Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Workbook: How to cope with strange ideas and belief?


#1

Apology: These are copyrighted material but I pasted them here for my best interest in fellow sufferers.

[quote]
You may suffer from worrying ideas or beliefs, which you feel really sure about but other people do not share.

These might be bad thoughts or feelings, and when you tell other people they will not agree with you. You may feel suspicious and paranoid of others and this could cause problems between you, your family and friends.

Have you ever felt that people are against you, or might wish you some harm? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do some distractions like:
listening to music
reading aloud
watching TV or listening to the radio
hobbies
counting backwards from 100
describing an object in detail
writing a diary or poetry.

Do some interacting with the ‘voices’ like:
agreeing to listen to the ‘voices’ at a particular time
try not to argue with the ‘voices’, as they will get worse and upset you more
don’t do what the ‘voices’ ask, because if you do you may find it harder to stop, especially if they make you feel afraid.

Have you ever felt that you have special powers or that you can read people’s thoughts? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Have you ever felt that your whole body and mind were under the control of some outside force? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Have you ever felt that people are talking about you on the radio or TV? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If you have experienced any of the above, you may have suffered from, or are currently suffering from, a delusion.

How does this make you feel? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

These symptoms can be very distressing for you, but it is important that you try and stay calm during these times, or else you may make these ideas even stronger.

Delusions brought on by a psychotic episode may be perceived by the sufferer as religious experiences – that the ‘voice’ they hear is that of a god – and so they may begin to perceive the world and treat with it in purely religious terms. This can be more difficult for a sufferer who already has religious beliefs, which are then heightened by delusional ideas about divine ‘voices’, for example. The sufferer might need to attempt to understand what part their religious beliefs play in any psychotic episode. Pastoral support from your church or religious organisation might help you deal with the more extreme or worrying aspects of your religious delusions.

You also must try and not allow the ideas to affect your day-to-day living, and, although you might feel that the belief is very real, it is important for you to remember that no harm will come to you, because these ideas are part of your illness. So carry on as you would usually, for example by going to the shops or visiting your family.

It would help if you could keep your mind busy and away from these thoughts, but this is easier said than done. But keeping your mind busy helps, because it stops you from focus- ing too much on these beliefs, as this can lead to these beliefs taking over your life.

Things that you can do, for example, are listening to music, doing a hobby, exercising, watching TV, having a bath, reading a book or talking to a trusted friend. You could check out your beliefs and find out whether there is any evidence that would either confirm or dismiss them.

If you have experienced paranoia did you think you knew exactly what people were thinking (usually something negative about you)? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Try not to read people’s mind, because you will think your suspicions are a fact and will tell yourself that this is the proof. But how sure are you that you are right? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Has people looking at you caused you to have paranoid thoughts? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Try not to take this personally and think of other reasons why people might be looking at you, for example: ‘They are looking at me because they like my shirt.’

Talk to someone about your fears so that you can have another viewpoint on the issue. Also think about the time when you looked or talked about someone else. If you did not mean them any harm then, maybe these people looking at you now don’t either.

It has been said that sometimes delusions are a coping mechanism and that people hold onto their beliefs in order to protect their self-esteem.

It has been said that people suffering from paranoia often reject themselves and think that others will do the same (Chadwick et al., 1996). Is this is how you feel about yourself? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [/quote]