychologist ended too soon. Even though it was effective, I don’t believe I would have gotten rid of my fears.
At the moment, the current situation feels hopeless. I don’t feel safe to go outside. I rather not to go to the car. Leaving the house doesn’t feel good. I take fright every little noise that comes from outside. Sometimes I am scared or shadows that I see. Those shadows probably aren’t real.
When moving out to a new house was a sure thing I felt relieved about my delusions being history soon. Finally I would get rid of these false beliefs of being followed, harrased and spied on. Years and years of suffering was about to be over. Soon I could sit on my terrace enjoying sunshine and feeling safe and relaxed.
Or that’s what I thought.
It didn’t take long to realize I am not getting rid of these delusions even though it seemed for a while that I was going to survive as a winner. Soon stress and anxiety took over my mind. I haven’t even met my new neighbours but soon I had made acquaintance with them in my mind. And let me tell you that was not a very pleasant acquaintance. I was having bad dreams too. I wish I could get rid of anxiety and fear when sleeping but no… False hope. Anxiety attacks happened on a daily basis and my mind was so sensitive and fragile that I was on my toes all the time.
Fortunately I was able to re-schedule my appointment with a nurse so I could talk about all this with someone professional. The nurse told me exactly the same thing I had realised – delusions won’t go away with moving to a new address. But good news is that I have a new and fresh beginning and new opportunity to fight against delusions. We also talked about exposure exercises and that I am in a good place right now because I understand all this so it will be easier to start my fight against the delusions.
I don’t really know what these delusions are all about. Is this about my bipolar disorder or something else? Could it be schizophrenia or delusional disorder? Or simply psychotic depression? This haven’t been diagnosed yet. I haven’t talked about this to anyone else than my psychiatrist and nurse. How could I talk about this to my family or friends? They would think I am crazy. Though who cares? My diagnose list is starting to look like a grocery list so I guess one more diagnose wouldn’t make a difference. My psychiatrist thought there’s a possibility of some psychotic disorder so now I am on two different antipsychotics. If that won’t make a difference with ECT then what will?
I had a very different relationship with delusions when I was a child. Instead of suffering myself I witnessed very closely my Grandmother suffering from delusions of schizophrenia. I used to calm her down and assure her what was real and what was illness. That was all wrong but she was so dear to me that I answered her calls twenty times a day and assured her she was safe and more importantly, I was safe. She always though I was being raped or assaulted. I was 11 years old and this was part or my every day life. I was her safety net but nobody protected me from her. Sometimes she came to our house in the middle of the night. I wonder how much affect these childhood events have had on my life at adult age?