This Delusional Shore

Vivid and intense, this is very much like the mania of Bipolar

I need to be honest and forthcoming.  Life has been, let’s just say…interesting the last several weeks.  I have been struggling a great deal with delusions and paranoia, two big issues that are part of my mental illness. And I’ve been having ‘absence seizures’ which are bit of a thorn.

Maybe I ‘over-think’ these things?  But spiritually, I am growing.  My prayer life and time with the Word has been very good.  I’m growing in Him, and in confidence of His love for me.  I even have been told, that I’m writing well.  Yet I’m perplexed, mystified by these delusions that seem to come from nowhere.

Some of them are persecution based.  I imagine that people are plotting to discredit me.  The delusions are very slippery and evasive and they are difficult to explain.  The paranoia works the same way, all I see is elaborate traps are being made in a concentrated effort to ruin me.  It feels, hostile.  I feel that I’m being victimized. And there are people who want to hurt me.

All of these issues have an effect of making me feel that I am spinning ‘out-of-control,’ like a clown on roller-skates at the circus.  I am embarrassed by what they do to me, and feel stupid.  I feel bizarre, as if my skin suddenly turned incandescent blue.  I have a vague but real sense that I’m not appropriate, but I just can’t seem to be normal. I must remember to take my meds. And pray.

On the positive side, the Word especially the Psalms, is  protecting me more than ever.  I have a special delight for Psalms, and I’ve been voraciously digesting them.  I also find myself almost unconsciously rejecting each delusion as it becomes known.  It seems to be a sort of a “cleansing” process and I have to believe it is the Holy Spirit actively protecting me.

So, in the dark, I will sing His praises and read His precious Word.  I no longer do it for theological reasonings, or to put a check mark next on a reading program.  It’s more medicinal, or therapeutic.  The Bible cleanses me as if it were a dialysis machine filtering my blood. I read them to stay alive.

I don’t know why I keep producing these delusions, but the Holy Spirit nullifies each one before they can damage me or others.

So dear “Brokenbeliever.com” reader,  I would simply ask you to be kinder and more understanding to those around you with mental illnesses, they really need you right now.  Let them know that there is a real hope.  Also, I believe each one will contribute something vital to the Body (sort of like a pancreas or a gall bladder, lol.)  I am sure God has placed them into the Church deliberately to serve the fellowship through their illness.  God is big enough to do that. And He loves us enough to insist on this.

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

Psalm 119:160

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For something similar: http://brokenbelievers.com/ministry-for-the-mentally-ill/

http://brokenbelievers.com/without-your-wound/

Understanding Depersonalization

Understanding Depersonalization/Derealization

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Definition by Mayo Clinic staff

Depersonalization is a sense that things around you aren’t real, or the feeling that you’re observing yourself from outside your body. Feelings of depersonalization can be very disturbing and may feel like you’re losing your grip on reality or living in a dream.

A lot of people have a passing experience of depersonalization at some point. But when feelings of depersonalization keep occurring, or never completely go away, it’s considered depersonalization disorder. Depersonalization disorder can be severe and may interfere with relationships, work and other daily activities. It will sometimes ‘piggyback’ on other mental disorder, like Bipolar or PTSD.

Depersonalization disorder symptoms include:

  • Continuous or recurring feelings that you’re an outside observer of your thoughts, your body or parts of your body
  • Numbing of your senses or responses to the world around you
  • Feeling like a robot or feeling like you’re living in a dream or in a movie
  • The sensation that you aren’t in control of your actions, including speaking
  • Awareness that your sense of detachment is only a feeling, and not reality

Other symptoms can include:

  • The sense that your body, legs or arms appear distorted, enlarged or shrunken
  • Feeling like you are observing yourself from above, as if you were floating in the air
  • Feeling emotionally disconnected from people you care about

While episodes of depersonalization may last only a short time, some people with depersonalization disorder have episodes that last hours, days, weeks or even months at a time. In some people these episodes turn into ongoing feelings of depersonalization that may periodically get better or worse.

When to see a doctor

Passing feelings of depersonalization are common, and aren’t necessarily a cause for concern. But ongoing or severe feelings of detachment can be a sign of depersonalization disorder or another physical or mental health condition. See a doctor if you have feelings of depersonalization that:

  • Are disturbing you or are emotionally disruptive
  • Don’t go away, or keep coming back
  • Interfere with work, relationships or daily activities
  • Disrupt your family

Depersonalation can last just a few hours or more. It is believed that this is a response to anxiety—as the root cause.

Useful Depersonalization Sites  (That I can recommend)

http://www.dpdrdisorder.org/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depersonalization/DS01149

© 1998-2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. “Mayo,” “Mayo Clinic,” “MayoClinic.com,” “EmbodyHealth,” “Reliable tools for healthier lives,” “Enhance your life,” and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

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I’m a Steamroller!

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“And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”

James 3:6, NLT

I have done many things in my 50+ years.  My resume is pretty broad and quite diverse.  I have been a corporate trainer, and I have been a commercial fisherman.  I have been an inner-city evangelist, and an Army medic.  I have been a senior pastor, and a missionary to Mexico.  But more than anything, I have been quite consistently, “a steamroller.”

Steamroller. I think I better explain myself.  I’m a man that has consistently used my words to crush other people, and this really disturbs me.  I have flattened people, smearing them on the pavement.  There was Vicky at the SOS- San Francisco Evangelism Ministry house.  She irritated me, so I went up and told her, the “Vicky, this is the Word of the Lord. Read Judges 16:16!”  And she melted before my words, torn and ripped apart by my twisting of scripture.  I steamrolled over her heart.  And I really don’t know why I did it. I wanted to be cute I guess.

As a pastor, I plowed over the hearts of “a children’s ministry.”  It was more subtle, but it had the same degree of a deep intensity.  (They would go on, but fizzle out in less than two weeks later.)  I was the steamroller that crushed their hearts and dreams.  Years before, at my Bible college, I stamped out and destroyed those who were not as precise as I was when it came to proper believing.  I steamrolled them as well.

Over the years I have become very grieved over my consistent crushing of those who were different, who saw ministry in a differing way.  When they would become “clear and obvious” to me, (their false doctrine and such) I considered it a scriptural necessity to “roll, baby roll” right over them.  But, I was oh, so foolish.  I harmed so many of His servants.  What I was doing was wicked.

My words–like weapons, were cutting and hacking and lacerating.  My words were crushing and stamping out the gentle hearts and their vision.  People, dear ones.  The things we say, go on to “burn and burn” and nullify the kind hearts of those who want to follow.  Often our “professionalism” as pastors and teachers very often cripple those who tenderly follow.  We go “nuclear” on them, scorching the earth, when all they needed really was a calm and directive word.

Brothers and sisters.  We have to stop this,  being right does not mean we are loving.  We divide the flock far too often.  We most likely will be right–but we don’t love.  We jump up in our steamroller in a split second.  We put it in gear, and we roll over those for whom Christ died–and we feel quite noble and holy, as we protect the Church from “bad thinking,” or bad examples.

Could it be, that what are you saying, wounds?

Be very careful.  You maybe right, and you just might be true, but if you are not loving, you will only hurt them, and undoubtedly you will regret what you have done.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14, ESV

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Delusions of the First Person Variety

When I first watched the “Matrix,” I completely flipped out. It explained too much. It took me a month to recover.

I need to briefly share what delusions are like.  I’m going to flip the switch and flood the room with light, and watch the “critters” scuttle to find a hiding place.  I’m doing this to help heal myself, and for you to understand this awful state of mind.

First of all– definitions

Delusion n.
A false belief held despite strong evidence against it; self-deception. Delusions are common in some forms of psychosis. Example.  Because of his delusions, the literary character Don Quixote attacks a windmill, thinking it is a giant (that’s the dictionary workin’ it for you.)

Delusion de·lu·sion n.
A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness.

Typically, my delusions have a common core of pride or self-centered thinking. For instance, I have experienced all of these:

  1. A woman loves me and she is secretly trying to be with me. This is very flattering and egocentric.  This  one can really mess with your thought-life. (Ego.)
  2. I’m the center of the universe, people really do not exist, except when they come into my life or influence.  [This one is a bit metaphysical.] See #7.
  3. I have special powers that ‘know” a person’s motives, plans and heart.  I am hyper-discerning.  The opposite can be true at times, where I become exposed to people, which necessitates me never leaving my room. I feel “naked” and of course, very uncomfortable.
  4. I get paranoid, thinking people are plotting with each other behind my back, working to destroy me.  Chat rooms, and Facebook are focal points for me with this one, but not always.  With this one I get really verbal, and I start zapping people.  I guess because it’s the internet I can do this with impunity.
  5. Clocks are always at the top of the hour, like- 7:00 am.  Or they are at the bottom of the hour, like 11:30 pm.  I call this “chronosynchronism.” I believe this is evidence that my life is orchestrated, purposeful, and this is evidence I am very significant.  This is my latest.  And it really isn’t super disruptive.
  6. I can read secret messages in books meant for me.  I also line up spaces in what I’m reading to form an unbroken line.  I compulsively do this.
  7. The big one is this, I am in my form of “The Truman Show”.  The universe is just a set and I am the only living thing out there.  Everything is focused on me (of course).
  8. I hear voices sometimes, but mostly a radio or sometimes the “dot-dash-dot” of a telegraph.  I think its trying to warn me in some code.  It can be persistent. And it can be disruptive. Paranoid that my giftedness is cause for the NSA to control me.
  9. My wife intends to poison me.
  10. Personal hygiene issues. Afraid of being murdered in the shower creates a super-phobia. I once went 6 weeks without showering. (I made my own eyes ‘water’, lol).

I guess all of these have things in common.  They are self-centered.  They are unreasonable and illogical.  They are compulsive. And yes, meds do work.  And the above list?  The delusions are only mild-to-moderate issues of delusional paranoia.  There are so many Christians and non-Christians who have worse. I once met a man who seriously believed he was Jesus. (And no, I didn’t worship him).

As a believer working out his discipleship, I’ve discovered that humility and openness is always the way of keeping one tethered to reality.  However, I have a fear that I will break loose and never come out again.  I MUST live in “brokenness”.  (So in a strange way, following Jesus Christ is easier.)

Also, I must be open to things that will invalidate my delusion.  Even if I’m 99% convinced, that 1% will cause me to consider thinking through a scenario.  Truth is your best friend when you are challenging a delusional paranoid.  But it has to be gently applied. Life doesn’t have be lived this way. Also, delusions will often ‘morph’ and change and take on modified characteristics. This seems to be part of the mental illness, but can also indicate demonic oppression (or both even).

A psychiatrist should be informed in most cases. Very often meds will be necessary to get your loved one through this time, but not always.

Praying for delusional behavior

People have prayed for me, more then I have prayed for myself.  Your intercession bridges a gap over this illness.  When you pray, you power up the energy cells and get instructions.  It may mean wait, or proceed.  Every person and situation is different. Prayer is always the best approach.

(So many delusions and so little time.) They will vary from person-to-person. An active prayer may help, “Lord, may it be the real me who touches the real You.” Remember, Jesus stands at the right hand of his Father praying for you [which can’t be all bad].

“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

Romans 8:34

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