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Is obsession with conspiracy theories a sign of schizophrenia?


Posted by rndiva

My husband and I have been married for over 3 years (been together 5 years).  For the last two years of our marriage, my husband has become obsessed with conspiracy theories.  Initially, I chalked it up as a new hobby/interest.  But lately (over the past year) his obsession has progressed and has me alarmed.  He spends countless hours on the internet researching conspiracy theories, mostly political (i.e. 9/11, new world order, Illuminati, reptilians, and I could go on and on).  We can't have a conversation with him bringing up some sort of theory.  He brings them up if were out with other friends or at a party.  This concerns me because I feel like he's not the same person I married.  He used to be driven, ambitious, and had career goals.  He's an engineer and once had dreams of starting his own company.  But, he doesn't speak of it anymore. I feel as if we have nothing in common.  He becomes defensive and argumentive when I disagree with his theories.  One day out of the blue, he went out and bought a huge safe, withdrew all of his savings and bought gold.  He wants to to start stockpiling food and supplies for some sort of catastrophic event that he believes is coming.  His health history is unremarkable.  He does use marijuana daily (which he did prior to our marriage).  His younger sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her early teens and lives in some sort of assisted living.  Should I be worried that he is also showing the beginning signs of schizophrenia, also?  
 
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It's usually the religious nutcases who are conspiracy theorists. They think the government's out to get them, call everyone who doesn't believe their shit god theories, and think they'll be living with Jesus for ever in heaven.

 It's a way of coping with their shortcomings and inability to do anything significant with their lives.

If you have a friend or relative that acts this way, it's mental illness. Most likely bipolar or schizophrenia. But could also be paranoid schizophrenia. 

Get them professional help or leave them and move on. Otherwise they'll drag you down with them and one day they will do something rash like hurting or killing someone. And that someone could even be you if they think you're also "out to get them".

 

I know from personal experience and from what I've been reading about these two major mental illneses: schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia & about this mental disorder: bipolar. 

My mother is a pyschiatrist so though she can't get on here and say yes- after reviewing with her, she said, most likely he is some sort of scizo- either affective or full blown. He's probably using marajuana a crutch. He needs antipsychotics. He should quit smoking weed and if his thoughts continue, well, you may need to leave the house if he doesn't get help. They are not out to hurt anyone, but if they think you are out to hurt them, they he will hurt you in some way- forward or just take everything and try to "escape" the danger he feels he's in. Get him help. If he says no, then get out asap.
It's so refreshing to hear the voice of truth over the drivel of media propaganda spewed over the masses
What wise words.. It came as such a relief to see this comment, the words of common sense and intelligence
Forgot to add a link...

http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/researchtopics/The_Psychology_of_Conspiracy_T/863

Link to full article:

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?pdf=1&FileId=2918&articleId=40138&Version=1&ContentTypeId=58&FileName=Provisional%20PDF.pdf.

Did you know Thomas Jefferson was the first man in history to be smeared by political opponents, who accused him of being "a Jacobin", and part of the "Illuminati conspiracy to overthrow democratic values, subvert monarchies, and abolish Christendom"?

http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/jefferson/wishaupt.html

Some background terms worth familiarizing yourself with before reading further:


1.) Confirmation bias - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

2.) Delusions of reference - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideas_of_reference#Delusions_of_reference

3.) Illusory Correlation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_correlation

4.) Argument from Authority - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

5.) Groupthink - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

6.) http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

23.) http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Grand_Conspiracy

*My reply:

It's incredible to watch a "health knowledge" forum get overrun by tinfoil hat wearers. I always imaigine them sitting in a Facebook group or chatroom channel somewhere, sharing news articles, trying to see the invisible hand of the Satanist conspirators at work.

One of them probably comes across a thread like this, posts it for his diddo-heads, then the diddo-heads all swarm. Before the swarm leaves, they make sure to at least use the words "conspiracy fact", "Obama", and "brainwashed" once before dropping links to Prison Planet, some "engineers for 9/11 truth", a Ron Paul forum link, some anti-Federal Reserve websites, and some boilerplate 2nd ammendment nonsense mixed with Thomas Jefferson quotes -- AND BE DAMNED SURE TO SOUND BOLD, THREATENING, AND BADASS WHILE SAYING SOMETHING IN ALL CAPS.

Funny thing is, there are distinctions between types of "conspiracy theories". There are sane, rational people who study declassified document archives, criminal organizations, government malfeasance, etc, and accept the fact that deception and atrocity go hand-in-hand with human organizations, governments, religious institutions, etc.

However, in the mind of the conspiracy theorist, unless an entire list of required beliefs, with a long list of particular actors and supposed intentions (free masons, jews, the illuminati) are accepted in-full, then the person doubting these shadowy invisible groups  is derided as either a "niave brainwashed sheeple", or "a co-conspirator disinformation agent". So obviously, there's not just a vanity (of playing savior by bearing "the Truth"), there's also a sense of beligernat superiority (of being a crusader against mass stupidity and moral failing).

The irony being that all these conspiracy theorists pride themselves on being "skeptics"; but its a plainly superficial skepticism, since they can only muster doubt and critical thinking for what they recognize as "official narratives" and "mainsteam media". They don't recognize the fallacies at play in their privileged sources and narratives, and wouldn't dare be skeptical of other "Truthers", or people "in the know". God forbid they ask questions of someone like David Icke or Alex Jones, because then they're either "sheeple" or "part of the conspiracy".

If any conspiracy theorists out there haven't yet heard of Operation Mockingbird, they should consider Googling it, then asking themselves: if I worked for the conspiracy, what kind of disinformation would I rather use -- the kind that says there's no conspiracy, or the kind that claims to reveal the truth of the conspiracy?

What few of today's "truthers" realize (perhaps because of the eager acceptance and superficial background checking any of them do on the regurgitated crap they swallow like starving baby birds) is that most of the popular conspiracy theories haven't changed for almost 100 years. Many of them originate with right-wing groups from the late 1800's, who targeted early socialists (and Jews) as the "secret villains" of their time. These same beliefs were handed down a generation, and eventually shared by most Fascist groups in the 20th century. If you haven't ever read Mein Kampf, you might not realize that the structure of Hitler's anti-Jewish and anti-Freemason theories were recycled into anti-Communist propaganda by the John Birch society, then recycled again by fundamentalist christian groups and militia movements in the 1980's and 1990's.

Today we still have this vague "Illuminati" scapegoat as the subject of conspiracy theories, but isn't it funny how the Illuminati quickly gets re-named as "Jew", "feminist", "liberal", "godless", "socialist", "Immigrant", "atheist"? And it never arouses suspicion that these boogeymen, (even the very belief in boogeymen in general), seems to be eternally tied to every conservative, right-wing, religious movement in history? Yes, including every cult movement of religious fanatics, who all have this "minority of Truthers against the grand conspiracy of Evil Doers bent of enslaving the Chosen Few" theme to their beliefs.

Why is there always a "grand conspiracy" to silence the Truth tellers WHILE the world is supposedly full of morally corrupt, apathetic jerks who wouldn't care even if the chosen ones generously revealed the Truth to them? Does that theme ever raise a few suspicions out there, about this kind of mindset you all feel so passionately about insisting on? Does it ever occur to you that maybe its more like a psychological condition than the actual fact that "the world is just wicked, but I'm special and immune to the deception because I opened my mind/heart to the Truth"?

*Good luck and my sympathies to the OP, there's probably nothing you can do about your husband unless your husband wants to let go of his feelings about conspiracy theories.

Some helpful links:

Freemasonry:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Masonry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppression_of_Freemasonry


Federal Reserve:


http://web.archive.org/web/20001209090100/http://members.home.com/flaherty15/conspire.htm#table

http://www.famguardian.org/Subjects/MoneyBanking/FederalReserve/FRconspire/secret.htm

http://webskeptic.wikidot.com/zeitgeist-federal-reserve

http://thelongrunblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/the-fed-tool-of-the-new-world-order-or-jewish-conspiracy/

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gold_standard_%28economics%29

http://business.time.com/2009/12/29/visiting-ron-pauls-fed-free-utopia/

www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2011/09_ciepr_central_banking/Rethinking%20Central%20Banking.pdf

www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS20826.pdf

General Conspiracy Theory topics:

http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

http://www.skepdic.com/fluoridation

http://conspiracies.skepticproject.com/articles/alex-jones/sources/

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0052970

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

The fact that your husband is an engineer is very likely WHY he can see the truth. There are many Architects & Engineers who think the same at www.ae911truth.org The official story for 9/11 is so full of false facts that defy the laws of physics, I personally think most people who believe the official story have a mental health problem which I call lack of critical thinking skills. People call me a conspiracy theorist, lunatic, wacko, whatever, I don't care. The news media, and the government lie to the public on a daily basis. That does not mean that I believe every conspiracy theory, because there are a LOT of ridiculous ones out there. I don't do drugs, never have, never plan to, but I doubt daily usage of marijuana would cause mental illness. In conclusion, try to get involved and understand why he believes what he does. There are some valid conspiracy theories that cannot be disproven, but if he falls for every farfetched story thrown out there, then he MAY have a real problem.
Hello, I went through all the same things "Revelation". Does Terminator revelation movie rings a bell ? Or Matrix trilogy related to Plato's allegory of the cave ? And yes lies and mind control run the world, but thruth will prevail. Your husband is recovering from a nevrotic past, and you should first read the concept of Individuation process from Suiss psychologist & psychiatrist Carl Jung, it would help him and you ... and others ! + synchronicity and collective unconscious reality concept Detachment, non-judjement and joy should be the driving forces of your life. Not fear neither pride or wanting to be right...ask yourself what is true and what is false ??? Be happy, be kind to yourself and others...and the thruth will set you free !
Wow quite a lot of paranoid conspiracy theorists on here, maybe they need to speak to a health professional instead of spouting rubbish on here.....
Anyway, my brother smokes marajuana and has done everyday from the age of 14, now 15 years later his paranoia is getting worse and worse. It seems everything in the world is out to get him and he believes any theory he can find from the new world order to flouride in water is going to kill us all.
It is getting to the point now where I don't want him near my son incase my son picks up on it, I can't speak to him about it as, like many on here, he defends the theories and believes himself to be right and can't comprehend others points of view. I'm not sure what to suggest other than trying to make him realise how it makes you feel.

And for all the posts that say otherwise. I am not a 'sheep' I am not 'close minded' I am not 'dumb'. I have done my research, I don't believe everything I am told, I make my own choices and my own decisions. I do not go around like you guys bad mouthing people and trying to sell my own beliefs. Maybe people associate conspiracy theorys with social stigma because fools like you are the advertisements for it. Maybe find some concrete evidence and deliver it in a well mannered way instead of sounding like paranoid dope heads who never went to school and do not know how to accept others opinions just bad mouth them when they don't share yours. Just a thought.

My boyfriend...

I have SO MUCH to say on this subject, but this isn't about me or my theories. Just that this conspiracy crap is very dangerous to this country, and I'm frightened looking at some of the posts. I am non-violent, and don't advocate 'revolution'...geez...isn't it crazy I'm having to deal with THIS crap in MY lifetime? Your WW2 generation were wise to this kind of thing...propaganda, conspiracy theory and its uses...you guys who believe this are truly the sheep. Think about it. But I can't change you mind; you're already firmly brainwashed, and I just want to make sure you don't mess with my country. So...keep your little selves in check, or Uncle Sam will swat you like a fly. Trust me. Oh yeah, and you're an embarrassment to me as an American, because we do have real enemies around the world who eat this up...they love it, because it WEAKENS us from the INSIDE OUT.  Idiots...go ask your grandparents. Ever talk to them anymore? Parents? Any elders at all in your lives?

But back to my advice for this person:

My advice to this woman is to get him in to a counselor. If he won't go, she must go to one for herself, and right away. She will not be able to change her husband's beliefs at all, and he will most likely inadvertently make her question herself instead. It's like a disease.

She needs to do what's healthy for her, I guess. I'm struggling with that, too. It sucks. I'm still very much in love with a side to this man. I am seeing a counselor.

Stay safe (and peaceful and take care of each other)

MOST PEOPLE ON THIS PAGE JUST NEED TO relax, im with  bsa2tone22 although he/she has amuch better way of explaining the world. We are in the stages of each and evey government trying to sneak in a police controlled enviroment. All your hubbys boyfs Wives Grilfs can see this coming in , while most people dont understand whats so bad about it. Whats so bad about it ........ it will be like Nazis Germany. The global economy wil probs collapse(onpurpose) then the good people(UndI) will be strugglinging for food water and the likes.So there will more then likely be mahem then the Gov will be like yeeeesss i meen SHIIIT lets bring in the the army as police. Then you got total surpression and its much harder to break free. But before this system falls it will try hoooollllllld onnnnnnnnnnnnn. Us humans we are to dam creative to dam loving for this system ! When people get worried about there spouse or friend or family  STOP ... there is nothing to worry about just love them and listen to them and they must listen to you to !

Instead of people slamming u about being closed minded & not supportive of ur husbands view points why don't u go on the Internet & go to sites that offer reasonable & intellegent explanations for some of his topics toward conspiracies.

For instance go to "Bad Astronomy . com" to debate ur husband against the belief the Moon landing were faked. Same as 911, go to sites that offer true facts about the circumstances that day.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared for unforeseen events though. Storing food,gold & silver, maybe a backup source for power is just being proactive in todays time.

I sure if u take interest & debate the issues with ur information that some things r suspicious but yet some conspiracies r how some people make their living going on talk shows promoting their books he will come to reason that not everything people say is true & that they have their own hidden agandas for promoting a pRticular conspiracy.

As far as smoking dope everyday, suggest if he smokes it in the car or house that he has to go outside as when family come over the place smells of it.

Ge will cutback eventually, whether to save money or u want to start a family their r reasons that will come up in which he will start cutting back.

Suggest when u debate u want him in a clear head so u can get ur side across as he is to stubborn when he is high & that after the debate he can go smoke one (outside)

Guys like conspiracies, prove him wrong on a couple & it will help with some others come to the conclution to be more open minded as he is being fixated & not open to logical explanations. The debates might make u aware of some things that just don't add up also.

I have been married 27 years & my wife openly discusses & is interested in conspiracies. When we 1st got married she was a bit like you but she realized if she wanted more of my attention than she would have to get involved & my wife takes the control side & we have great talks that covers all types of topics when we get into it, & not all topics r conspiracy related its just a reason to talk instead of read or watch tv.

Communication is the trick to a long lasting marriage & having things to talk about outside ones work & neighborhood gossip is healthy for a marriage as topics of conversation can get redundant over time & whats wrong with a good debate. 

Get some facts & debate his points, start bringing common sense to the table & make him realize he just got I'm loved in the hype on some of his topics & see how he will get into other things lol 

 hang in their guys go through a lot of phases, just keep the communication going u don't have to agree with every time, best of luck

Take no notice of all the cliched nonsense from the conspiracy brigade. They're just on the latest bandwagon.  If schizophrenia has been diagnosed in your husbands immediate family, and he smokes a lot of weed, then the answer is almost certainally yes, you should be worried about his mental health.

Disclaimer to all on this thread: 1. I do not drink alcohol, 2. I do not use any drugs or medications save the few times I have been prescribed antibiotics for ear infections as a child and teen, 3. I do not believe in any god/gods, biblical beings etc., 4. I live in Canada. Some background.

 

@mdiva - I am sorry to hear about your husband. I am not a psychologist by any means but I do read a lot about conspiracy theorists, or as referred to himself "conspiracy factualist".

 

The term conspiracy theory was first used at the beginning of the 20th century when the sharing of theories was limited to books, private corespondance, private meetings/lectures and the like.

 

Now in the 21st century, with instant resources as "reliable" as the internet, these theories and theorists can influence the so many more leading to mass hysteria and group thought. It is easy to become a sheep in these instances, to forget about the things that mattered for fear of survival and become one with the mass, to get caught up in the frenzy, to loose yourself and your individuality.

 

It may be difficult to convince him but with what you've said about his family history, his marijuana use and current state of mind, he needs to go for a clinical obsevation. Personally I am a fan of the humanistic side of psychology calling for more discussion and interaction with the patient rather than the scientific side and it's use of drug treatment which seems colder, easier and not much of a solution.

 

Know this though, the situation is not your fault. There has been a change in him, not you. There is nothing wrong with your concerns. It means you care and that's love.

 

@Vlad - I agree with your point about the compounding of theories to explain each other rather than explaining or solving one conspiracy then moving on to another. These are known as superconspiracy theories and have been gaining popularity for the last 30 years. What I find interesting is that belief in these theories give the believer the opportunity to no longer be responsible for their actions, meaning the conspirators are to blame. This too is found in the fundimental religions, though in their case they answer to their deity.

 Case in point, the 2001 documentary "Hell House" about the Trinity Assembly of God Church in Cedar Hills, Texas and their christian themed haunted house. In this film, single father John Cassar, a single father of four - including one kid with cerebral palsy and a second autistic - whose wife left him for a man she met on the internet, tells the filmmakers that all the hardship he has in life is just god testing his faith. He is not to blame for any of these issues. In his mind there was nothing he could have done to change the situation, it was all decided by god.

 Like Roger Cohen said in his New York Times piece, "captive minds... resort to conspiracy theory because it is the ultimate refuge of the powerless. If you cannot change your own life, it must be that some greater force controls the world."

 

@ Consumer Slave, jjnyc, Chad T., Pogo, Alina, Casey D. and bsa2tone22 - SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. Saddest part is you all reacted exactly as one would expect, he's right, she's wrong. Absolutely disgusting and pathetic. You then all follow up with rhetoric and not true backing. What a farce you people are. True critical thinking, something not taught often enough in the world, is about listening to all sides, doing PROPER research (not a Google or Wikipedia or infowars.com search), assessing the data critically, then making a fully educated decision. Most of your responses were reactionary and quite hurtful. One might think it hypocritical to call out popular media outlets and then give reference to specific unregulated books with no scholarly or scientific merit. I also find it hypocritical to say to someone that they are brainwashed when the same could be said of all of you. What makes you all impervious to brainwashing? Could you not be brainwashed by the silver tongued double speak of a David Icke, Milton William Cooper or an Alex Jones? Do they somehow implore different journalistic techniques that somehow make them truer or more honest then the popular media? Maybe you should dig deeper.

 

All that being said, once again to you all, SHAME ON YOU!

 

 

My so-called boyfriend is exactly the same way. He has no friends, delivers pizza for a living and refuses to do anything of merit until the world ends, when he claims he will be a hero. He only talks about liberal idiots and commies and how Obama should be shot, and how he should go buy a gun. Point is: how can someone who is so obviously a failure in life profess to have all the answers to the world's problems? Is this mental illness? It's driving me crazy...he has comepletely changed into a paranoid hermit.

My husband does not smoke pot or drink.  he is sure the govt is out to get us. He wants to withdraw all his 401K and buy gold and silver.  He has stocked up on weapons too.  He has not stockpiled any food, water or survival supplies, I guess that;s too much work for his paranoia to handle.

He is obsessed with religion too, although he doesn't attend church. He records, but doesn't watch, religious tv programs.  He preaches to me nonstop, but no one else.

He rants and raves, he gets heart palpitaions and short of breath when talking about the govt.  It's freaky.  I ask what he is going to do about, and he hems and haws but never answers the question.  I think he is suffering from and anxiety disorder.

He tells me that me and most everyone else is going to be burning in hell, even though we all think we are Christians.  he is constantly telling me I am going to hell.  I tell him I am already living in Hell.

 He has no friends, no social life, he goes no where but to work and then home.  He is so sure the govt is coming to get us and take everything we have.

He also "knows" that the rapture is going to occur this year.  Although the Bible says no one will know ahead of time, he says he knows what the Bible says, but he knows the rapture is coming this year.

He is mean to me, he blames me for all of his shortcomings in life.  Every failure of his is somehow my fault.

I don't know if pot is the writers husband's problem, but my husband is just plain crazy.  I am about ready to pack it up and get the heck out of here. 

And if you take this as me being cruel, I don't intend it to come off that way. It's just I stand firmly behind my belief in Yahweh and Yahushua (God and Jesus in Engish)  and I want people to realize that the Prophecies are true and the world is nearing its end in this realm. Please join the family who wants you to be in Heaven. Please look at this as not a sales pitch, but an invitation to join the best family of all, the spiritual family of the LORD. And please don't think that just because some people can see the truth while most can't that we are crazy and need psychological help. We don't. Most people need Spiritual Healing so they too can see the truth. Doctors just fill people with pills through a misnomered diagnosis to nullify their senses and understanding of God's truth coming alive.  They try to use science to explain God away, when in actuality Science is just a tool, depending on who is using it, can be done for good or evil.

Conspiracy "Theorists"? I consider myself a conspiracy factualist. As a victim and survivor of 9/11 I can tell you first hand there were explosions underground that went off prior to the plane colliding with the North Tower at 8:43 AM. I was right across the street. Sounded and felt like a train had come off the tracks and slammed into something in the subway below. 9/11 was an inside job. First off, Bush gave three different accounts of his reaction of the event. Meanwhile he was reading a book "My Pet Goat" with children while he held the book upside down. Goat is a sign of the Devil known as a Baphomet or Pan if you will. And the upside down thing is a passage out of the Bible that says Behold your enemy turns things upside down. Bush blamed Osama for the attacks when in actuality Dick Cheney needed a war to begin so they could make money through Haliburton which makes weapons for war. Bush orchestrated it with Cheney and Blamed a Rogue CIA agent that His father hired for it all. Look it up for yourself. I've done 10 years research on it and it's al true. The Bible predicts all these things whether you believe in God or not, it's in there. But that's right I'm delusional because I smoke pot due to my chronic arthritis pain, and I suffered post traumatic stress from running from asbestos filled smoke chasing me down a NY street. My bad. Didn't know I was supposed to believe in the crap stories CNN puts out or the propaganda the FOX News spreads. I'm supposed to be a good little sheep and conform to a globalist conspiracy meant to kill 80% of the population. I supposed to be a Patriot and vote for Arrogant Bible Mocking politicians like Obama, who claim to be Christians. I stand next to your Husband on this one. His eyes are open. He can see through the veil. That why they call it Revealation. The Veil will be lifted and the truth will be REVEALED! Welcome to the End. FEMA and the UN will have this world by 2015 implanting the CHIP in their hands as the Mark of the Beast and I'm supposed to be happy that my neighbor is going to accept a False Messiah as his his/her King and be Damned for it? I won't. I will fight until I am raptured or I am beheaded for my belief that Yahweh (GOD) foretold of these events. Quit reading the Black on the page. Read the White. It means read between the Lines and Lies.

Chad T knows what is up and does his own research obviously.
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