Personal Meaning of Delusional Belief

For the past three months, I’ve been busy dealing with my thesis completion. It is about the application of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Psychotic Individuals.

As a guidance for therapy, I use CBT modules from Center for Clinical Intervention, Perth, WA. A colleague from Sydney suggested me to try this modul in Indonesia. So, I did some adaptation and adjustment with clients’ charateristic, particularly for Indonesian clients.

My clients are chosen from many psychotic patients at Menur Mental Hospital and they have been diagnozed with Schizophrenia, one type of psychotic disorder.

I’m going to share some interesting facts on delusional belief and the personal meaning of it. I learned from my first client, on how meaningful her delusional belief. Let’s call her L.

L is a good looking young woman, who have to drop out from school in the middle of her year 10. The main reason was because she was started to lose contact with reality. She was so paranoid about the possibility that she will get kick out from school, because she has Dutch blood runs in her family. From history point of view, Indonesian people supposedly dislike Dutch after they colonialized us for 350 years. So, before she got dismissed from school, she quit school by herself.

Anyway, up until today, she has been hospitalized 6 times and 1 time of institutionalized at mental health centre. Physically, she looks healthy and pretty. But when you invite her into a serious conversation, you will know that her delusion is still active.

One delusion that she holds firmly is the belief that she is now carrying a baby. She said that she has been raped by a man a few years ago and now is carrying his baby. When I asked her about the pregnancy, she said that she really wants to have a baby because she wants to love and to be loved. She knows that her baby would be a perfect one to love and she can be loved by her baby too …

I learned something important from her delusion about having a baby. She needs affection from others. Since she can’t get it from her family (her parents passed away),she needs to get it from someone else. In this case, her baby.

One colleague said that delusion belief supposedly not to be taken from psychotic individuals, because delusional belief works as a way out from her distress.

Joel Gold, a psychiatrist, said that delusion has personal meaning for that person. I didn’t get it at first, but now I am. I learned it from my psychotic client.

So, should we let them hold onto their delusional belief or should we take them away for the sake of therapy? A question that needs answer …

Writing is my way to share it to you.

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