For more information call: (614) 448-4055 or email info@centersite.net

Ask Dr. Schwartz
Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Delusions and False Memories

Hi,

A few years ago I abused methamphetamine for about 8 months.  I already had a history of delusions and paranoia before this as a young teen.  I ended up believing a horrible thing had happened to a loved one that I could have stopped or was responsible for.  It haunted me constantly because I didn't know if it was a delusion or I was actually remembering it happening.

The memory came in fragments and kept changing the more I thought about it.  I ended up completley losing my mind and became so withdrawn, paranoid and depressed that I couldn't even funtion and was eventually forced to go to a pyschiatric hospital.

It still haunts me and keeps me up at nights because there is no one I can ask that would know if it actually happened or if it was just some sort of fabrication.  It was years ago and since that time I haven't used any illegal drugs and I try to let it go, but its like I get flashbacks to this memory.

I also still occasionally have paranoia and false memories or delusions and don't remember important things people have told me and am absolutley certain it was not mentioned.  It can also be the other way around where I'm convinced someone has said something that I've remembered later but it was never actually said at all and it seems like I've just made it up or that I'm lying but to me its a real, actual memory. No one so far can tell me what these things are. Can you believe a delusion so strongly that you can actually create a memory?

THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.

Disclaimer

  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Reader Comments

Summary - Miriam Pia - Jun 18th 2014

I noticed the obvious:  When what I try works well, it leads to 'high self esteem'.  Being treated well nurtures 'self respect'.   Some kindness and consideration towards others comes naturally and some becomes more natural after practicing it as politeness as taught by responsible, reliable elders.  Being harmed or repeatedly treated badly leads to a lot of 'low self esteem'.  Too much failure, especially if openly criticized can also lead to 'low self esteem' when not balanced out by successes. 

Most likely, everyone is like that.  Since experience is compiled uniquely with individuals, we become even more different than we are to begin with.  I do believe there are also natural differences.

resourceful site - Mickey - Apr 24th 2014

I just came across this website, I met a lady, 34 years, BS as social worker, she just turned vegetarian 2 months ago, love protector a year ago, she is very sensitive to cruelty, I believe she has a hard time to cope with life events that hurt animals more than people or at least to the same degree, excetp that she believes people have a free will and and option to avoid suffering and injustice, however, animals don't, I agree, to a certain extend. but I think that we are dealing here with an identity problem, and I will try to help, getting info from here...thanks for the page. by the way, I believe we all have an identity problem, but I we all hava a solutio to it, we just needed some help or direction, this is a good start...I guess we are not alone! thanks Drs Mark Dombeck/Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.

Dylan I hope you are doing better

apriciating - mahbube - Dec 30th 2010

the text was so helpefull for me to write my class essay.it is very clear to understand and very usefull too.thank you.

easy to read and understand - - Mar 21st 2010

I am writing an essay on identity and i find this easy to read and understand

Parents - Dylan - Sep 24th 2009

I find that I hard a hard time with identity.  My dad has said that he has an inferiority complex.  Looking back, I feel like I was his project.  I would do one thing and he would tell me things like " Everything you do creates baggage.  When you mess up, it stays with you for the rest of your life.  Now some people don't care what people think, but I don't think that's you."  And so I consequently I would start to try and conform and I would get things like "You can't worry about what other people think.  Keep your mind free."  It was always just a bottom line and never a conversation.  My mother, sweet as she was, is a Southern Baptist.  So ALL drinking was bad and ALL sex was bad outside of marriage.  During my third semester in college I was losing my ability more and more to function.  When I called my dad and told him I thought I needed to see a pscyhologist, his response was "No, no you don't."  And that was that.  After that it went down hill very quickly and three years later, life is mostly unbearable.  Now, my parents answer to my depression was to load on the responsibility.  I had to pay rent to live at their house, pay for my own health insurance, buy my own car, pay for my own therapy, and get a job.  This was a couple of weeks after I had been released from the hospital.  Last night, my dad showed me an article written by a person suffering from depression, explaining that a person needs ample amount of rest, help in finding support, a minimal amount of responsibility, and so on.  I told him it was "right on."  So today I asked him if he would help pay for this therapist that has a degree in philosophy and psychology; a would-be gold mine for my condition.  All he had to say was "Well we can't afford it so start saving up your money."  This really bugs me because I make $6.00 an hour working for my grandmother.  He is a retired history teacher with a two story house and basement, a new Harley, a Sebring convertible while my mom has a fairly new Honda Pilot (paid for) and a thriving photography business.  I guess some parents just don't get it, even after handing the answer to you on a piece of paper.  

hiiiiiiiiiii - zaid - May 22nd 2009

this is all cool!! but i have a low self steam and im looking for treatment

thanks

I am really going to consider this ... - Debbie - Jun 2nd 2008

Self-Efficacy. This is the first time I've really come across this idea and I can identify with this description right now in my life. Cool - thanks a lot!

self-efficacy - pocojo - May 31st 2008

Been in therapy most of the past 15 years (i.e. most of my adult life) and this is the first time I read about self-efficacy. Now that makes a lot of sense to me. It helps a lot to read a definition of a problem I knew I had but didn't know how to explain in terms of definitions I did know (depression, low self-esteem, procrastination...). Nothing really fit as well as "lack of self-efficacy", not that I know that term. I'm learning a whole lot reading this book. Defining a problem is an important step towards solving it. Since in my case I got a lot of problems and difficulty in breaking them up in manageable parts, it helps a lot. Thank you a lot for making all this material available, and for free.

Clear and Precise - John Paul - Dec 30th 2007

As I read the first document, I found the article clear and precise, easy to understand , and the questions are very applicable. Early at this stage, I wish to thank you for the opportunity for us to avail of your expetiese.

the need for information - - Nov 19th 2007
I have to say, I like this site very much. I am able to find issue of relavence an only need to click what I want to see rather than have to read chapter after chapter to get the point I want to read and or understand.  So yes, this site is very helpful when trying to identify what an issue is and does provide some direction into repair of issue.

Resources