ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Delusional Systems

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:24:00 PM

Many with a schizophrenic-type illness, and many with some forms of bipolar, are vulnerable to developing "delusional systems." A delusional system is an erroneous belief system or system of thought produced by a brain malfunction. A delusional system is one way that the individual's thinking and perception of the world can become "split-off" from reality.

When psychiatrists say that psychosis is "split personality," it is important not to confuse this with multiple personality disorder. The actual meaning is that the person's personality is split off from reality.

There are numerous ways that this can happen, and a brain malfunction is one of them. Another example is where a person joins a cult group, in which the person could be kidnapped, and their environment is controlled by the group's attempt to brainwash the new member.  


Most people obtain their version of "reality" through a combination of the mass media, contact with people, and through some amount of observing with the body's five senses. Isolating is one way in which a schizophrenic person may deteriorate. They do not have the opportunity to sync their reality with that of other people. 

Some people who are more experienced with psychotic illness may be able to spot their own delusional system in early stages, before it has grown to the extent that symptoms have obliterated the higher faculties. In that case, an attempt to deprogram it through one's own "internal resources" (such as meditation or other exercises), by itself, may not be adequate. 

If the delusional system in part was initially caused by isolation, then contact with people could be part of the remedy. If it developed due to inadequate medication or due to going down or off medication "AMA" (against medical advice) then the solution may be to resume medication. Or, if already medicated, the dosage of antipsychotics may need to be raised. (Yet, if the dosage is far in excess of what is appropriate, the dosage may need to be lowered.) 

Delusional systems can develop in part because of unhappiness. Unhappiness is sometimes a symptom of clinical depression, but sometimes a person is just unhappy either because things are not going well, or because a person has poor mental hygiene--e.g., predominance of negative and dissatisfied thinking. If a person expects life to be easy or if they expect to have things that they realistically cannot get, it causes unhappiness that should not be considered clinical depression. 

Either way, unhappiness can be a hotbed for the production of delusional thought (if a person has a predisposition for psychosis). 

The person may be trying to generate an explanation for why things are difficult, or they may be trying to raise their mood, and the delusional thoughts may bring either pleasure or relief at first, at an early stage before the psychosis worsens. 

A single delusion can turn into a "delusional system" when it becomes incorporated into the thinking as a basic assumption. When someone has an erroneous basic assumption, which is affecting how they interpret everything, it quickly becomes a delusional system. 

Once a delusional system has fully taken over a person's mind, that person may not be able to dig their way out, and they may require intervention, in some instances by force. 

However, the mental health treatment system is so sorely lacking in adequate resources, that in modern times, there isn't nearly as much help as I received in my past. 

Our government must provide resources for people with psychiatric disabilities. Doing that, in addition to prudent gun control, would significantly reduce the number of shootings perpetrated by disturbed, bullied people. Additionally, we deserve more help than we are getting, since we didn't create our disabilities, and currently there is a lot of discrimination against us. This is due to human ignorance of "normal" people.