My friend believes he is a prophet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raëlism

:wink:

Like I said it definitely sounds like symptoms of schizophrenia, but who knows his friend could also be in a manic phase of bipolar.

Ask him to lay off the dope for a month and see how he feels about his powers then.

(Teh bongin’ kind, not the readin’ kind.)

He seemed to think when he told me all this stuff it would make me happy and change my life, and I honestly don’t understand how he could think I would just believe what he says. He knows I’m sceptical of everything and don’t accept religion. Afterwards we had a much more normal conversation (normal for us anyway) and he told me he doesn’t think it’s schizophrenia because he hasn’t been seeing or hearing anything.

Bozuit, it may not be schizophrenia, but his perception is most certainly not based on reality. Nor is it useful for him to think that it is. Mental imbalance comes in many forms, and not all are permanent. Could simply be drug related.

Whatever it is, it’s not for you, him or a forum to decide: encourage him to find the right professional for an assessment.

I really don’t know how to tell him how crazy he sounds. I considered asking him to summarize it as I did above, then read it back and see how it sounds, but I think he knows it sounds crazy anyway. I’m worried about bringing out paranoia since it’s just us living in this place, and he trusted me by telling me this so he won’t appreciate me telling others. Maybe I should get him to read the Wikipedia article on schizophrenia? I think he’s smart enough to be able to analyse his ideas and work out it’s ridiculous, but unfortunately he normally often he is is somehow a special case (e.g. “I know I shouldn’t have finished all your milk but…”) and I think this will allow him to convince himself “I know I sound crazy but…”.

Oh and he’s 24. Some of the other symptoms like lack of motivation and reclusion have been showing for a while, but I thought it was a combination of mild OCD, Asperger syndrome, depression and laziness. Until about a week ago he was taking a fairly high dose of citalopram and due to his unwillingness to go out he didn’t go to get more when he ran out.

Hallowed be his name. Justincase.

Maybe you have to use the tact that you understand that he is not concerned by the current way he’s thinking, but that it is outside his normal realm of behaviours.

As his friend and confidante, you would like be assured that he is in fact okay, by him agreeing to an assessment. It is more to allay your concerns rather than his.

In regard to his beliefs at this point, no amount of reasoning will convince him that what he’s saying confronts your idea of a stable mind. In his mind, he has powers you are yet to understand; so it makes perfect sense to him that he makes no sense to you.

At the moment, he is not in the state of mind to be able to make decisions based on logic and reason. So maybe you have to have him agree to ‘humour’ you by seeing a professional. Because after all, if he IS okay then he should have no issue with having that proven to you.

Like was said upthread, it could be a heavily manic phase of bipolar disorder. I had a friend who believed she was being spied upon by the government (by, among other means, surveillance devices hidden in drive-up window speakers) and that everyone, including her husband, was in on the plot. She wasn’t seeing or hearing anything either. She decided to make a break for it and drove halfway across her state before finally breaking down and realizing something was probably wrong with her even though she really did believe this was happening. She made the (in context) courageous decision to call her husband and tell him what she’d done and that she couldn’t see him actually turning against her.

These days she’s on medication, still holding down her same job, etc. She has to see a therapist and a psychiatrist to monitor how she’s doing and change up meds as necessary, but she’s basically fine and quite happy.

BTW, I agree with 6Impossible and others who suggested that because he’s acting different than normal for him, perhaps he could make you feel better by seeing a doctor and honestly telling the doc about what he’s told you.

I wonder if the sudden withdrawal from citalopram has caused a manic episode - no great suggestions on what to do though, apart from try and persaude him to see his doctor and tell them all this. Hopefully they can take it from there :frowning:

Is it helping or hurting him? Just because you don’t agree with his faith doesn’t mean that you are a authority on it. But you are able to observe the real world effects on his life, if it appears to be moving in a positive direction.

He is obviously ‘seeking’ due to the question are you a alien, but he must learn that the answers are inside him, not external in you. This seeking is a common thing in human history, sometimes part of a vision quest, and I would consider it normal and needed.

Well, there’s one endorsement.

Maybe kanicbird’s seen the stand-up routine.

I see what you did there.

Bozuit, do you know this guy’s family? If you’re really afraid of what your friend might do, make sure they’re aware of what’s going on. It sounds like whatever it is that’s up is below the level of “danger to oneself or others” just now, but he still might need some help, and the family is usually the locus of that.

To me (psychiatric social worker), from what you’ve described it sounds like a manic phase with psychosis, especially after hearing he was just suicidal/depressed. Keep an eye on him, and talk to his friends, family, someone else that knows him about what’s going on.

I did once work with a guy that had smoked pot daily (and been very productive) for about 20 years, when he decided he was too old for that stuff, and quit. He immediately went into a manic phase. We thought that maybe he always had underlying bipolar disorder that was being managed by the marijuana.

I agree that it sounds like a manic phase of Bipolar Affective Disorder.

HOWEVER----

Unless he is a threat to himself or others all that a doctor or the police can do is order him held for 72 hours.

They cannot force him to take medication, or to undergo counseling.

The most likely scenario is that the doctors agree that he’s manic. But, they let him go after 72 hours. He is then extremely pissed that a friend called the authorities on him and may stop talking to you all together.

PS

I’d like to hear from Schizophrenic On The Loose AHunter3 on this. I believe I’ll PM him.

I say just stay a friend and keep an eye on him. Maybe, (big maybe) say that you’re worried about him. Right now, there’s nothing you can really do and no reason to force treatment on him.
I know a guy who thinks I’m Jesus. I am not exaggerating, not even a little. He thinks I am the One Begotten Son, The Lamb Of God. I’ve told him repeatedly that I am just a man and that my father was a man named Fred and not the Holy Spirit. I understand that this man is delusional. He is not, however, a threat to himself or others. I finally did succeed in getting him to stop calling me Jesus. He now calls me “rabbi”.

I was thinking something along the lines of this, although more of a MYOB thing.

I was not thinking something along those lines.

For the people who are calling this psychotic, alot of the things he says he believes in are their in other beliefs. Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Scientology all believe in reincarnation. There’s a whole host of UFO religions. Islam, Christianity and Judaism believe in magic, angels and djinn. And as far as most of these religions were considered, some dude randomly got enlightened or received a message from god, which previously didn’t exist.

In 1980 I was pretty sure I had had a visionary experience, providing me with answers that would address some of the most critical social ills of our species. I began trying to communicate with people about it. I was obviously quite excited about it, very intense. People to whom I spoke tended to find the content that I was so excited about to be difficult to make any sense of. Someone did decide I probably needed treatment. Technically I consented to this but it was not explained to me that agreeing in writing to talk to the doctor was considered to be consent to being held in perpetuity at the facility, and they took away my shoestrings and belt and stuck me on the severely deranged ward for observation.

Fast forward about a decade and change and I’m now in grad school and getting an academic paper published. The content of the paper is the same stuff I was trying to tell people in 1980. I still at this time think of the experience circal 1980 as a visionary experience. At no time have I considered myself to have needed or to have benefitted from psychiatric [del]interference[/del] intervention.

(you can then fast forward again to today. half a lifetime later it still stands as a milestone and life-defining experience, I still ascribe to the concepts and beliefs I acquired during that event. I’m also an active member of the psychiatric patients’ liberation movement and I fervently oppose forced treatment)

Now back to this person referenced in the OP. If he isn’t hurting anyone, both he and the world in general are best off if you leave him the freedom of being someone you do not currently understand. Leave your armchair psychiatry in your armchair. People who aren’t hurting anyone have the right to think thoughts YOU do not understand without being scooped up in a butterfly net and placed on some locked ward and pumped full of mind-numbing chemicals.

Psychiatric pharaceuticals are non-benign. They have a very bad track record for efficacy and for the likelihood of creating dependency and bad side effects. The psychiatric system itself also breeds dependency, inculcates a sense of disability, reduces expectations internally and externally, leaves people with the threat of forcible incarceration and intervention perpetually hanging over them, and generally does not offer an offsetting advantage such as a good long-term track record for stabilizing people who would otherwise remain and/or end up on the street as derelicts or deranged people or violent people or whatever. Instead, the long term track record for untreated people who were diagnosed by the system as severely mentally ill is better than the long term track record for those that they do treat.