Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When Does Reality Become A Delusion?


On our way up to Dr. N.'s yesterday I spent the entire drive talking to Thomas. I have been hating our lack of communication lately and I thought that since I had him captive in the car with me that I was going to do everything in my power to get him to talk to me. I jumped right in and started with the big stuff, his increasing delusions. I was scared that he was going to shut me down about that particular subject but I began with telling him that I just wanted him to help me understand him. It worked.

I asked him all about it and learned quite a bit about what he thinks. What it seems to come down to is that he has this strong belief that he will do and be something important. He rates the "believeability" of that at 20% (100% being that he completely believes it). Now, that's all well and good but I think, after talking to him, that the number is much higher. I will have to take him at his word though. One thing in everyone's favor is that he doesn't really have a plan yet, it's mostly that he just thinks this to be true. So that begs the question, is this a delusion or is this just a kid who has a plan for his life?

While he saw Dr. N. I talked to my own psychiatrist and asked her about that. I used the analogy that I believed that I was going to be an author of a book someday. Obviously my "believeability" about that is pretty high. So am I delusional? Her response went something like this:

"Believing that you will someday write a book is a goal. It is realistic and it is within the realm of possibility. Thomas' belief is of a different nature and one that isn't very realistic and is "out there" as far as the subject matter of his thoughts."

I told her that I wasn't going to tell his doctors about this change in him because as part of the bargain for getting him to tell me everything, I promised him I wouldn't say anything to them but that if it gets distressing to him or symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations show up that he then needs to talk to me and to his doctors. I asked her if I was doing the right thing by promising that. Her last words to me were ones of great caution,

"Just watch him."

She kind of put the fear in me a little bit about what I had promised Thomas and when I went in to meet with Dr. N. I almost said something but I looked over at Thomas and I just knew that I couldn't betray his trust in me. Not yet anyway.

Now, I have been here before and I'll probably be here a thousand more times in the years ahead but again, I have to ask, when is something a delusion and when is it just a lofty dream?

If you have any thoughts, please, write them in the comments section for me. Thank you.

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