ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Folly of Trying to Be Psychic

By Jack Bragen
Friday February 01, 2013 - 04:44:00 PM

The assumption that you are “psychic” teaches the mind to come up with nonsense and treat it as reality. Attributing internal feelings, thoughts and perceptions to outside forces is very un-liberating and will create more problems. While I have experienced things that I could not explain, and that seemed to come from some kind of supernatural phenomena, I know that trying to be a psychic or participate in a belief system of a psychic group will generally spell a disaster for someone trying to recover from mental illness.  

In the past, I have met two individuals who seemed able to know things about me, without having met me and apparently without access to details of my life. This could mean that they were truly “psychic” or that I was dealing with some kind of bizarre spying. I also seem able to generate hunches that are often accurate from seemingly very little information. Yet the latter could be explained in other ways.  

However, belief in extrasensory perception, in psychic powers, or the idea that one has such abilities, spell disaster for the mind of someone who is already subject to delusions. For one thing, what if someone attributes the thoughts and feelings that are on the inside to outside influences? Then you have a recipe for that person to become extremely delusional in a very short time.  

And yet, this is exactly what psychic groups and psychic instructors will often do. They teach someone to believe that their “bad feelings” are generated by other people’s energy. This does not work for people with schizophrenia. It is also very un-empowering, since it implies that you are not in charge of your own innards. This belief system makes people keep coming back to the psychic group for more “healings,” since a person will invariably need help with bad energy they can’t get rid of. This repeat business helps in creating more income for the psychic individual or organization.  

Our human minds operate from basic assumptions. It is not uncommon to be unaware of what one assumes. If your basic assumption is that “things are good,” then it follows that everything that happens to you will be experienced as a good event. If your assumption is that everyone hates you, then your mind will continuously generate a frightening, paranoid world.  

If you adopt an assumption in your thinking that you are psychic and therefore that you know things beyond the limits of your five senses, then you are much more prone to believing in delusions, especially since a delusion will present itself within the mind as if it were a psychic perception. If you adopt an assumption that you are psychic, it could create a “data corruption” in your mind’s operating system.  

In the mental exercises that I have invented as an augment to medication, (exercises that I use to help remain more accurate and more stabilized) I need to be able to discard a suspected delusional thought at will. If I assume I am psychic, I will attribute truth to every thought that occurs in my mind and will not be able to discard any thoughts as junk. This will result in my thinking turning to rot. 

A troubled young man who suffered from psychiatric illness, Daniel Dewitt, is a primary suspect in a manslaughter case. Prior to the incident in which he allegedly killed a random homeowner in Berkeley with a flower pot, Daniel claimed that he was “psychic.” This is a concrete example of someone with schizophrenia who had the belief of being psychic—and the outcome was horrible.  

The premise that oneself is a psychic or has special powers is common among people who suffer from delusions. This belief ought not to receive reinforcement by people who claim to be “a medium.” The result of adopting this belief is an acceleration of the worsening of symptoms for someone with schizophrenia.  

Although belief in psychic abilities is apparently suitable for some people, those of us with mental illness can’t have this belief if we are to succeed in life or even survive.