Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Is this a common statement

Several times he says he’s “inbred”
I asked him what he meant and he says his parents are “related” and his Dad is not his real Dad ! Which of course isn’t true .
Anyone else has this ? Thanks :pray:

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LOL, thats a good one, yes

lol, not that specifically, but delusions about family history and relationships are so common!

those type of delusions are pretty common yes…

It’s maybe to do with the whole not knowing how they feel , what’s missing etc. He often says his soul is missing , he’s said that since virtually day 1.

My brother with bipolar disorder has a preoccupation with genetics. He talks endlessly about the expression of certain genes in family members with proclamations without fact about him having the heart of my father’s side of the family, but the teeth of my mother’s side, and my brother has a certain skeleton structure expression from my father’s side, that’s a throwback to Nethanderals etc. I doubt that concrete data from 23 and me or Ancestry,com would dissuade him.

He studied biology and read scientific papers and so on online, but comes to wild conclusions about what he reads. He talks about various genes associated with bipolar disorder and how he is some incredibly rare version of the disease with all the genes enabled, but paradoxically he says the odds of this is 1 in 10,000 which is actually quite low in the scheme of things.

My hypotheses about these sorts of delusions from my experience are multifold:

1.) To explain or make up for failings due to illness. It’s not my fault-- genetics made me this way. While not 100% wrong, it’s shouldn’t be an excuse for avoiding treatment or blaming parents or other ancestors. While mental illness is heritable, twin studies show it’s not an absolute certainty. Environment plays a near equal role.
2.) There’s a tendency when psychotic or delusional to trend toward taboo subjects. Inbreeding/incest, physical abuse, paraphilias, etc. The Jungian in me would say this is “shadow talk” of the unconscious. It could be it’s just memorable to the brain and gets strong emotional reactions from all participants so it bubbles to the top. This could also be a conscious or unconscious form of distraction, don’t pay attention to me not bathing for days-- I’ll distract you by saying I’m inbred.
3.) Basic filtering mechanisms seem to break down for people with SZ. Jung talks about the permeability of the “membrane” between conscious thought and unconscious thought in people with SZ. I’ve experienced hallucinations and misperceptions, based on my auditory and perceptive filters breaking down, and I found drugs, CBT and other therapies help with that. While unmedicated I remember being in a restaurant and trying to follow 5 or 6 conversations at once, because my brain wouldn’t filter them for me. It’s exhausting and why people with SZ prefer to avoid stimulation if they can. But the problem can be more pervasive and extend to thoughts and feelings. For example you might try to think about something and a myriad of ideas pop in your head competing to be heard. In a normal person this might happen automatically, or you’d only hear one or two ideas rather than twenty and inbreeding would likely be very low on a normal mind’s list. But is his mind, the taboo thought talking about inbreeding speaks the loudest in the restaurant in his head, so that’s the thought he picks and expresses. There’s also a lack of impulse control which is a form of filtering, where the executive function of the brain doesn’t jump in and remind him that’s there are consequences to talking about taboo subjects like inbreeding and that people may get angry or upset.

Hope this helps. I think this is just an expression of a large pattern of delusional thinking that can be more generalized, and perhaps when someone hears a unique delusion, you might not take it as personally.

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That really does help thank you, and yes it makes more sense to me to how he might actually be experiencing these experiences .

I also need to remember that the words delusional and psychosis aren’t catastrophic phrases like my mind first thinks they are.
These are actually whet we and our son and all our loved ones are living with day to day, they just have these dramatic names, ie delusions, psychotic etc.
Thank you.

Sometimes I wonder does he actually believe these things or is he just saying them? Also if it wasn’t for meds would he indeed focus more and obsess on them .

My son still has delusions, but has not experienced active psychosis for some time. He does believe the delusions, but I sense they are slowly losing the fierce hold on him that he once had - that the can think these things and still go on to make some reasonable decisions.


That’s good Vallpen, what do you term “active psychosis “ sorry I’m rather new to it.

I use the term active psychosis to describe times when my son is having hallucinations, usually auditory, and responding to them.

Delusions are unusual beliefs. These are often classified together as psychosis.My son no longer seems to experience hallucinations, but still has many unusual beliefs.


Thank you, I’m glad your son is doing well.

@Vallpen thanks for the active psychosis definition. Even though I’ve experienced this and used the word, I’ve been a bit vague about the meaning. I’d lived mainly in a inbetween state that I wouldn’t call hallucination, but more misperception. Meaning sound stimulus was there at the limits of perception, and I imagined what was being said.

Delusions aren’t necessarily unusual beliefs, but generally persistent unverifiable or untrue beliefs that often defy arguments to the contrary. They are often unusual, but can be mundane.

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Many people have delusions without being considered mentally ill or psychotic. Some people hallucinate when they dream or while having migraines or other neurological symptoms. It’s more a question of degree and persistence and how it affects their ability to function.

'Most of the time, yes, he probably believes them in the moment. Some of the perceptions and thoughts can feel very valid and “real” at the time. He may later come to doubt them, or not be 100% sure at the moment, but they are likely his best estimation of the “truth” (for him) at the time.

I like to tell people afterwards, “you had to be there.” It’s a bit like trying to relate a story to someone who wasn’t present, it’s a bit hard to capture or describe certain experiences.

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Wow, thank you I’m learning so much thanks for that :slightly_smiling_face: , you have tremendous insight.

Thanks, I’ve been at this a long time, about 35 years. I used to think I was unique as I never met anyone quite like me at NAMI conferences and the like. Then a therapist mentioned an interview that Charlie Rose did with Elyn Saks.

She’s a USC law professor with SZ who wrote a memoir entitled, ‘The Center Cannot Hold.’ My experience was quite similar to hers, although with less severe symptoms, and minus the doctorate degree and Mc Arthur ‘genius grant’. She used some of the money to study highly-functioning people with SZ in the LA area, most employed and with similar experiences and coping strategies.

We understandably fade into the woodwork, as the whole point of recovery is to appear to be normal. There really isn’t much of an upside to being ‘out’ for me at least, and most of us are more preoccupied with living our lives. Ours stories don’t get told very much because they aren’t particularly dramatic and a hard sell for book and movie deals. At one time Elyn Saks had a movie contract, but the producer with the option died, and I don’t think anything came of it.

I try to jump in and explain the inner thought processes where I can, but everyone’s brain and experiences are unique, so I’m not sure I’m always successful. I used to participate in the DX forum, but not so much any more, I feel I can do more good here.


And thank you, for elaborating on the definition of delusions.

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