• A Beautiful Mind

    I found myself deeply relating to the main character of this film. I strongly recommend this film to anyone who wants to learn more about what it’s like to experience psychosis.

    I too have suffered persecutory delusions and have had hallucinations (and have been a graduate student at a prestigious university). In fact, I thought I was receiving subliminal messages from music and videos, much like the main character of this film thinking he was cracking codes from newspapers.

    My biggest takeaway from the film is that psychiatric medicine has come a long way – I am so grateful that the medicine I needed was available to me when I was ready to start taking it – and that electroconvulsive therapy is no longer the norm.

    Retrieved on 9/20/22 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Beautiful_Mind_(film)

  • kthxbye

  • Work Accommodations for Delusional Disorder & ADHD

    Let’s dissect this.

    A flexible arrival time is the most important accommodation for me, as I would be liable to get fired for tardiness otherwise. I am often late, as it’s difficult for me to wake up in the morning and get going. It’s like it takes my brain longer than others to reboot. I also may take a sedating medication to assist with sleep, which can make it so I don’t even hear my alarm blaring for half an hour.

    On the other hand, I already have my own office with a closing door, which is huge for my ADHD. I also have discretion over my schedule and over which tasks I complete first, so I’m able to work on what I’m able to focus on.

    As far as my delusional disorder, having the flexibility to prioritize my counseling and psychiatry appointments in my schedule is paramount. Not to mention, the ability to access the medications I need, including Adderall. This may require occasional daytime appointments due to the classification of the substance (more doctor interaction is legally required than for other psychotropic medications). Counseling after work hours is a unicorn.

    Having the balls to ask for an ADA accommodation at work for an unseen and not-well-understood disability became a reality when I was looking at getting fired otherwise. I would suggest that it is wiser to move forward with an accommodation request before waiting until it’s clear you need it.

    The Job Accommodation Network helped me to describe my needs with authority. I think it does a good job of doing the talking for you with a boss. Here is the link: https://askjan.org/disabilities/Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder-AD-HD.cfm

    “AD/HD predominantly inattentive type: The major characteristics are distractibility, organization problems, failure to give close attention to details, difficulty processing information quickly and accurately, and difficulty following through with instructions.”


    For me, it took ten years of professional work experience to understand what my optimal accommodation requests are. I hope my knowledge here spares you the embarrassment of poor work performance due to psychiatric disability.

  • Easier said than done

  • folie à deux

    Not to be confused with ménage à trois, this condition is also known as Shared Psychotic Disorder.

    I think I had this with an ex for a time. It got weird.

    For example, my ex said he had a “spirit guide” that told him what to do – and I believed him.

    At least I know better now. I put a hard stop on the “woo-woo” train I’d been riding.

  • Promiscuity

    I confess to promiscuous behavior. I write this as I sit at my doctor’s office, about to request yet another STI screening. 

    Promiscuous behavior is associated with ADHD, and I do have an ADHD diagnosis. This is something I’ve struggled with, like marijuana addiction (substance use disorders are also associated with both ADHD as well as psychotic disorders). Promiscuous behavior is in that same grey area of “could be from character defects, could be from mental illness” – it’s difficult, if not impossible, to separate. 

    Promiscuity falls under the umbrella of impulsivity. But there is more there – there are social and cultural values involved. Just like mental illness must be understood within the socio-cultural context, so too must promiscuity. The rate of new sexual partners that I aquire may seem promiscuous to some, and not so much to others. 

    What matters is how I feel about my own behavior. 

    Not me.
  • My Faith

    One thing that really helped to ground me and keep me alive while I was experiencing psychosis over the past few years was my involvement with the First Presbyterian Church of Seattle. I attended church services and bible study regularly, so I became a part of that community which helped me to avoid isolation. Despite the harsh delusions I was going through, I gained peace in the process through my faith, and through learning about the word of God. 

    Learning about the word of God helped to debunk some of my worst delusions – We don’t have to worry about any evil spirits because we have the Holy Spirit on our side. We do have to deal with the flesh (man). [I just started deleting this sentence, and I heard “don’t delete that”. I guess The Voice is sticking around still.]

    I believe that God controls my mind and my body, however I can make choices. I easily choose wrong when I haven’t consulted with Him first. And I’m bound to choose wrong when I have psychotic delusions. Mental health is freedom, and mental illness is like a prison. There is also freedom in being a believer of God.

    Never mind the times when I thought it was God telling me what to do but I was actually psychotic. I’d like to think that it was truly Him at least some of the time. 

    I’m still learning how to balance my belief in God with the real world. The Bible tells us about otherworldly things, and as a person of faith, we have to negotiate in our conscious minds how we are going to fit them into our reality. I can tell you that my faith in God has strengthened since 2018, when my delusions came on full-swing. I would hear a softer voice tell me things in response to prayer.

    Some of the stained glass artwork at First Presbyterian Church of Seattle.
  • Erotomania & Delusional Dating

    Yes, I fell prey to erotomania. And it’s probably the most embarrassing component of my delusional experiences. So I’ll leave out the details for now.

    What I will say is that it’s hard not to be delusional about my love interests in general. I have to make a real effort to focus on people’s actions rather than my hopes.

    I relate to Teen Girl Squad on a spiritual level.

  • Character Defects v. Mental Illness

    At what point is something the effect of mental illness versus the effect of a character defect? There is some overlap, it seems. For example, I just can’t seem to get to work on time. It’s a thing. It’s frustrating, and it’s embarrassing. It’s a real issue for me, and not a result of a false belief but rather my lack of discipline in the morning (which is perhaps attributed to my ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type diagnosis). Regardless of the reason for the behavior, I need to be accommodated for it at work with a flexible arrival time.

    I believe that, to truly heal and improve my life circumstances, I need to address my character defects along with my symptoms.

    Medications can help with behavioral issues that we’re trying to change (if there is a neurological reason behind the issue, i.e. skin picking), but only to an extent. Self-awareness is key, along with a willingness to change. But how do we gain that self-awareness, and how do we make those changes?

    12-step programs, such as Marijuana Anonymous, specifically address character defects in a systematic way. They even have “conduct worksheets” for completing a moral inventory as a part of the step work. I think of 12-step programs like “repentance programs” – they literally help you take the steps necessary to repent from your sins.

    I would strongly recommend a 12-step program to anyone who has a desire to stop using. It’s a clear path for gaining the self-awareness necessary for lasting personal change. More, attending meetings can help with loneliness and isolation. There are now many meetings held online via Zoom. In larger programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, there is an online meeting available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

    Retrieved on 9/20/2022 at https://www.solaceasia.org/blog/character-defects-or-flaws-a-list-of-major-defects
  • Delusional Infestation

    Delusional infestation is one type of manifestation of Delusional Disorder. I experienced it in 2012, when I began believing that I had intestinal parasites. I became quasi-obsessed with colon cleansing, thanks in part to Dr. Schulze. I didn’t stop believing that I had intestinal parasites, despite the medical tests that showed that I didn’t have any infestation, until after my Delusional Disorder diagnosis. I continue to self-treat with natural remedies such as ginger and garlic to prevent such an infestation, just in case. No harm in that, right?