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New Hallucinations in the Mental Hospital April 7, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in ESP, Hallucinations, Mental Hospital, mental illness.
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It’s understood implicitly that once you enter a mental hospital, you don’t have any new kinds of hallucinations. If you have any at all, they’re supposed to be simply a repeat of hallucinations that you’ve already had.  But that’s not true.

On June 8, 2008, I was at the mental hospital during the 2008 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Boston Celtics at Boston. Having been involuntarily committed the week before, I sat in the commons room with Bruce, a patient diagnosed with bipolar 1 with schizophrenia, watching the beginning of the championship game from a point about 8 feet away from the screen of a tv encased in plexiglass.  Bruce was a huge fan of the game, which was being broadcast live from Boston, home of the Celtics.

For the record, I never grew up around basketball, so never had the opportunity to become a fan of the game.  I don’t know the various basketball players except for the extremely famous ones like Kobe Bryant, who happens to play for the Lakers. I don’t know the positions each of the players play, and I don’t know the rules of the game. About all I know is that a player takes the basketball down to the opposite end and tries to put the ball through the hoop. If he succeeds, his team gets a point. But unlike many other games, the game doesn’t stop once a player scores a point.

Before the game started, faint squiggly lines, resembling a flashlight moving rapidly across an object, superimposed themselves on top of each player, keeping within the outline of each player’s body.  As the camera zoomed in and out and the size of the figures changed on the screen, the light kept in scale to those changes without going outside the outlines of the player’s body.

As the game started and the players began to move, the intensity of that white light increased. When a player went “all out”, their light became especially bright. When the player stopped moving, his light dimmed. As he sat on the bench, his light dimmed almost to the point where it disappeared. At least that was the way it worked in the beginning.

In one player, the intensity of light was about 3 or 4 times that of the other players. I made a point of finding out who that player was, and was not surprised when that player turned out to be Kobe Bryant. After I figured that out, it was easy to pick out Kobe while he was on the floor, since his light was so bright.  Even at rest, his light was brighter than the others. It didn’t really matter what was going on around him, because his light intensity didn’t vary much. It was always very bright.

Once the game started, each player’s light changed in intensity depending on what was going on in the game. For example, if the Lakers had the ball, all of the lines of the Lakers players dramatically increased in intensity. Bryant’s light lit up like a Christmas tree. As the Laker lights increased, each of the Celtic player lights decreased in intensity to the same degree.  When the Lakers lost the ball to the Celtics, the reverse would happen. The Celtic lights, once dimmer than the Laker lights, increased in intensity while the Laker lights, once brighter than the Celtic lights, dimmed. Back and forth the light intensity went, depending on who had possession of the ball. That was all very interesting. But even more interesting was the crowd.

Before the game started, I noticed that the stadium crowd, like the players, had those same squiggly white lights on them as well. The difference was that the spectators were wedged rather tightly together, so that their individual lights formed one large ring around the stadium.

Mirroring the players, that light brightened and dimmed, depending on how their team was doing at any particular moment. As the home team did well, the crowd’s ring brightened up. As the home team did poorly, the crowd’s ring dimmed. Bright and dim, bright and dim, the crowd’s light changed over and over.

That particular game was unique in that the game came down to the wire. The closer to the end of the quarter the game got, the brighter the crowd’s light got. The bright lights got the brightest they had been during the entire game, and the dims got the dimmest. Violent swings of intensity marked the crowd’s lights.

It didn’t matter to me who won and who lost. What mattered was that I had this hallucination, and that this hallucination was shared by Bruce. As the game began, I asked him if he could see what I did. When he answered in the affirmative, we whispered our awareness with each other as the game progressed.

So it’s not true that the delusions stop once we’re hospitalized. And it’s not true that we don’t start having new hallucinations once we enter the hospital.  I know what I saw.

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