I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. During a psychotic episode a year ago I developed a theory to explain my symptoms. The theory helped me to overcome my delusions and quell the auditory hallucinations I was experiencing. During the weeks of my recovery I expanded and consolidated the theory.
The idea still appears valuable to me, even now when I look at it with a relatively clear mind. I am wondering whether the theory is a vestige of my psychosis, whether or not it makes sense to others (or if it's just obvious to everyone). I would greatly appreciate external appraisal of the idea, to let me know if it holds water or if i'm crackers.
So if you're at-all interested read on!
My auditory hallucinations started out being relatively weak things, whispers that I could barely hear, tho I strained to make sense of them. They then grew to the point where I could hear them without trying. They then after several weeks began to get softer again. It was at this point that i began to suspect that my mind was imprinting words onto the static on my auditary channels. (I didn't really accept this tho because I was still off with the fairies). I noticed that there is always a faint hissing, a static that you can hear if you listen hard enough. Add to that background noise, cars wind etc and you get a constant background fuzz to everything we hear. I began to realise that it was possible that my mind was imposing order on that static , crafting the random sounds into words; interpretting the static as speech. Although I still believed in my delusions I started to hatch an alternative theory. My mind was searching for a specific kind of signal, speech, and it was searching among random data. And it was finding that signal in the random data not because it was there but because it was looking too hard and making order out of chaos. I envisioned the words I could hear as the result of a feedback loop between my conscious mind and the part of my mind attuned to interpreting sounds as speech patterns. Consciously I believed that someone was talking to me, therefore the part of my mind that looks for speech on the auditary channel was trying to find that sound. Lets call the part of my mind responsible for translation of sounds to speech patterns the speech processor. My conscious mind asked the speech processor to search for verbal signals. The speech processor complied and searched for specific sounds that it understood to be the components of speech. After searching the static it would find an example of a sound that could be interpretted as a component sound of speech. It would then return that component to my conscious mind. My conscious mind would then interpret the sound as the begining of a word. Take the sound 'th' for example, the speech processor would search for 'th' find it in the static and return 'th' to my conscious mind. My conscious mind would then realise that 'th' often signifies the begining of the word 'the' so it would send the speech processor a signal saying that it should now be expecting the sound 'uh' (as in th-uh = the). Dutifully the speech processor would search the static on the auditory channel for the sound 'uh' and would find it. My conscious mind then knew that it had heard the word 'the' and with this in place it would start to formulate what it expected to be the next word in the scentence. Say it decides that the next word is probably going to be 'day', it will send a request to the speech processor to search for the begining of the word, the sound 'd'. And so, as my theory goes, the scentence would continue to be conjured out of thin air
. My mind was imposing what it expected to hear onto the sounds it was actually hearing. At each stage of hearing the scentence my mind was dynamically determining what it was expecting to hear next and of course hearing what it was expecting. Occasionally the speech processor would pick up a sound that it was not expecting to hear, say a 'y' sound caused by a loud background noise, this would be relayed to my conscious mind and I would have to make a reappraisal of what I was expecting the rest of the scentence to be. Thus novell ideas are fed into the mind in a stochastic manner, deepening the psychosis. Of course all this happens a little below what would be called the conscious mind, so you're never really aware of it. And it happens in quick succession so that the stream of sounds picked up by the speech processor gets interpretted easily as speech.
Urg, hopefully you followed that. I hatched this theory while dellusional. But the theory was not fully in place untill a few+ weeks into my psychosis. I wanted very much to prove to myself that this theory, this alternative to my delusions could be correct. To this end I began to test the theory out, tried to prove it. Firstly I noticed that the voices I was hearing appeared slightly slower than would be expected from normal speech, this would be expected if my theory was correct. Boyed by this early success I decided to play a game. I knew that the voices could hear my thoughts, so I knew that they knew that I had an alternative theory that threatened them. And they would not allow me to believe in that theory as it might provide me with respite and they were not friendly voices. So I knew that they would prove my theory wrong if they could. Cut a long story short, I managed to add syllabals, components of speech onto the ends of their scentences. Much to their chargrin... Over time I found I could manipulate what I was expecting to hear and so manipulate what I actually heard. For instance my first success was to add the word not into the mantra the voices were repeating. So that they would constantly contradict themselves. Thus I proved that the voices came from inside my head and that I was nuts. Whether the voices then faded because of medication or my drive not to listen to the voices, I don't know. Although the former is more likely.
If your still reading, I thank you! I found a way out of my delusions with this theory, maybe it itself is just a part of my psychosis
. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again