Diagnosed psychotic trying to make sense of delusions, etc

Joseph Campbell believed that "...each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know." This forum is for assistance and inspiration in the quest to find your own personal mythology.

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Alephwyr
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Diagnosed psychotic trying to make sense of delusions, etc

Post by Alephwyr » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:04 am

Hi! So, I recently had a psychotic break, back in late 2014/early 2015. I've subsequently been medicated, which helps a lot, but for some reason I am still really infatuated with the content of those delusions and hallucinations I had when I was at my worst. I still have them to a lesser extent during really stressful situations and when I use cigarettes or drink caffeine sometimes, and sometimes upon waking up before I take my meds.

Anyway, I found that reading Jung, Campbell, and Laing was really helpful for framing my problems and managing them. Realizing that my delusions have metaphorical significance and can be "deflated" as such was really helpful to my functioning. However, I'm still not satisfied with my understanding of myself in relation to the symbols of my delusions and hallucinations. I feel that I may have short-circuited my growth even by taking medication.

I was just wondering: Is this the place to try and get perspective on the meaning of my psychotic content? I've been searching all over the place to try and find anyone who could offer insight into the meaning of it, to no avail. I had four harbinger dreams that amount to 80 pages, and then my waking life has had a large fixation on the dragon as a symbol. Would it be reasonable to use you guys as a sounding board, to post my dreams and more context and a description of the problems and thoughts I've been having here? If not, I apologize for misusing these forums.

Thanks,
- Alephwyr
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:39 am

Welcome Alephwyr,

While there are some brilliant individuals who post on this site. Individuals who are scholars on Jung and Campbell. I'm not sure this is the place for serious therapy.

That being said.The discussions I have had on this site have helped me grow in a big way. If you would like to discuss something that might be fun, but no one who knows me would confuse me with a therapist. I think this is true for most of us. Actual therapy my not be allowed in the guidelines.

Perhaps someone can point you to a book on image interpretation. In the mean time, if you would like to discuss a topic in a more informal way, that should be fun.
Alephwyr
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Post by Alephwyr » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Well, I'm not completely sure I understand you. Certainly I didn't come here seeking therapy, so much as insight. The type of Jungian therapy which that insight might roughly correspond to seems to be a heavily deprecated practice anyway (certainly my own therapists do not practice it), so the risk of an overlap and hence overstep seems negligible. That being said, I am just going to move forward and accept the consequences of being either banned or ignored based on people's level of comfort with what I post.

To begin with, I fell into a major depression in late 2014. I felt that I was going to die, and that my life was meaningless and I a failure. At this time, I began planning an act of violence, thinking I would go out with a bang and seize some meaning in that way. Now, incidentally, I have sworn an oath against murder to the man who gave me my name. When I was a child, I was sent to an alternative school for being transgender, where I was severely abused. This abuse taught me to distrust and disbelieve in rationality and authority, and it was this man who taught me to trust in reason again (though not so much authority). Consequently, later in life I wanted to honor him and so I asked for his name and he gave it, on the condition that I not murder.

So as I was preparing the materials I needed, I had a series of dreams (link here). In these dreams, I was a Scythian Enaree, who fled from her family after a falling out and wandered north, collapsing of cold and exhaustion in the snow. She was there saved by a dragon, who she repaid by killing, drinking her blood. This allowed her to travel to another world, a world of human sacrifice, which she abhorred, for there they bred men for sacrifice instead of capturing them, which seemed wrong to her. Through a fluke in the fabric of the system, she destroyed this world, and moved on to another, a world like ours, except after an apocalypse. There, twelve demon kings ruled the world and demanded the monthly sacrifice of virgin girls. The Scythian sought to kill one of the demon kings, but in doing so brought about the deaths of 80% of that world.

Then she moved on to another world, where she was captured by a dragon, who made a collar out of her sins that would destroy her if she disobeyed his will. She managed to get it off, but in doing so crippled herself, and was cast into a vacuum between worlds. There she witnessed the adventures of a group of people who had just witnessed the end of their own world: a soldier, a priest, a priestess, and an academic. They shared stories and it was learned that the priestess was a dragonness, but this was thought to be a metaphor by all; all except the Enaree, who resolved to somehow seize the priestess' blood to power her magic further. The adventurers wound up doing final battle with an insect witch at the foot of the world tree, which she was absorbed into, and the tree was recovered from a sickness which the insect witch had forced onto it, which had been the cause of the apocalypse in that world.

The Enaree, having failed a test of morality in thirsting for the priestess' blood, was sent to this world that we now live in, where she is without magic. Those were my dreams, for there were four of them.

I did not listen to the apparent warning of the dreams, and went forward with my plan, and as I did so a voice came into my head calling me a foul wyrm to break an oath, and suddenly there was another personality inside my head; that of a female dragon. She took over initially, and at other moments of crisis, and I was thwarted in my plans of violence. I named her Kiyohime because she wouldn't tell me her true name. Along with the presence of this personality, there was also a tremendous disordering of thought which corresponds of course to psychosis, but that has no symbolic importance so I will not touch on it. Kiyohime is very mean, calling me stupid, wretched, disgusting, pathetic, and as of late, boring as well. She has demanded blood from me on occasions. But she also seems to care about me. More recently, she has wanted me to read and improve myself. After getting on medication, she spends most of her time sleeping, but she still wakes up some of the time, mostly when something interesting happens, or when I drink a lot of caffeine or smoke.

That is the short synopsis. Things are dulled significantly with medication, but I am trying to create a unified symbolic system of personal meaning that includes both the content of the dreams and the content of my waking hallucinations and delusions. If anyone would be willing to help me with this I would be eternally grateful, and I will be happy to provide more information as needed to help people fill in any gaps or gather any additional context needed.
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:17 pm

Alephwyr,

After reading your post I felt like saying "Bravo." I want to congratulate you for the depth and breath of your imagery.

I have had family members go through extensive therapy my entire life and in my opinion Jung's incites and depth psychology are far better than any previous methodology. They are not discredited so much as being the new way.

Freudian therapists subjected my mother to multiple shock treatments and then turned her into a Thorazine zombie, so I know a little about this subject.

After my earlier post I remembered that Jung has books about the interpretation of dreams that you might find useful.

I remember some comments Campbell said about dragons. He said that in Western Society the dragon was a monster that hoarded and defended things that it didn't need and couldn't use. In Eastern Society the dragon was a positive thing that represented the energy of life.

Jung may have a different interpretation.
Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:37 pm

I remembered something last night. Some time ago I saw a video on YouTube. It was a panel discussion of analysts talking about interpreting dreams. They said that there is a voice behind the dream and if you want to know the meaning ask the voice.

I want to add that this voice can be interpreted in two ways. Psychologically it represents your whole self and mystically it represents the ocean of being. But, in either case it is a loving voice. If it isn't loving then you are suffering from bad reception.

You might do a YouTube search on Jungian dream analysis,
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Post by JamesN. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:35 pm

A warm welcome to the forums Alephwyr; glad to have among us.

I am so sorry your are experiencing such difficulties at this time; indeed for many of us we struggle with the task of untangling our own personal "Gordian Knots" and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seems so very far away. As you may or may not be aware there has been little activity here lately; the foundation website has been going through a period of tremendous change and is in the middle of a complete overhaul. In it's present state it is functioning well at the moment because of our wonderful support staff but big changes are coming here just so you know. (Actually because of it's prior technical difficulties I'm not even sure if many of the regular associate members know it's back up and running again so hopefully they will start to drift back in once word the gets out.

I don't know if you are interested in Carl Jung or have come across this particular thread during your time here; but it has been of tremendous help for me and many others on the boards. ( Joseph Campbell as you may already be aware was very immersed in these themes throughout his work; so I'll just leave it at that and continue on. Our resident "Jungian"; moderator Cindy; unfortunately has taken a leave of absence and hopefully will return at some point in the not too distant future. Her help in mentoring many of us through this material has been indispensable in navigating it's understanding for it is deep stuff to digest and not done quickly as you may know. ( For many of us she is truly one of the bright lights of these forums and I hope you will get a chance to meet her.)

At some point our head moderator Clemsy should stop by to say hello; but in the meantime if you have not viewed this particular thread perhaps it may offer you some assistance with your journey. It is very deep with links and material and should offer a wide range of sources for you to explore. I would recommend parts I & II first and then proceed to part III from there; but follow it as you like.

I will also mention (that for myself) I have been working to understand this material for a long long time and will continue to do so for a long time yet to come. So if it seems perhaps a little daunting at first; not to worry; this is not a sprint but more like a long long walk in the woods with lots of stops to think and ponder and wrestle with shadows and perhaps if one is fortunate to hear the birds along the way;(if that makes sense).


http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4902



(I will also include the link to the Lexicon which may also prove to be quite helpful.)


http://www.psychceu.com/jung/sharplexicon.html


One last thing I might suggest if you are interested. The book "Jungian Dream Interpretation" by James A. Hall M.D. has for me been a tremendous help.


I hope this will be helpful for you.




Namaste :)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Alephwyr
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Post by Alephwyr » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:54 am

Thanks everyone, you've all been very helpful and given me a wonderful reception. I will do my best to make use of the resources you've provided for me and hopefully gain a better understanding not only of myself, but the general frameworks that are so essential to this form of analysis as well.
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Post by Myakka » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:16 pm

For me, one key to surmounting my psychological baggage has been to learn to allow me to be myself. That does not mean I go out and kill someone when I feel murderous (that is something you mentioned in your post); BUT it means that I find a way to give vent to those feelings. One readily available method for venting murderous feelings is to play an online game (it is easy to find ones in which you kill things). That is not the only method, but it is quite a good one in my experience.
Alephwyr
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Post by Alephwyr » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:51 pm

Myakka wrote:For me, one key to surmounting my psychological baggage has been to learn to allow me to be myself. That does not mean I go out and kill someone when I feel murderous (that is something you mentioned in your post); BUT it means that I find a way to give vent to those feelings. One readily available method for venting murderous feelings is to play an online game (it is easy to find ones in which you kill things). That is not the only method, but it is quite a good one in my experience.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to give vent to my feelings as they stem from factual political and social impotence that manifests in all places where meaningful venting might be conducted.. I've just been trying to find ways to manage through stoicism and, frankly, whatever useful bits of perspective I can get my hands on. It's a good general thought though, thank you.
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Post by JamesN. » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:00 pm

Alephwyr
I've just been trying to find ways to manage through stoicism and, frankly, whatever useful bits of perspective I can get my hands on.
Alephwyr I have a suggestion that may or may not be useful to you. Below is a link to the Joseph Campbell Foundation's own YouTube channel that contains a treasure trove of audio clips taken from many of his lectures over the years. These are small bits of very focused material about specific concepts which has recently been compiled. There is probably several hundred of them each lasting between 2 to 10 minutes with each topic labeled. When scrolling through them to pick out a particular clip at the bottom of the page there is a reload button which will add more. (I counted about 22 reloads the last time I checked.) The main problem of course is going through them to find what you are looking for; but I think you may find quite a bit of useful information that might be of help. These clips have been of enormous help for me personally; but I am not assuming that this approach necessarily will work for you. But I will say that there is a huge amount of information there that I had not previously encountered so I would highly recommend a visit there if you are up for it.


Namaste



https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtsNRw ... m6w/videos


Also here is a link to the JCF Bookstore which may offer more resources for you to consider as well.


http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php?categoryid=123


(One last thing I will add if I may is that you are not alone here; you are among friends.)


Cheers
:)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
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