Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

False memory or new delusion .?

#1

Last night my son mentioned that about 6 weeks ago he seen something that absolutely didn’t happen.
We went away for a few days break to a cottage . Hubby , son , dog and myself . He was relaxed and enjoyed it.

Now last night he is stressing a bit and says he saw ME take drugs there, he said I took something that hubby had passed to me and sniffed it.
He said years ago said saw hubby do this while out with him and our dog. He most definitely did not take drugs.

Both times he never mentions anything at the time he thought he seen it but weeks, months later.
I asked him a few details like why didn’t he say something to me at the time he thought I took drugs, he said ahh he just couldn’t be bothered it’s my life it’s up to me.

What’s the point of me keep telling him I do not and never have taken drugs, I did bring it up a short time ago tonight and he said well “I know what I saw”. Ok maybe it was “sugar” but obviously he didn’t see any such thing why is he relating it now to something that possible could look like said substance.
I am confused is this a delusion, or hallucinaton or what ,and can’t even be bothered to try to think about it. Thanks for listening.

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#2

I’ve encountered this with my son. There is at least one old thread in the Dx’d forum about false memories.

Some studies:
https://clinical-neuropsychology.de/memory_confidence_and_false_memories_in_schizophrenia/

It would be nice if he could communicate to you when he thinks you are taking the drugs so that you can address right then and not allow the memory to manifest. Our poor kids…

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#3

Hi Jane57:slight_smile:
I don’t know if this will help or not, when my son would report odd occurrences and I asked my friend if she thought he was hallucinating, she told me one way to tell if it was a hallucination was that hallucinations usually didn’t have many details if you ask questions.

One time my son told me a man had approached him on a golf green. It just didn’t sound right. I asked him “where did the man come from?” He did not know. “Where did the man go when he left?” He did not know. He had no details except that the man had been there.

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#4

:grin: that sounds really familiar then , there are no details, he just doesn’t know , similar to your son Hope , Thanks.

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#5

Thanks Holly will look at this .

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#6

That’s the thing Holly, I think it’s a new thought/ false memory to him as there was no time that he actually did “see” me take drugs.

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#7

My son thought I was putting things other than water into our hanging plants on the porch. Just seeing my hand reach up into the planters made him think so, but I was just watering. Those planters became an issue for him.

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#8

I find myself (not so much now) pointing out stuff and almost excusing / explaining what I am doing with certain things so he doesn’t obsess or have a paranoid thought about it. As I say not so much now though.

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#9

My son has told me I have taken drugs, stole him as an infant, and even sodomized him as an infant. All delusions while in a psychotic episode.
It makes me sad to hear these things, but even sadder to think that he believes, at the time, that these horrific things actually happened to him.
When he is having an episode there is no convincing him these things didn’t happen. I wait until he is more stable and discuss the issue with him.
I just don’t want him to be traumatized by events that are not real. My heart aches for him. It hurts to hear your child say and believe these things, but I am more concerned with how these false memories stress his life even more.

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#10

My son’s simple explanation - ‘mind control’ by the government.

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#11

It is So sad I agree.

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#12

My son at times says it’s the Doctors that control both his dad and I.
Why is it consistent that they think everyone is controlled by a stronger higher force.

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#13

Its so strange isnt it… He seems to readily accept the idea that his mind - or mine if I am expressing something he doesn’t agree with - are controlled by someone else.

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#14

That’s exactly it, he has been know to say “why do you bow down to them”
“Why don’t you stand up to them”
“Why are you controlled by them”

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#15

Just a thought. Human beings are one of the only creatures that can “control” their environment. We have tools, electricity, technology along with free will. If a “mentally healthy” person cannot control themselves or their actions they have insight that their actions are out of control and they need help; a person with a gambling addiction for example.
A mentally ill person without insight possibly cannot see that they are not in control of their thoughts or actions and it may be a defense mechanism of their brain to think that someone else is responsible or in control; because they cannot accept that they are not in control. Maybe it provides a “rational” explanation for the irrational sounds in their head and their irrational behavior. Just rambling I guess. Maybe I am oversimplifying this or in fact making it more complicated.

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#16

I was told by a doctor a year ago that since my daughter believes she hears thoughts from others, that if she ever recovered from her hallucinations and delusions, she would not believe she had been ill, but that other people simply stopped thought broadcasting.

For the past three months, she has been on Haldol injections, and she no longer tells anyone that she can hear their thoughts… so she believes that those evil thought-broadcasting beings are gone (not that she is recovered, as she never knew she was sick, so how can she know she is better???).

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#17

My grown son is tormented by false memories all the time. Always remembers things people say to him,and it is always bad things. Sometimes even remembers people actually doing things to him. None of these things ever really happened. I try to help him to see that it isn’t really possible for so many things to happen to him but the memories are just so real

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#18

As @latestart mentioned above, your son must believe his own memories, he cannot see otherwise. When my daughter says things that she remembers that are obviously not true (she told her psychiatrist she’s only been hospitalized 2 times, but the truth is that it is 5 times), I cannot, (absolutely cannot) challenge her memory without disastrous results to our relationship. I did say to her during that psych visit, “Oh I thought it was more than 2…” to let the psych know that her memory was possibly wrong and to show the psych how defensive she would get with me at being challenged.

I simply have learned not to talk about the past, not to respond to incorrect communications, to turn the idea to another subject in the present or future. The past is not as important as the present or the future to help my daughter out of a funk.

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