Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Let’s talk about that…


This will be a tough and somewhat embarrassing subject for me, as I tend to keep it to myself most of the time.
But today I decided to share some of it.

Psychosis associated with Bipolar Disorder

psychosis

“People who are psychotic have false thoughts (delusions) and/or see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations)”

While not everybody who has bipolar disorder experiences psychosis, I have to some extent. And I’d like to talk about it.

As far back as I can remember

Since I was around the age of 12 and possibly younger, I’ve been in multiple situations and experienced things that I used to believe were genuine. I believed that I had some kind of “special power” or ability to perceive things, contact different lifeforms and/or higher beings, and that I had a very special purpose or mission here on Earth.
At times I was also afraid that I was going to punished by “my kind” (which were extraterrestrials, at the time…) for not living up to what I needed to do – and even believe I was abducted by them.

That already traces the hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia all the way back to childhood.
But it gets more interesting; I haven’t even told any of my stories yet.

You may be thinking this is just a children’s imagination, and that’s it normal. However, it wasn’t – and I’ll explain why.
The first and probably best reason is that I still to this day experience some of those things, especially while I am stressed.
The second reason is because I actually saw, felt, and believed these things to the point where I would (re)act to them just as something that is real.
On top of that, I know now it’s a symptom of severe bipolar disorder.

Some of my experiences

Let me give you some examples of things I’ve experienced.

  • When I was around the age of 12, I remember sitting in the living room watching television late at night when everyone was sleeping. Suddenly, I heard some kind of banging noises coming from the kitchen which startled me. Out of curiosity and because of the distracting noises, I built up enough nerve to go see what was causing it.
    When I got into the kitchen, I looked around and saw the cupboards on the island slamming shut and opening themselves. Not only that, but I then saw some of the pots and pans that were inside floating around in midair and being banged.
    After seeing that and obviously becoming scared, I ran back into the living room, laid down on the couch and covered myself with a blanket; I was too afraid to move — paralyzed.
    Of course, the blanket didn’t do anything to protect me, but that’s something many kids do to feel safer.
    I must have laid there for half an hour, and finally I believe I just blacked out / passed out from being stressed or overwhelmed.
  • I’ve had multiple encounters with ghosts/spirits. Believing that I was seeing and/or communicating with them — sometimes they were “good” spirits and other times they were “bad” spirits.
    For the most, the full visuals that include a bodily image were when I was below the age of the 15.
    Since then, I tend to see blobs of ‘energy’ (as one might put it), hear voices, or generally “sense” them in my mind. Sometimes I feel them or what they are trying to portray to me as emotions.
  • In general, I used to sleep walk a lot and end up staring out the back doors of every house we lived in. My father found me this way at least once or twice that I recall.
    One time, I even woke up in the middle of a field we had. Which leads me to my extraterrestrial experiences.
    As I mentioned briefly, I’ve believed that I was in contact with – and abducted – by extraterrestrials.
  • I believed that I was an extraterrestrial to the point that I used to “pray” to them and beg for them to “take me home”; rationally, life felt like hell for me and I wanted to escape even at a young age, but having this delusion is not quite normal.
    It’s especially odd that when I woke up in the field, I was sure that I had been abducted and recalled the experience in detail. You probably don’t need details about that to get the point.
  • I’ve also found myself staring out the window – or once, riding my snowmobile – and looking at what I believed were UFOs. And I mean seeing the actual ship, not just the lights.
    I have told some of my family about those experiences, and to some degree I’m still uncertain if they were genuine or hallucinations.
  • Sometimes when I looked at stuffed animals or other inanimate objects, I believed they were real – and that some of them had an evil presence inside of them.
  • At times, I feel that I have communicated with those aliens, spirits, and other “beings” via telepathic speaking.
  • I used to believe strongly that I had the ability of telekinesis (“an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction“), to the point where I would actually practice it for hours by focusing my energy and thoughts towards moving the object. Sometimes, I even believed it worked… although, in all likelihood, I was hallucinating that.
    The last two examples have happened all the way up to the age of around 20 and possibly beyond.
  • I sometimes hear and see things even while walking around in stores, that nobody else seems to catch onto.
    Such as dead, rotting bodies walking around, hearing random voices talking to me right near my ear, groaning/agony noises, and so on.
  • I’ve physically felt “beings” touching my body before, or crawling inside of me – believing that they were either spirits, aliens or insects.
  • I’ve seen posters and pictures on the wall “come alive”, feeling that they were 3 dimensional and in motion – sometimes interacting with me…
  • I’ve had strong beliefs that certain things are going to happen – whether they be good or bad. Good: such as winning the lottery, to the point I would tell somebody about it ahead of time. Bad: such as somebody crossing the road is going to be hit by a car, or die later that day – and sometimes I feel that I should try to save them.
  • I’ve often been paranoid that specific people I see are going to try to hurt me, to the point I get a huge adrenaline rush and am ready to defend myself – even if they are non-provoking. When this is less severe, I just believe they are talking about me – but still feel bothered and sometimes even snarl slightly at them.
  • I thought that I could read people’s minds, control their thoughts, and bend their will.
  • Once in a while, while manic, I would believe that I was actually a “god” or some kind of superhuman in general – even though I’m atheist.
    I believed that I could hurt or even kill people with my mind and the energy that embodies me alone.
  • I used to have plots and plans that I was going to take over the world. I was going to transform into my true form which apparently was simply unlimited energy, but controllable so that I could manipulate myself in ways that I could interact with other beings in order to achieve this.
  • Last year, I saw things such as white animals appear before me while stressed — and I jumped back in reaction to being so startled.
  • As recent as a month ago, I found myself getting out of bed feeling angered and grabbing the closest thing to a weapon I could find, then going to the door because I believed there were aliens outside of my door that were there to punish me. I’ve also had similar situations with “men in black suits” rather than aliens.

Wow — well, with that said…

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I’ve probably embarrassed myself enough by now for you to get a general idea of the type of things I experience.

How these things affect me, and others

While I would like to believe that I have a somewhat firm grip on the difference between reality and my psychosis at this point in my life, I can’t deny that sometimes it really does fool me – or I wouldn’t react the way I do to some of the situations.

Luckily and thankfully I’ve never hurt anyone else or myself due to the psychosis – and I hope it stays that way.
I also probably haven’t embarrassed myself any more than I have just now by posting this. Most of the time, I don’t think I let people notice that I am experiencing these things nowadays, unless they’re severe.

However, it does upset and irritate me that I have these symptoms regardless. Some of them are downright scary, even when I am as used to them as I possibly can be.
I think the risperidone that I take does help reduce these symptoms significantly as well.

Feelings in general

Psychosis – whether it’s part of bipolar or another mental illness, is not something that’s fun to deal with. It is very serious, and it’s a good idea to be medicated for such symptoms – which I am.

However, I don’t believe there’s a reason for anyone to be afraid of me, or think I am crazy for suffering from this.
These things are just an unfortunate part of my mental illness.
And I am getting treatment for it.
I’m doing the best I can. I struggle enough on my own not to need the stigma associated with it in my life.

I shared this because I feel it’s important for my self-therapy.
I want to express what I deal with rather than holding it in all the time, or being afraid of what people think.
I need to be strong to deal with what life has given me.
But you are free to your opinions and feelings on the matter, just as I am.

Thanks for reading~