I wonder if you’re really crazy if you know that you’re thinking crazy when it’s going on.
Like right now, I’m in a state of total belief in a particular situation. I know damn well that the current state of things is a certain way. And I also know that this belief is a delusion, and that things are not really that way at all and it would be troublesome if I acted like they are.
Did that make sense? So the question: If you recognize that your thought process is disturbed, even while the disturbance is going on, are you really nuts? Or is it something else?
pravnik, in a nutshell (har!) I’ve already had the eval. And delusions are intensely personal so I won’t give specifics even on an anonymous board. But a parallel would be something like:
I KNOW with every fiber of my being that some of my coworkers are Gestapo agents who have travelled through time to escape the WWII Allied armies and are now living an outwardly normal life in the early 21st century while secretly plotting the hostile takeover of the United States government. I know this as surely as you know the sun will rise in the morning. It is also, not true, and so the belief is a delusion.
Now, if I’m experiencing a delusion like that (and I’m not, ok? it’s just an example) but I also know that this belief stems from an already diagnosed brain malfunction and that it’s not really true…am I still crazy?
Fucking Time Travelling Nazis!!! I HATE those guys!
But seriously, IANAShrink but, I seem to remember reading about those who speak of “watching their actions from a distance” kinda stuff where they were aware of the actions being crazy or bad or whatever. I do believe they were considered in need of professional help. Does that apply here? I have no idea.
As a successfully treated bipolar person, I can say that it is definitely possible to be out of your mind and know what you are thinking isn’t correct at the same time. Mental disorders become woven deeply into thoughts and behaviors but they aren’t everything. A person’s logical deduction capabilities could still be pretty much intact. A person with an active mental disorder may be able to list the reasons why it is impossible for flying bunnies to be hiding in the light sockets while still being convinced of it in other parts of the brain. A mentally ill person can also use other people as cues as to what is sane or not.
It would be difficult to describe to someone who has never experienced it but I would bet you know what I am talking about.
Inigo, OCD sufferers (including myself) sometimes experience thoughts like that. (Not a suggestion of a diagnosis, just the perspective I come from) As an example, when I was in high school there was one occasion when I had to walk down a sidewalk in a specific way. I was afraid that if I didn’t, somebody I loved would be hurt. I knew perfectly well that was delusional and ridiculous, but I couldn’t stop myself being worried. Eventually something else replaced that idea and I forgot about it, but there were other similar events. I always knew they were nonsense, but I still couldn’t just ignore them without experiencing incredible anxiety.
It’s not such a problem now, with medication and an understanding of what’s going on, but it still comes up.
I know I’m not crazy, but I also know I have “crazy” thoughts and do my best to deal with them.
I know exactly what you are talking about and my take on it is that as long as you don’t feel like it is causing you a problem, then it isn’t something to worry about. I once worked for a short time in a “state mental hospital” and trust me, you don’t get into one for how you think. It’s how you act that gets you committed to an institution, so unless these thoughts cause you do to harm to yourself or others, then they are just part of the spectrum of thoughts your brain is capable of producing. If you start to obsess on them, or feel like they are controlling you, then I would definitely seek treatment. But if it is just more of a curiosity than a real problem, then I wouldn’t worry about it.
I’m convinced Shania Twain would love me if she only got to know me.
Because of medication that I was taking, I sometimes had minor hallucinations – usually associated with sleeping hours. Once I “saw” a crow on the bed and was quite startled and frightened by it. My husband reassured me that it wasn’t real and that it was just medication that was causing me to see it. I trusted him totally and believed him, but nevertheless begged him not to make me look at it.
So I knew I was “crazy,” but it didn’t keep me from being nuts and still being frightened of the unreality.
You’ve pretty much described my first panic attack. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but my brain suddenly split into two sides: the adrenaline-pumped fight-or-flight panic side and the rational, logical side trying to calm the other side down. It was extremely freaky and disturbing, but after the episode was over, I didn’t think about it until six years later when I had another panic attack.
From what I’ve read, I don’t think it’s that unusual in a state of panic to have this sort of logical/irrational split. The oddest thing, for me, is the sort of dissociative feeling I get when this happens–as if I’m in a dream or somehow observing myself from afar. Creepy.