“Schizophrenia or Suggestibility ” by David

Sorry. Sorry! mea culpa!!! i meant to introduce this post with this: “David” wrote me with the following essay about his experience,which I promised to post for him on my blog. It follows: 

” I saw Lady Quixote’s story printed out at the Hearing Voices meeting in San Francisco.


“What struck me was how similar was the story she told to my story. When I was a small child I did self hypnosis as a hobby.  Later as a young teen I met a senior citizen from the Unity Church who provided me a lot of books about new-age psychic topics. She talked with me about automatic writing and spirits. I did many of these things in hopes of becoming psychic.


“Through my high-school years I continued to be interested in these things but only when the college experience overwhelmed me did I become preoccupied with the voices in my head.  I would look for guidance in things as simple as where to walk.  Since walking to class was a prerequisite to attending class, if I was guided instead to walk in the woods, I failed at college.


“In addition, throughout my psychic explorations there were instances where there were definite connections between my mind and the rest of the world.  Although the number of true experiences were far less frequent than the imagined ones, they reinforced my beliefs.


“After I returned to my parents’ home I had the typical delusional experience of believing that there was a direct connection between the universe and what I was thinking and hearing in my head.  Unfortunately what I was hearing was based on what I thought abut myself and as I spiraled downward, I was told that I had to kill myself.

“After getting out of the hospital and the halfway house with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, I returned to my parents’ home.  A few years went by with little change but I began to doubt the veracity of my voices and found that I could dismiss or ignore them.   They eventually faded away into the benign parade of inner thoughts.

“The thing that struck me after thinking about Lady Quixote and me is that there are some states of mind called schizophrenia that would better be described as suggestibility.  In the old days folks like us were seen as having been possessed by demons, and perhaps the exorcisms actually worked when the people believed strongly enough in prayer and calling on Jesus to drive the demons out.

“I think that it is a shame that this type of diagnosis has not been made by treaters because it would be helpful to folks to understand that they can be liberated from their troubles in a much more straightforward way, as  Lady Quixote was.

“Because, like her, I had some actual experiences that could be classified as psychic, having a diagnosis that labeled my inner thoughts as strictly delusional confounded matters.  The psychiatric community does not acknowledge that some of us have to deal with both real experiences and our overactive imaginations. They are trained in the practice of science, which is opposed to the various phenomena we call metaphysics.


“I am happy that my inexplicable experiences usually involve rather mild, not very intrusive thoughts, as opposed to noisy voices.  I try to practice good mental hygiene to keep the inner critic mostly at bay and avoid overstressing myself.  It has been about 40 years since I was troubled with my inner voices.



7 thoughts on ““Schizophrenia or Suggestibility ” by David”

  1. I haven’t been keeping up with blogs, either, Pam. I’m so sorry. I have iron overload from hereditary hemochromatosis, which makes me so tired. Very hard to function, time for me to have some chelation and phlebotomies.


  2. Linda, i emailed you a long time ago about David’ s letter but alas i remembered you do not do emails so we figured this was fhe best way to contact you with this message from him. Glad you finally saw it!


  3. Oh my gosh, I don’t know how I missed seeing this post, Pam! I don’t know if you are aware that I am the Lady Quixote (@LadyQuixote on Twitter) that this post is referring to?

    My gosh, I really, REALLY need to get my memoir finished and published!


  4. As many of you might have noted, this post was written by. “David” and not by me…it was a grievous but not intentionsl omission. Mea maxima culpa! I have been in a state of some upset due to outside circumstances i hope to describe soon. In any event, needless to say, as many of you no doubt know, my voices have most certainly troubled me deeply within the very recent past, so the comment that these might not have for forty years might have seemed rather bizarre! Excepr for that seemingly extraneous “david” at thr end that should have explained it, but did not. So sorry again!


  5. I totally think that a great deal of being crazy is not having the usual defenses in place, the things that keep us all distant from each other. I think if your mind is out there, open and undefended, then any old thing in the world can affect you; schizophrenics are . . . overly interactive with the world. When I’m working at an institution or something, a shelter, it seems that a lot more people are . . . intimate, when they talk to me, I mean, really open, and they don’t talk about the weather. There isn’t the reticence, the guardedness “normal” people have. Am I wrong?


  6. That’s what I hear. That once you tell someone that hearing voices is a disease, they descend into diagnosis hell. I know many voice-hearers who thrived in their lives because they were lucky enough not to be taken to a shrink and given a psych diagnosis.


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