Alternate Facts and Schizophrenia
Most of us know what it is like to hear the roar of a waterfall or a fast moving river. Most people do not know what it is like to have your thoughts run through your brain in a similar way. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. For the past eight months, the time I have followed the campaign and election of the 45th President, I have struggled. The river is loud, and the water is fierce.
There is a period after being psychotic where my brain feels porous and far too open to the world around me. To close those holes between reality and mental illness, I limit what information I take in. I watch happy movies and comforting television shows. I don’t go near anything even remotely frightening, suspenseful, or in the genre of sci-fi. I stick to facts, provable, verifiable facts. I know this will sound unusual, but this practice helps me with healing, and it helps me to begin to separate delusions and hallucinations from reality. For me, it is essential to the process of returning to normal life – a life where I have relationships and where for over twenty years I functioned at a level high enough to hold a full-time job.
I do not want to fall in the river. I would risk my life to avoid that cold rushing water that can so easily drown even a strong man. I am no strong man. My psyche is at times frail. One step to the left and you slip off the bank, and the current catches you. Who knows where you will end up? I’ve been in that river. I’ve gone to that place. I would do almost anything to stand my ground and not get wet.
Alternate Facts. Pizzagate. The Bowling Green Massacre. Pictures of a past inauguration side by side with the latest image of this year’s inauguration and we are told not to believe our eyes. “It’s huge. It’s the biggest ever. It’s a movement. No one has seen anything like it. They say it is the biggest they have ever seen. It is unprecedented.”
For the average person, someone not standing next to a river, they can shake their head. They can cry, “lies!” For me, someone with schizophrenia, someone who has lost touch with reality on more than one occasion, I must hold these discretions up. I must research. I must read and read and read until I am certain of my footing.
I take medication, so I don’t believe and share details about conspiracies. Millions of people now fight and troll and bully trying to get others to believe in conspiracies some that begin at the highest office in the land. Whoosh. The river rages.
Voter fraud. Russia. No Russia. Hacking. No hacking. The actions in Yemen a disaster. The actions in Yemen successful. Sanctions. No sanctions. Conflict of interest. No conflicts of interest. Allies are enemies and enemies are friends.
It has been a while since I have been psychotic. But, I find that I must once again solidify holes between fact and delusion, hallucination and reality.
Why do we call some people crazy while others doing the same thing are considered sane? It must be the distance we stand from the river. I send those people worshipping their conspiracies a message – be careful to learn to swim like a pro because at the edge of the river strong people have been taken by the current and never found a log, or rock to assist them in getting back to the shore.
Chamaa, R. (2017). Alternate Facts and Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 19, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/schizophrenia-life/2017/03/alternate-facts-and-schizophrenia/