Category Archives: Mood Disorders

Why Can’t I Find Transgender People Aged Above 40 in the Streets? Is Their Life Short Term?

Answered on Quora: 

Transsexuals do indeed have a shortened life expectancy.

Fully 42% of transsexuals attempt suicide. That is by far the highest attempted suicide rate of any group. It is higher than even any mental disorder, including Depression and Bipolar Disorder.

Fully 18% of transsexuals die of suicide even after transition. This is as high or higher than the most fatal mental disorders such as Major Depression.

If transgenderism were a mental disorder (it’s been removed from the latest manual), it would be one of the most troubled, dangerous, and lethal disorders of them all.

There are extreme differences between early onset and late onset transgenderism in males. The late onset variety is usually related to a fetish called autogynephylia, and it is not organic at all. I have known some late onset types, and I did not feel that they were women in men’s bodies at all. Their style of thinking, their interests, and their way of writing were still very male and even masculine. They had a very “male” way of viewing the world.

The early onset type seems to be an extreme form of homosexuality and may well be more organic or at the very least is organic in the sense that it is related to the homosexuality. The early onset types are much more feminine.

In conclusion, in my opinion, transsexuals are simply people who have a lot of problems. These problems often continue though at a lower rate after transition.

There is also a high rate of reverse transition. Fully 13% of transsexuals transition back to their original sex. Fully 70% of transsexual minors are no longer transsexuals if followed to age 18. That is, in 70% of cases of transgender children, the transgenderism vanishes by adulthood. Their transgenderism was a temporary condition or state of mind that they grew out of. The fact that they do this shows that transgenderism in many cases is not an organic condition.

The rate of transgenderism has gone up fully 600 times since the 1960’s. We should not be seeing an increase like that if this were truly an organic condition in most cases.

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Filed under Depression, Gender Studies, Homosexuality, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Sex

A Few Words About Schizophrenia and Psychosis in General

I do not know much about schizophrenia. I have met two people who were schizophrenic who discussed their symptoms with me.

The young man was medicated but he was still too ill to work and lived off disability. The woman may also have been medicated and she also lived off disability. This is a typical outcome for this illness, sadly.

Her diagnosis was a true grab bag, and she had been diagnosed with everything in the book, including OCD and frequently Borderline Personality Disorder. I was not sure what her complete picture was, but in adolescence and early adulthood, she underwent what looked like a classic schizophrenic prodrome process. There’s nothing else that looks like that. Afterwards a lot of psychotic symptoms developed including visual hallucinations. Also she did not believe she was ill, which is typical of these folks.

I could not really see the Borderline PD. The problem with these schizophrenics is that the schizophrenic process is so complete and totalizing that it essentially swamps over all sorts of other or lesser symptoms.

 

 

The man also had an OCD process going on, and he denied his symptoms were caused by mental illness. He was also trying to hide symptoms from me, which they do sometimes after the illness goes on for a while. It’s not that they believe the symptoms are crazy – they think it is actually true that the man in the TV said, “It’s going to rain today” and that really is a secret message to them telling them to go to the store and buy a pack of cigarettes. Incidentally that is a common type of psychotic symptom and they are called delusions of reference and they are common in schizophrenia. I have someone close to me who had Bipolar 1 Disorder with prominent psychotic (schizophrenic-like) features who had symptoms exactly like that.

The thing is that even chronic psychotics are not stupid and are driven by the pleasure principle to avoid pain. Eventually these people often figure out that when they say certain things like that the CIA is after them, people tend to get alarmed, call the police and they get hospitalized. Being more rational than you would think, they learn to keep some of these symptoms to themselves if only to stay out of the hospital.

He had a lot more insight than a typical schizophrenic which may be due to the OCD, which would introduce a chronic doubting nature into the psychosis, which would be good for any psychosis, as they are based on hard belief. There are new theories about an illness called Schizo-obsessive Disorder which looked a lot like what this man had. Paranoia, Shneiderian symptoms, and a better prognosis are among the features. To give you an example of the Shneiderian features, for instance, this man heard his own thoughts spoken out loud in the exact same way as if you were to speak your thoughts out loud – how creepy! He was afraid to ride the buses as he feared that the others on the bus could hear his thoughts as he thought them as they sounded as loud and clear as if there were someone talking right next to you.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Borderline, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, OCD, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia “Swamps out” Any Other Disorders in the Individual

The problem with schizophrenics is that the schizophrenic process is so complete and totalizing that it essentially swamps over all sorts of other or lesser symptoms.

All you see is the schizophrenia, and its hard to see if there are anxiety, mood (Axis 1 or symptomatic) or especially personality disorders (Axis 2) underneath there. It’s like there’s a tidal wave coming in (the schizophrenia), and you are running around your house looking for roaches (other disorders).  Well, the wave is going to swamp all those roaches, and even if they are there, at some point all you will see is the wave, and the only thing that will matter is the wave, as the roaches will be swamped out so to speak.

Also schizophrenia itself can feature prominent anxiety at times (for instance that the FBI is after them), although anxiety is not typical a primary feature of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenics are often depressed, but it seems like depression is part of the schizophrenia itself. Obviously when depression is part of core schizophrenia as a symptom, it makes it hard to tell that apart from a depression arising often from the depressing effects of the illness itself.

Axis 2 (personality disorder) problems are going to get swamped out too, not to mention the fact that having schizophrenia alone has a devastating effect on personality.

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Filed under Depression, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

Differential Diagnosis in Psychiatry – Separating “Symptomatic” Processes from “Core” Processes

In an anxiety disorder, the main thing you see or the “meat” of the illness is the anxiety – I call it an “anxiety process.” In this sense, even some anxiety disorders that have gone psychotic, say Psychotic OCD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, are still basically anxiety disorders at their core and not psychotic disorders.

The primary disturbance or process if you will is anxiety and the psychosis is just growing out of that process.

What we are doing here is looking for the core essence of the problem – the Gestalt if you will. We are ignoring symptomatic features on the outside and looking underneath them to see what the core or basic process is underneath.

In the same sense, mood disorders that have gone psychotic or even resemble schizophrenia are better seen as mood processes. In Bipolar Disorder, the primary disturbance is one of mood. The psychotic features, if any, are only present during the mood disturbance – the depression or mania. The psychotic features are flowing out of the mood issue and not the other way around as in the case of some schizophrenic persons who get depressed due to the depressing nature of their illness.

If you clear up the mood process and the psychosis is still there, it tends to go over to Schizoaffective Disorder. This is a controversial category, but it is valid. No one quite knows what it is, but I believe the best explanation is that this is simply Schizophrenia and a mood disorder – Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder – occurring in the same person. Persons with Schizoaffective Disorder tend to be heavily loaded genetically for both mood disorders and schizophrenia, whereas someone with a core mood disorder will tend to have mood disorders in their family history and someone with schizophrenia will tend to have relatives with schizophrenia.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

Chronic Mental Illness and Personality

Axis 2 disorders (personality disorders) are hard to diagnose in schizophrenia because of the swamping nature of schizophrenia and because schizophrenia itself has a devastating effect on personality.

Even mood disorders often cause serious personality changes. When they hit in adolescence, maturity is often frozen at whatever the age the illness hit. This is why you see people with chronic mental illness in their mid-50’s who still act like teenagers. They act that way because the chronic illness hit in adolescence and their maturation process for all intents and purposes froze in place.

You really need to treat the mood disorder and then see if there is anything left on Axis 2.

I don’t believe in diagnosing personality disorders that are caused by an Axis 1 symptomatic process (anxiety or mood disorder) because this violates the basic theory of Axis 2 – that these are illnesses at the very core or essence of the person, at the soul itself if you will – that usually have roots deep in childhood and adolescence and are always apparent by adolescence or early adulthood. Pathological personality change in later life violates the principles of Axis 2, but maybe we need a new DSM category for that, as it does occur sometimes.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

PUA/Game: Freud’s Eternal Question: The Hamster Wheel, Strong Emotionality, Female Self-Delusion – Self-Annihilation Drive, and Feminism

If you start to figure out females, pat yourself on the back. You’re better than 75% of both men and women in that regard. Even Freud could not figure out these endlessly baffling, complex and mystifying creatures.

What does a woman want?

– Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychology.

And yes, the fact that females don’t even understand females is seriously pathetic. Misogynists take note. Here’s one more weapon for your arsenal!

But it’s probably not as bad. Most people are not as evil as their enemies say they are, and the MGTOW’s and redpillers overestimate their opponent, a natural human tendency. Remember the Missile Gap? Remember the SALT Talks? North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela are current cases. It must be a natural human tendency:

  • Always grotesquely exaggerate the danger and evil of your opponent.

So the charge like so many misogynist beefs is probably false. Actually women probably really do understand women, if they have any sense anyway. No wait. Well, anyways. Moving right along.

Women probably understand women as they understand so many things, but women spend most of their lives blinding themselves to cruel reality because it doesn’t line up with their fairy tale dream of what life is. These self-delusions that women are constantly spinning as, frankly, a defense mechanism, are what is known as the hamster wheels.

So women are not really stupid. More that they are in general self-deluded. The delusions or hamster wheels were created typically by emotions, and women are extremely emotional. So the wild emotions are like your pet rat on the wheel. They’re the fuel that powers the hamstering.

The strong emotions created the delusions (as a defense mechanism) because the truth about life is so awful that many women find it horrific, and they just can’t handle it. Really none of us can handle life (men mostly just fake it), but men are much more like to say, “If life gives you a shit sandwich, eat it whole!” Women shrink back remarks like that, being the Tender Sex. And with their natural tendency towards depression and even annihilation, worldviews like that rapidly tumble them into depression that often becomes suicidal. Almost all women will become suicidal at some point in their lives. Suicidality is nearly a feature of the feminine. I have had enough girlfriends to where I almost wonder if it as an actual drive towards self-annihilation.

On the other hand, we males are born with a drive to annihilate others, so maybe the born suiciders level out the born homiciders and somehow harmony is created.

The takeaway point here is that all the female hamstering and self-delusion is a defense mechanism, probably against depression and suicide. One can hardly fault women for creating defense mechanisms against such things, and there’s an excellent argument that such defenses are necessary.

So they make up the fake reality and call it real. In general, most women cannot tease apart the fake reality from the real reality in all cases, but the best women can tease it apart in 80-90% of cases. These are the women you want in your lives. The more wild hamstering and self-bullshitting with no capacity for reflection at all, and the more problems you are going to have with that women, in my opinion. You will have problems with her if you choose to live in actual reality while she chooses her hamster world.

That’s a recipe for endless fights and outrages. She probably also thinks you are a scum or you’re evil. Women look at men who see life as it is and say, “Wow! Look at how that man thinks! He’s scum! He’s so evil!” This is because in our world people who do not buy the pretty lies about life (usually created by women) are regarded as evil. This is because in the reality of the Hamstering World, the way it is set up is that anyone who refuses to see the reality of Hamster World is simply evil. Hamster World is a nice place full of lots of pretty little lies. Anyone who refuses the reality of this beautiful world in favor of a worldview which is much more evil (even if it is grounded in reality) is seen as having an evil worldview.

People with evil worldviews are bad people. Assholes, bastards, pigs, wankers, creeps. We’ve all been called them all. Being called those names is the price you pay for being a man who sees the world as it is really is – a shitty, lousy, down and dirty rat race dog eat dog jungle full of dangerous apex predators of both sexes. Notice I said of both sexes. This is important. Women call us predators, but all humans are predators. More importantly, all men are predators due to their male imperative. However there is also a female imperative that makes women just as predatory as men. Both sexes are preying on each other. Our prey is our needs. This goes for both sexes. Dog eat dog, and eat or be eaten. I choose to eat, thank you very much.

We see Hamster World in women’s politics first and foremost, such as feminism. Feminism is simply the worldview of women, which is largely constructed of self-delusions created to make the world seem like it is the world women want to live in instead of being the pretty damn lousy world that women really do live in. This is why feminism is so nuts and irrational. It’s also why it is as devious and conspiratorial as the Protocols. Feminism is a philosophy with a based on massive self delusions about how the world works, so it literally cannot be rational, and the psychological drives pushing the Hamstering logic make it crafty, conniving, devious, deeply unfair, and somewhat wicked.

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Filed under Depression, Feminism, Gender Studies, Man World, Mood Disorders, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Sane Pro-Woman, Women

Cultural Left Lies about Homosexuality

We do not choose our sexual orientation. This is actually the official pronouncement of the American Psychological Association, and there is no basis whatsoever for making that statement, although for men there seems to be something to it. Plenty of women have obviously chosen lesbianism and then chosen to be straight again.

Sexual orientation is inborn. Then why do these lesbians date men for years and decades before they finally “wake up” and realize that they are lesbians? If they are born that way,  what happened? Did their true nature go into hiding until they were 40?

Male homosexuality is inborn or genetic. It is almost certainly not genetic, but it may be a developmental disorder, so in that sense, it may be inborn. And while it is fixed in adolescence or even before, we still do not know if or how childhood factors play a role in male sexual orientation. In other words, it’s not proven that prepubertal boys already have a preset sexual orientation.

Gay men are no more likely to molest children than straight men. On the contrary, they are 12X more likely to molest children than straight men, and we are talking little kids here, under 13, not teenagers.

10% of all people are gay. This is called the “10% lie.” It’s been disproven so many times that we should hardly bother to disprove it anymore, except that we have to because the gays keep lying about it.

The rate of homosexuality is not increasing. False. The background rate may be ~3%, but among the youngest generation in the UK, 6% of all men are gay. The same study showed that only 45% of men said they were completely heterosexual. Previous studies put it at 60-65%. Clearly the rate is increasing. This also calls into question the “born that way” theory.

The rate of homosexuality is the same all over the world. False. In Ancient Greece and Rome, rates approached 95% of men. Among certain groups in Afghanistan, the rates are extremely high. There are also societies where it seems to barely exist at all. Sexual orientation may not be up for grabs so much, but at least men can engage in homosexual behavior at vastly different rates.

Gays do not recruit or convert. False. Gay men continuously try to seduce straight men, with young, very handsome straight men being hit the hardest of all. It’s dubious whether straight men can actually be converted to a homosexual or even bisexual orientation, but they can definitely be converted to bisexual behavior.

The Gay Lobby does not have a subversive agenda. False. The Gay Lobby has long stated that one of its most important goals is to abolish gender, as they put it. That’s subversive in my book.

Everyone is at risk of HIV. Hardly. The vast majority of Americans either have zero to extremely low HIV risk. The HIV rate among lesbians is close to zero.

HIV does not discriminate. Like Hell it doesn’t. Gay men are 1.5% of the population and 70% of HIV cases. Sounds like a discriminatory disease to me.

Sexual practices play no role in HIV. Like Hell they don’t. The crude equation of HIV is this: Humans who get fucked in the ass fuck other humans in the ass (with their penises). Sure, a woman can practice receptive anal sex and get HIV, but there is almost no way to give it to anyone else as she lacks a penis full of semen to transmit it. Hence, as the New York Department of Health noted in the 1980’s, HIV goes from men to women and then it stops.

Gay men are no more likely to have sex with young teenagers than straight men are. False. 25% of all gay men over the age of 25 have had sex with a boy age 13-15 when they were over age 25. Only 6% of all straight men over the age of 25 have had sex with a girl aged 13-15 when they were over 25.

The only difference between gay and straight men is the PIV sex. Hardly. There are extreme differences between gay and straight men even outside the bedroom.

Effeminacy and masculinity have no relationship to sexual orientation. In fact, gay men are much more likely to be effeminate, and masculinity is deeply rooted in male heterosexuality. Perhaps ~70-75% of gay men are effeminate, and perhaps ~1-3% of straight men are effeminate. I have only see two truly masculine gay men in my life, both on Youtube videos. The rate of seriously masculine gay men must be vanishingly small.

Gay men are just as mentally healthy as straight men. Studies consistently show that gay men have higher rates of depression and anxiety disorders than straight men.

Increased psychological problems among gays are due to societal discrimination. Recent data out of Denmark and Sweden, as gay friendly as anywhere, show that the rate of psychological problems remain elevated even in perfect conditions. No one knows why psychological problems seem to be part of the package that male homosexuality comes wrapped up in.

Gay teens have an elevated suicide rate. Not true. They have a higher rate of suicide attempts, but the rate itself is not elevated.

Gays have a high suicide rate. Not so for gay men or lesbians.

Children raised by gays are just as psychologically healthy as children raised by a man and a woman. False. They have more problems and are about as psychologically healthy as kids raised by single Moms. The best environment for children is a man and a woman.

Children raised by gays are no more likely to be gay than anyone else. The latest studies show that ~12% of children raised by gays are gay themselves, which is vastly higher than the background rate. This calls into extreme question notions about sexual orientation as inborn.

Gays live just as long as straights. Nope. Their life expectancy is shortened by a full 20 years.

The shortened gay lifespan is due to discrimination. False. Gay men like 20 years less in Sweden and Denmark too, the most gay friendly countries on Earth.

Lesbians live just as long as straight women. False. Lesbians live a full 20 years less than straight women.

Gay men are not more promiscuous than straight men. False. A huge percentage of gay men have had 100+ sexual partners. Only 6% of straight men have.

HIV is not a gay disease – straight men can get it too. False. It is nearly impossible to get HIV from PIV insertive sex.

Reparative therapy does not work. False. It does not work for gay men. However, surrogate sex therapy for lesbians has been shown to work. Lesbians who were incapable of sex with men can become capable via surrogate sex therapy.

Gay men are no more likely to be serial killers. False. Gay men are 12X more likely to be serial killers than straight men.

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Can OCD Be the Root Cause of Other Mental Disorders? If So, Can It Possibly Be the Cause of Schizophrenia in Some People?

Answered on Quora. 

There are definitely some other disorders you can get as a consequence of having OCD, such as Depression, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, and suicidality. However, schizophrenia and psychosis is not one of them.

But many OCD’ers worry that they may get schizophrenia or that they are in the process of getting it. Sufferers call this S-OCD, Schiz OCD or better yet OCD with the Schizophrenia or Psychosis Theme. This is simply someone with OCD who has adopted the theme of a fear of going psychotic. As with most other forms of OCD, the fear can cause symptoms that seem to mimic the fear itself. In this case, it can cause symptoms that mimic schizophrenia or other psychoses on the surface, however, careful prodding and questioning generally makes a differential diagnosis between OCD and Schizophrenia fairly straightforward.

Nevertheless, many S-OCD’ers sadly get diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychoses by ignorant clinicians and as a result are medicated inappropriately. This subtype of OCD is very poorly known and often misdiagnosed.

I run into S-OCD’ers with incorrect diagnoses of Psychotic Depression, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc. on a fairly regular basis. The fact that when OCD is very bad, OCD’ers appear psychotic on the surface (but are not psychotic) confuses matters even more. It takes an experienced clinician to figure out what is OCD appearing psychotic and what is an actual psychosis.

At times the two illnesses are found in the same person, and sometimes in these cases it can be hard to figure out where the OCD ends and the schizophrenia begins or figuring out if a given symptom is best seen as one illness or the other. When the illnesses occur in the same person, it is sometimes called schizo-obsessive disorder. These people, who have much better insight than other schizophrenics, sometimes have a tendency to hide symptoms, which makes diagnosis even more confusing.

But having OCD is not going to give you schizophrenia. That’s not possible.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia, Symptoms

Do Therapists Ever Think Their Clients are Unfixable?

Question from Quora:

Some people are utterly unfixable or even improvable, but they are quite rare.

There are clients who are just too far gone, and they cannot be helped at all. It is as if the person were a ceramic bowl that was dropped on a hard floor. The bowl is now in 100 pieces, and the person who dropped it is on the ground looking at the pieces and throwing up their hands. “Where do I start?” he asks in exasperation.

All sociopaths and psychopaths are unfixable by their very nature. We can’t cure the sociopathy and psychopathy because they don’t want to get better. They enjoy being antisocial, and they do not wish to change. However, we can get them to change their behavior. For instance, a homicidal sociopath may show up in the office. A good therapist may be able to convince this sociopath that acting on their homicidal fantasies would be one of the stupidest things that they could ever do. This sociopath may then be able to go through life without killing an innocent person. So we can’t fix sociopaths, but we can change their behavior somewhat, tone it down, or reduce the amount of damage they do to society.

All paraphilias are unfixable by their very nature. The paraphilia quite literally will not and cannot go away. It’s etched in stone.

Schizophrenia is largely unfixable. They need a great deal of medication, and even then in most cases, they are repeatedly hospitalized. A few can go on to lead somewhat normal or even successful lives, but these people still need continuous medication and regular psychotherapy. In addition, they need frequent interventions to stay out of the hospital.

Many illnesses such as OCD, Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Major Depression are unfixable by psychotherapy. Most of these people will need medication for the rest of their lives. However, psychotherapy can improve their conditions a lot at least in the first and last cases.

Long-term suicidality is very hard to fix. It tends to become chronic with repeated attempts over the years. The suicidal person is typically defiant and is furious with you for challenging their suicidality. You are expected to sympathize with their condition, which is actually a very bad idea. Most suicidal people are what I would call “defiantly suicidal.”

Personality disorders are generally incurable. Theoretically, they could be fixed, but these people almost never present for therapy, and when they do, it is often at the behest of others, and they do not really wish to be there or get anything done. People with personality disorders, like sociopaths, literally do not want to get better. They like their personality disorder, and they are incredibly resistant to change. There are some case reports of cures of personality disorders, but in general the prognosis is grave.

I have never been able to fix long term low self esteem, and I have tried with a few people. There is something about that condition that hammers itself into the brain as if into concrete. I do not know why, but long-term low self-esteem seems to be one of the hardest psychological problems to fix. Why this is, I have no idea. Perhaps someone else can offer some ideas.

In many cases, long-term mental disorders simply cannot be fixed or cured. However, with psychotherapy and drugs, people can often get much better than they were before. We need to stop thinking in terms of cures and start thinking in terms of amelioration.

I realize that many clinicians insist that most people can be fixed or cured of long-term conditions, but I think they are lying. They are probably trying to drum up business. Many clinicians fear that if word got out that a lot of long-term mentally ill people cannot be fixed or cured, people would stop coming in for therapy. There goes their paycheck. Therapists are a lot more money-oriented than most people believe, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I know this field very well.

Clinicians have nothing to worry about. Even if a lot of conditions could only be ameliorated and not fixed, I am sure a lot of folks would show up to try to get some improvement. Some mental disorders are so painful that any improvement feels like a miracle cure to the client. A lot of people have given up on being cured anyway, just want to at least get better and are quite happy to do so.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Health, Medicine, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, OCD, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia, Sex, Sociopathy

False Memories in OCD

False memories are quite common when OCD gets bad. I have dealt with a number of people who were going round and round about false memories. They are not an extremely common symptom, but you do see them sometimes when the illness is bad. It’s generally a sign of a bad illness.

Ms. Z was periodically convinced that she killed people. She would have a conversation with someone for 5-10 minutes, then walk away ,and then suddenly think that she had killed them somehow during the conversation. Perhaps she had suddenly swung her fist out and beat them to death? Perhaps she had pulled out a knife and hacked them to death? Perhaps she had shot them with a gun? She would have all sorts of false memories of how she killed these people.

In the course of these false memories, she would become 100% certain that she had killed that person she was talking to in that store that day. In the next few days, she would ask around to people she knew if anyone got murdered or if she killed someone in the store that day. Of course she would always be told no. I’m sure her friends must have tired of answering these weird questions. As soon as she was told that no murder had occurred, immediately the firmly held belief that she had killed that person would vanish, and she would never think about it again. Until a little while later when she would be talking to someone again and then walk away and once again become convinced that she had killed that person…

Another woman, Ms. S., was a young college student. She was at a large California university that had a lot of long, winding trails with undergrowth. There were deep gullies on the sides of the paths that were overgrown with foliage. Ms. S. would be walking down the paths and as she walked, she passed all sorts of people coming her way. At some point, she would suddenly get an idea that she had grabbed one of the people coming her way and thrown them down into one of the gullies.

She had a pretty clear memory of who the person was she threw down there and exactly how she had done it. She would be overwhelmed with guilt, and she would take off down into the gully searching for the “body” of the person she had thrown down into the gulch. She did this on a pretty regular basis, and eventually the university wondered what she was doing floundering around in the gullies, and they sent the university police down there to see what she was up to. After a while, it become clear that she needed to go to the university counseling center.

In both cases, the women received a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder in addition to OCD. This was an incorrect diagnosis, and it was based on the fact that for a short while after Ms. S  was clamboring around in the gullies or after Ms. Z became convinced that she had somehow killed someone she was talking to, that both women were absolutely convinced that they had either thrown someone down into the gully or had killed the person they were talking to in the store.

The diagnosis was incorrect because as soon as the women were told that there was no one in the gully or that they had not killed the person in the store, the “delusion” completely vanished and they didn’t think of it again until next time. Delusions just don’t go away like that. It’s not a very strongly held conviction if can vanish with a mere word of reassurance.

We look at the whole process in a holistic sense. What is the nature of the process? Is this a characterological process (personality disorder), a mood process (mood disorder like Bipolar Disorder or Depression), an anxiety process (OCD, PTSD, GAD, Panic Disorder) or a psychotic process (schizophrenia, manic psychosis, psychotic depression, schizoaffective disorder)? It is important to look at things in an intuitive sense and get the “smell” or “feel” of what the basic process is that you are dealing with.

In the case above, this is an anxiety process, specifically an OCD process. It’s not a psychotic process, despite the fact that it superficially resembles a psychosis.

Some of these folks with false memories actually go to the police station and turn themselves in for crimes that they did not commit.

“Hi, I am here to report a murder.”

“Ok, what happened?”

“Well I think I killed someone last night.”

“You think you killed someone?”

“Yes.”

“Well, where did this happen?”

“I am not sure. I think maybe the bridge over the river.”

“What time did this happen?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe midnight?”

“Who was the victim?”

“I’m not sure. I think it was a man, maybe.”

“What weapon was used?”

“I am not completely sure. I think it was a knife maybe.”

After a while the police started to get the message. He was not there to report a murder at all. He was there to find out whether or not he was a murderer!

As the conversation degenerated, the man started repeating, “How do you know if you killed someone or not?”

The police did not know what to say to that. After he left, the police were talking among themselves. “That’s so weird,” one of them said. “What does he mean, ‘How do I know if I killed someone or not?’ How could you not know something like that? That’s so weird.” The cops were shaking their heads.

 

As you can see, false memories are quite common in OCD when it gets very bad.

I dealt with them myself at one point in 1985 or 1986. I have to admit it was a pretty nutty way of thinking. I was so ashamed of my false memories (which I temporarily convinced myself were true) that I never told anyone except for a couple of therapists. I have not dealt with any false memory nonsense in over 30 years, and I hope I never have to deal with that again. It’s truly a crazy way to think.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Law enforcement, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, OCD, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders