1. Joseph

    Joseph New Member

    It is diagnosed and he does begrudgingly accept it and is currently accepting medication. I do believe he wants to get off them as soon as he can.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  2. Joseph

    Joseph New Member

    Thank you David for stating that. Corelation does not equal causation. In the case of my brother I believe his mental illness helped with the belief, but the belief could very well had taken hold before his symptoms appeared.
  3. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    I couldn't agree more, and I would like to add a third category. - people who become mentally ill through conspiracy theories. I've known a few people over the years who have started getting into conspiracy theories who have been perfectly 'normal', (whatever 'normal' is), but the further down the rabbit hole they have gone, the more paranoid they have got. In one case to the extent of rejecting all their friends and family (me included) because they = 'them' in his mind. The poor bloke has now since been sectioned following at least two failed suicide attempts. (Needless to say this isn't helping as he is apparently convinced he is now in a NWO detention centre. But what can you do? In the outside world he is a risk to himself)

    And I myself have been battling mental illness for most of my life. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression about 20 years ago. (although now I look back I can see that I had been suffering from it since my late teens) These days I have learned to live with it, I have developed coping strategies, which means I can recognize the onset of what I call my downers and if not avoid the dark places in my mind at least help navigate my way through them. And my depression has never effected my skeptical and rationalistic outlook on life.
  4. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Great share. Glad to hear that bit. I tend to think (which brings trouble, usually...) that those like yourself (and even me, because I relate in some ways to what you wrote, just above) indicate a sign of intelligence.

    Not to "pat meself on the back" here....but want to say that our Human brains are very complex, and subjective in ways that (I don't think) we fully comprehend, yet. Don't have the proper terminology, here.

    Though, your struggles (the actual diagnosis) pales in comparison to what I used to think, during my adolescence and early twenties...still there are various "degrees" of depression, and manic cycles....for most people. Some are minor, some more severe.

    Glad you cope....I use humour. (Often, a bit too sarcastically, I fear....).

    Point is there is (it seems) a proclivity within many Humans to want to "believe"...usually due to social pressures, sometimes anti-social pressures. Not sure how it will eventually "pan out" within our species. May take several more generations....sadly, there might remain turmoil in the interim.
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  5. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    That is understandable, I've been several heavy anti-depressants over the years, and I hated them. If it wasn't side effects like an extremely dry mouth, the complete lose of my sex drive or constant stomach cramps driving me round the bend, it was the constant wandering around in a 'happy fog' and not giving a flying frack about anything at all that was to my mind stopping me addressing the real issues and making any progress.

    These days I'm anti-d free and have developed ways of dealing with things without medication. BUT looking back I can see that at times the medication was essential just to keep me going so I could get to the place I am now, and if ever I find that my current coping methods are not working I would not hesitate in going back on them again for a while.
  6. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i agree.

    i think, dont quote me, there is a technique of replacing the 'behavior' with a more socially acceptable behavior. so maybe if a friend, relative is all paranoid about the NWO remote viewing his thoughts, you could get him into something less harmful like believing in bigfoot - plus trapsing around in the fresh air and getting exercise is good for mild mental issues.
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  7. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    To quote (or maybe misquote) Captain Kirk - 'I need my pain, it makes me who I am.'

    I am not ashamed of my illness, one in four people will suffer from some form of mental illness in their lives, and most of them will either come out the other side or at least learn to live with their condition. Mental illness only becomes a stigma when it is ignored and not addressed in public. Tell someone you have cancer and people will gather around with support and sympathy, but all to often when you say your depressive, have an anxiety disorder, are bi-polar etc, people still think in terms of madness, mental asylums and strait jackets. And the only way that will change is by sufferers standing up and saying 'yup I've a mental condition, but its no biggie, I'm as 'normal' as the next person really.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  8. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Coping well, it would seem....you're 'here' after all...and not stuck down some "rabbit hole".... :cool:

    PS....I think each and every one us is a "bit mental"...only natural, since only we know our own thoughts...
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  9. Dawn

    Dawn New Member

    I have a family member who I have this trouble with too. She talks mostly about chemtrails and government cover-ups and aliens. It started a few years ago and kept escalating and now she believes in many more conspiracies. She believes everything Alex Jones says.

    At first I thought she just enjoyed reading about conspiracies for fun until she brought up chemtrails one day. She said she saw them when she was out that day. I kinda just laughed a little thinking she was kidding and she got very angry with me. Since then she tells me to "wake up!" and "open your mind!" a lot. :confused:

    I've tried showing her some debunking videos and it just makes her angry again. I gave up talking to her about any of that stuff and when she brings it up I just try to change the subject or find a reason to stop talking.
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  10. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    I am so sorry...this is a difficult path for you to attempt, if you want to help a loved one. Alex Jones is poison. Pure and simple. (MY opinion....well, others outside this site might agree).

    Though, that is reasonable (attempting to engage), probably not the best 'starting point' with your loved one, of course. Depending on the discussion.

    An idea, and others certainly may chime in: I was thinking about how young children are taught to read. Could any of THOSE basic concepts be adapted, here?

    FINAL edit...."gentle persuasion".....
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
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  11. Dawn

    Dawn New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I agree what you said about Alex Jones. It really baffles me as to why she likes him. I definitely want to help her, I will keep trying slowly over time. I've tried catching her in better than normal moods to show her some videos and at the very least she didn't get too defensive. Usually when I show her evidence she likes to shut down in a talk to the hand kinda way.

    I've tried to pinpoint the time she started all of this and it seems like it was around the time she had more access to the internet than before. Also she started taking Lexapro for depression and anxiety. I have no idea if that might be part of it or not. Maybe she is just more impressionable than some people.
  12. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Those seem exactly the same?
  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There is only a causal relationship in one.
  14. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    But can you even prove there is a causal link, or not, in the first place?
    Whether someone believes in conspiracy because of mental illness or just happens to be mentally ill as well as believing in conspiracy, the result is the same - mental illness and conspiracy belief coexisting.
    And conspiracy belief will generally have a negative effect on any mental illness.
  15. PCWilliams

    PCWilliams Active Member

    I tried this, it didn't work at all. My whole family tried this at one particular gathering. Five of us sat there and patiently listened to one family member ramble on for 3 hours about the banks, the NWO, etc, before i finally stood up and put an end to the jibberish.

    The problem, at least with the conspiracists i've encountered, is that they misconstrue you listening (without objection) to them as agreeing with their ideas.

    I've learned to just politely tell them i don't wish to discuss their topic or i physically remove myself from the conversation. Done.
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  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    That's what we do with my liberal brothers ;)

    but all kidding aside, i think it depends on the conspiracy. NWO is too 'big' and gish gallopy.
  17. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    (regarding terminal disease) I do not think there is always any "mental illness" when friends or family have exhausted their options.....and tend to fall into the belief of popular suggested new or old health trends or "unexplained treatment territory".
    I believe there is a gentle place for new ideas.
    When terminally diagnosed, and "modern medicine" cannot guarantee a cure....it seems that straying into alternative cures, may seem as an only (and last resort) option.
    Upon refection....they have tried every option available, and that may be their attempted resolution to the inevitable.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
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  18. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    This is purely anecdotal but you can show a link. As a rule of thumb it is all in the "delusion" as the believer is a key player in that "delusion". More often than not this is a paranoid state of affairs in which he is the victim and they really are out to get him. However the only real way to highlight the link is treatment, usually in the form of medication. I have seen this first hand and it is amazing to see how somethimg as simple as an antipsychotic can change a persons way of thinking.

    I would just like to say that your query has really got me thinking. My experiences stem from the 80's and 90's and at the time many suffering with mental illness really had to dig deep (think A Beautiful Mind) to reinforce their delusion. Today is an entirely different affair as the internet reinforces that belief. Any psychiatrist must be treading on eggshells nowadays.

    I won't post names, but this makes for an interesting read.
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  19. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    I did my training in the days before "Care in the Community" (one of the better of Thatchers policicies) and worked within 2 large institutions. One of our main concerns when the hospitals closed was the ignorance about mental illness and to be blunt very little has changed in the past 25 years. I would hazard that knowledge within society has regressed somewhat in that time.

    I don't like the Medical model of mental illness and I believe that mental illness in many circumstances is a social construct. Essentially society at the time tells us we are ill because we don't fit into the norm. A few years back I was given a diagnosis of bi-polar and the psychiatrist was insistent that I should have known as I was an RMN. My baseline mood is depressed and my point to him was that I did not know any different, I had always been like that. How can one define what a "normal" mood is? I was quite happy as I was and I am a relatively jovial chap, you can laugh and joke even when depressed. Once that diagnosis was out there I was put under a great deal of pressure for treatment in the form of medication, yet I was quite content. I manage to survive on a daily basis without medication although I do take antipsychotics now and again. At present I am hearing voices and they are bloody annoying. However the main reason when I have a rare manic episode is because people find it frightening. I think they are hysterical myself but I have to fit into the norm that society dictates.
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  20. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Can I ask - what does your mania focus on? Can you make it constructive?
    Usually mania involves delusions, but if you've made an effort to be a rational and sceptical person who doesn't get into illuminati mind-control theories, what's left to get manic about?
  21. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    My mania leaves me with masses of energy, and quite essentially running around like a maniac. I have difficulty focussing on any one thing and I am very easily distracted. At university it was extremely difficult to sit in a lecture and on more than one occasion I was running around outside chasing the wildlife a la Homer Simpson in an episode when he has to attend college.

    Mania does not necessarily have to involve delusions but it can involve some very risky thinking. Part of the reason I have had a very varied career is down to making life decisions when mildly manic, Many who live with bi-polar are in a great deal of debt as they tend to spend a great deal when in a mania or gamble etc.
  22. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    You're right in that typical conspiracy delusions are not necessary to be manic, I should know better from experience. Though I clamped down pretty hard on myself after my big manic period which was stereotypically delusionary, and erred on the caution/depressive side and also by having virtually no social-life, I can still sense when I start to get that slightly odd enthusiasm cycle and have to almost be pre-emptively pessimistic to ensure I don't get swept away.
    The more I interact with people the more I can see the danger of it coming out, but I just get a bit over-excited and perhaps misread social cues, then feel stupid afterward.
    So it's like I imagine autistic people cope, you just have to constantly watch carefully to ensure you're not overstepping what you imagine the category of 'normal social behaviour' to be.
    But I think it's pretty mild with me, the peaks are much smaller now and most of my time is spent in the valley.

    Probably the best use for manic energy is solo-projects, art or craft or inventing. Anything without an audience.
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  23. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Relatives of mine (a couple), are extremely competent business and personal tax accountants, as well as very sweet and loving family members.
    They are also very much interested in "natural healing", some homeopathy, and other such "trends". They engage in spiritual/mind-health retreats...and rejoice in their involvement in their efforts.

    As their interests create no harm to themselves, or others around them....I see little reason to debate them on their new (and perhaps late in life) path of happiness. That is their private life, apart from mine.
    Example....they went to a Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey weekend seminar....and were particularly amazed with a Psychic Medium who could amaze and shock certain members of the audience, by "knowing certain things" about random members of the audience.
    When they talked to me about this over a meal, I felt no reason to start a debate on their beliefs or endeavors.....as it seemed to make them quite happy. I simply listened. It's quite possible they sensed my reluctance to believe......and to their credit, they did not insist that I believe anything.

    I realize that this is certainly the lighter/fluffier side of bunk within families......where no one gets accused and/or alienated.
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  24. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Part of what I mentioned in an earlier post you highlight extremely well. Much of what we think of illness is a purely social construction. If your behaviour is non destructive should you not be able to express it.

    I would recommend reading some works by RD Laing. He was one of the cofounders of Therapeutic Communities and believed that many psychoses could or should be treated without medication. I was privledged to attend a conference he was lecturing. Essentially his idea was that a manic or psychotic phase represented a need within the individual, even so far that a delusion was a form of expression and that it should be worked through. A fictional extreme example is "Shutter Island" with Leonardo DiCaprio.

    I attended a therapeutic community at York Retreat which heavily influenced mental care over the past 100 or so years. I was there for 3 months and really learned to manage without medication (I need it at the moment as I had a stroke and cranial surgery a couple of years back). The communities are excellent in that everyone, staff and patient are involved in the everyday running (staff living there) and decision making. An unusual step is there is no medication so over the 3 months you are engaged in some very interesting behaviour.

    Sorry I am digressing from the issue. We need to remember that we had not always had institutions and antipsychotics in their present form are only 60 or 70 years old. At one time people were expected to work to live and where accepted within the community, just think village idiot. Yeah he would be laughed at but also cared for. Industrialisation changed all that. God grief I can waffle ;-)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  25. Joseph

    Joseph New Member

    It would be lovely if the medication worked on my brother's beliefs as well as it does his symptoms. Unfortunately it does not and he seems to be delving deeper into these thoughts. I'm not certain how deep his delusions are, or if he has any, but it's something I'm going to have to keep an eye on and maybe update his Dr.
  26. Moses3D

    Moses3D New Member

    My dad is currently a believer in a few conspiracy theories and the most recent seems to be dutchsinse (I think that's how you spell it) and his HAARP theories. I remember him getting fired up about it a little over a year ago when the tornado hit Washington, Illinois. Looking back though, its always been something and there was a definite correlation between when he started believing these things and the time we got the internet when I was a kid. It started with relatively mild subjects when he found the Drudge Report and Newsmax, which was a magazine at the time. It seems like at the time there was a lot of talk in those places of nuclear war with Russia and China and without the filter I have now, I believed it and it terrified me. After awhile he moved on to Y2K which he thought was going to end civilization. Then it was Obama being the anti-Christ.

    None of this is good for me because as a sufferer of obsessive compulsive disorder I tend to latch on on to certain ideas and think about them almost constantly and when the subject is as unpleasant as those things it can be quite distressing even though I don't believe a word of it. All this is to say that for the sake of my mental health I have to severely limit the contact I have with him and when I do talk to him I have to make a constant effort to steer the conversation away from those sorts of topics.

    I feel bad for doing it as he was a great dad to me growing up and he's a great person, but I just can't handle that sort of thing anymore.
  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Unfortunately if someone has been thinking very strongly a certain way for decades, then they can essentially become immune to counter-arguments. You have to consider if discussing the topics is worth the possible conflict. What are the pros and cons? Obviously you are in the the best position to judge, but maybe he's better off with his theories left alone.
  28. Moses3D

    Moses3D New Member

    That's exactly what I'm starting to think. I've tried explaining some of the science of HAARP and the reason for its existence for example but he just seems to ignore it or misunderstand it. He's intelligent enough to understand that these things are bunk, but I think now he wants to believe all this.
    • Like Like x 1
  29. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Welcome to the club. I have been on anti-psychotics too, though not had auditory hallucinations, but as I have tinnitus, it would probably be a welcome change to the constant gong I hear when trying to get to sleep.

    Being serious though, a history of mental health or the drugs that David and I have been given is the sort of thing that a lawyer could use as a reason to add doubt to ones credibility.
  30. Joseph

    Joseph New Member

    Sadly, that's what I'm probably going to have to do with my brother, I'll listen (kind of) to his beliefs and monitor it to see how his mental health appears to be doing. There may be some hope but he tends to isolate himself now, visits AJ and the likes and I'm uncertain what to do to steer him away from that stuff.
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  31. Hello, first forum post on my part (kicks training wheels off to side).
    A couple of the posts in this thread sound eerily like the experience I had with my brother in law, who had a late blooming complex of mental illness take him down completely. When I first met him, he was in his late 30's, successful enough to afford a nice home, had a family, etc. etc., but I did notice he had a tendency to speak about "them" when discussing misfortunes on his and other people's parts, though the identities of "them" was never explored in any great detail. After a few years, his life began unravelling - his occupation as a commodities trader suffered some sizable financial losses, which he began covering by just plain legal theft (draining his wife's money from the joint savings account, convincing other people to loan him money by promising them a high return on their investment ). After a divorce, which he used to sell his home and keep the money from the sale, and several other stunts which he remedied by going to live (read; hide) with his ill parents, he began manipulating them for funds for his trading ventures. It all ended up very badly for everyone in the family - he was conning other relatives, drained his parent's savings, manipulated them into making him the executor of their estate. When all was said and done, he had misappropriated a very large amount of money, created a LOT of discord between all the people involved (which I know now served, unintendedly or not, the purpose of keeping people divided enough that they wouldn't compare notes on his behavior), and still ended up without two quarters to rub together. He had lost it ALL on the commodities exchange.

    As it turned out, he was later diagnosed with manic depression and associated paranoia by a court ordered psychiatric evaluation. He had, as you might guess, attracted the attention of several authorities in his schemes. While awaiting trial, he lived at another sibling's house, where he would quite often get into lengthy discussions about how "they" had messed him up at every turn, "they" had sicced the authorities on him, "they" had sabotaged his trading deals. Exactly who "they" were, was never really established, though I think "they" were the usual suspects.

    In the end, after serving a prison sentence, he found just about every door closed to him. He ended up going back to the town of his upbringing, where we maintain a second home, which he broke into several times and lived there until we would come and take him to nearby group living homes for people with mental illnesses. When he would leave, we would find a lot of weird arrangement of furniture and household items (candelabras all hidden away, etc.) including - classically - a small room lined with whatever aluminum foil and plastic sheets he could find. After we were forced to get a restraining order to keep him from THAT house, he took to life on the streets of a nearby larger town - where he died at age 54, bundled in a sleeping bag on the steps of a public building. To this day my wife still feels regret that we could not do more for him.

    Anyway, hope this isn't just some unloading on my part, but my advice is to keep an eye on people showing consistent signs of mental illness, and try to get them to deal with it - something we never could do with my BIL.
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  32. john Mont

    john Mont New Member

    I especially dislike the posts that are all music and no talk.
  33. mceh

    mceh New Member

    Hi guys! I found this forum by googling "family members believe in bs". I've always been quite annoyed with my mother who picks up just everything ... I'm 30 now and I don't bother a lot about her anymore, but a couple of years ago my sister hooked up with a believer. She's one of those women who became anything their partners are, so now she believes in every CT, is afraid of all kinds of food, she doesn't shower regularly, she washes her clothes with just water ... It makes me really sad, because despite everything I've always attach great importance to family. Now, we can't even talk without this tension. I'm really thinking of cutting my family off, because it's so hard to listen to all what they are believing in. I undersigned that my grandma does, she is old and has no education, my uncle was sort of a hippie, but my mother and mu sister are both relatively educated, but so dull. My father was and remains sane, but I really miss hanging out with the women. Yet somehow I just can't handle their bunk.

    Well, I'm glad I found this forum. I hope I wasn't to long with my story. I know it's not very interesting, I just really needed to share it with somebody who would understand. My husband does somehow, but he cut off his family years ago (for different reasons), and you can guess what his advice is.
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  34. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    It's hard to give general advice, but it sounds like your mother and her partner are fairly deep down the rabbit hole. I always advise people to try to find the common ground. Don't build from a position of conflict.

    Perhaps you could treat it as if she's in slightly odd religion? It's quite normal for family members to have different religions, or lack or religion, and not argue about it. Accept that she has these beliefs, but make it clear (in a friendly way) that you don't share them. Let that settle down.

    Then you've got to decide if it's worth pushing at all. What are the upsides and downsides of arguing? Is it better to just leave the topic alone? Or can you broach the subject in a gentle way without doing harm?
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  35. mceh

    mceh New Member

    Thank you a lot for taking time and write a reply to my post. I know I can't expect an answer how to solve my situation, but it's very comforting to get a response and some advice. We actually never argue and I never try to talk sense in anybody, it just makes me very unconftable hearing people I care about believing in every nonsense. The whole family is also a regular buyer of all kinds of snake oils, and I try really hard to listen quietly to the new miracle cure every other month. But the problem with my sister is that she actually has little else to talk about. He and her boyfriend live with his parents, they have no jobs and no other interest, so it's really hard to have a conversation. It's actually very awkward all the time and always makes me sad, that's why I'm thinking of maybe just slowly and silently alienate.
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  36. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Have you argued, or tried to talk sense, before? What happened?
  37. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    my brother makes all his new girlfriends eat poison ivy to "build up an immunity". o_O

    i feel your pain.
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  38. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    What does he plan on doing to them that requires a poison ivy immunity?
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  39. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    :eek: So is your brother unbelievably good looking...or fabulously rich?

    ('cause 95% of women I know would no longer be in a new relationship 5 minutes after someone said: "To get with me, you'll need to eat this poison vegetation.")

    Unless I completely misunderstood, and it's some kind of kinky Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley ménage reference... o_O
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  40. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    when he tried to convince me to do it, i said "the only reason you need to be immune is cause you keep touching it and putting it in your mouth! isn't easier to just stop doing that?"
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