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Guest Phil10

Solipsism ocd

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Guest Phil10

I had this from April then it came back lately and i get lots of depersonalization anybody else had this and how do you stop worrying?

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Hey Phil,

Earlier in the year I was also struggling with existential thoughts and what I guess you could call 'solipsism OCD'. It helped me to talk through my thoughts with my old religious studies & philosophy teacher from school, which changed my perspective on things. Can you elaborate a little - what sorts of thoughts do you have?

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Guest Phil10
7 minutes ago, bobfish said:

Hey Phil,

Earlier in the year I was also struggling with existential thoughts and what I guess you could call 'solipsism OCD'. It helped me to talk through my thoughts with my old religious studies & philosophy teacher from school, which changed my perspective on things. Can you elaborate a little - what sorts of thoughts do you have?

I had a breakdown in 2016 and spent a week in hospital. I sort of got over it but I’ve had lots of thoughts like is my life a fix is it all planned? Worry that only my world exists and nobody else is real. Nobody else’s life being real. Sometimes I get anxiety about being alive and it feels strange. I also get depersonalization when I feel spaced out not real everything off..if that makes sense?

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Those are very similar thoughts to what I had! Especially the idea that my life has already been decided for me / planned out. Are you seeing a therapist currently?

So, since this is OCD, the compulsion would be thinking too deeply about the things you've mentioned, playing out endless 'what if?' scenarios in your head, etc. So you need to try and resist these compulsions and get on with your day without letting these thoughts bother you too much. But you also need to change the way you see things - I've written down a few points below, which may or may not be of help:

Firstly, the answer to all your questions - "Is my life all planned out?", "Does anyone else other than myself really exist?", etc. - is NOBODY , literally nobody, knows for sure! Which is obviously what triggers the OCD. My teacher gave me textbooks about epistemology and Descartes' Meditations (in which he tries to completely abandon his current perception of reality and build a new system based on certainties... which ends up being pretty much the same as before), which introduced me to many theories about the nature of reality and knowledge, but there is not one school of thought which is definitely correct (I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for you to do much reading right now - it ultimately helped me, but I suppose the uncertainty of it all could make your anxiety worse). If you're religious, you may turn to God and scripture to help you deal with these thoughts - I was actually kind of tempted to become religious when I was worrying about these things, but I realised that I didn't believe in God at all and forcing myself to try and convert just wasn't going to work or be particularly helpful.

The prospect of never knowing the answer may seem scary at first, but by changing the way we think about things we can feel a lot more positive and optimistic. For example, if we consider the 'worst-case scenarios':

  • Suppose your life is all planned out. How does that affect your life? Does it change anything about the way you feel, the way you interact with the world? Maybe free will is an illusion, but if it feels real, does it really matter?
  • Suppose solipsism is true, that is, everyone else is just a figment of your imagination. Again, does that really affect your life? My teacher reminded me that, just because my friends might not actually be 'real', it doesn't change what they mean to me, the positive emotions I have when I spend time with them, and the strength of the relationships I have with them. Try to focus on that, rather than constantly worrying about whether or not people are 'real'.

I'm going to pretty much stop here for now. One thing I realised was that I spent way too much time trying to figure out what 'reality' actually means - what does it even mean to say that something's 'real'? To quote Dumbledore from Harry Potter, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" So this is what I ended up thinking: since no-one can really agree on what 'real' means, why not come up with your own definition? You're in control: you get to decide what 'real' means for you! You get to decide what makes you happy, what you want to do with your life, what the universe is all about for you! Try to hold onto this idea that instead of trying to find out if something is real, you should be the one to decide if it is.

Hope this helps somewhat!

Edited by bobfish

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Guest Phil10

Yes I don’t know why I need to know the meaning of life but sometimes I feel I just do. If nobody is real everything is pointless? Like we know how the universe works ect now so why can’t science work out what happens when your not around anymore and answer all these questions? 

I realised at one point maybe we are not meant to know the answers.

Perhaps everybody is real and I’m over worrying? But perhaps they don’t exist. Does everybody not ask why am I here? So are we all here together? 

If nobody is real where does Facebook posts come from? A flaw I found was if the world only exists in my head why do people get older and age like me? It’s not really possible to start life old..

I went through years never asking these questions but last few years they have troubled me. 

Edited by Phil10

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Guest Phil10

People on forums have suggested solipsism is real. They say you can’t dismiss it.

Its caused me bad anxiety and intrusive thoughts so I don’t believe ideal suffering this.

Some people end up in hospital with question of life thoughts so I think it’s a serious issue. I question meaning of life but if solipsism is real that’s not good atall because you would be alone in a VR game youself that’s not fun is it?

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Sorry for not getting back to you.

Quote

People on forums have suggested solipsism is real. They say you can’t dismiss it.

I would suggest that looking up solipsism on forums is causing you a lot of anxiety right now and is a compulsion, so give it a rest. It might be interesting to some people to think about solipsism, but it's clearly not doing you any good. You're not going to get the reassurance you might be looking for, because the 'people on the forums' are right - it's impossible the dismiss the possibility that solipsism is correct.

Did you have a read through my previous post? I think it's very important to challenge the idea that it's 'bad' if the universe doesn't work the way we perceive it to.

I know OCD is often irrational, but what would be so bad if, as you say, you were alone in a VR game? Why does that make life any less 'fun'? Why does that mean you can't enjoy things and have a good time?

This may or may not help alleviate your thoughts, but I found that as my schedule became busier and I did more things that I enjoyed, my existential anxiety decreased significantly. What do you like to do in your spare time?

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Guest Phil10
10 hours ago, bobfish said:

Sorry for not getting back to you.

I would suggest that looking up solipsism on forums is causing you a lot of anxiety right now and is a compulsion, so give it a rest. It might be interesting to some people to think about solipsism, but it's clearly not doing you any good. You're not going to get the reassurance you might be looking for, because the 'people on the forums' are right - it's impossible the dismiss the possibility that solipsism is correct.

Did you have a read through my previous post? I think it's very important to challenge the idea that it's 'bad' if the universe doesn't work the way we perceive it to.

I know OCD is often irrational, but what would be so bad if, as you say, you were alone in a VR game? Why does that make life any less 'fun'? Why does that mean you can't enjoy things and have a good time?

This may or may not help alleviate your thoughts, but I found that as my schedule became busier and I did more things that I enjoyed, my existential anxiety decreased significantly. What do you like to do in your spare time?

If life was a VR game and I was alone it would be less fun because nobody would properly exist and life would be fake. For me it’s important everybody has a life my big fear is when you are no longer around still not finding out the answers. 

What conclusion I’ve come to is if nobody else is real and life is a simulation rather than solipsism being real infact we could all be part of the simulation and other minds can exist in the simulation. 

I believe in reincarnation so I don’t believe you get answers I believe you are gone and have a short time to reflect before having a new life. Does that prove solipsism isn’t real no you could re-enter another simulation. 

Also I realise if solipsism was real I would most likely be somebody famous who could change the world rather than an average person. People often say to me why do I need the answers to life I do best I can do is put it to the back of my mind maybe we are not meant to know but I’d still like to.

Perhaps if time travel space travel or aliens were discovered that would change life and might not always be for the better. I believe in time travel so therefore I believe my life is a fix because I could exist in the future in a wormhole. So yes I also believe in immortality where you can live forever but I believe reversing aging is the cure or time travel. 

In terms of solipsism forum searching 90% of people dismiss it rather than when I post I’ve had many say you can’t prove it hence the greater anxiety so looking at old posts helps more. Solipism can’t be proved as much as what happens when you die nobody is able to prove this. 

But yes the issue is ocd here and I’m therapy isn’t helping. For me people have to or everyone is pointless. (I believe that has a term aswell when I googled it). I could also ask do you believe im real? Because I can’t prove that either to anybody. From what I’ve read solipsism is based around depersonalization which comes from having anxiety. 

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Guest Phil10

If solipsism was true the opposite gender would not exist that would be strange. Also if it was true would 3rd and 4th genders not exist? Why only two why would I only male exist?

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Guest Phil10

Also you can reproduce, people age ect so what that means is if others are not real nor would I be real? 

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Guest Phil10

Could solipsism be a mental illness or cause one or make you lose your mind? 

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For those starting to engage in a 'reasoned' philosophical discussion, I suggest you don't. Don't mix existential questions with a mental disorder. Take that to a philosophy forum. 

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Guest Phil10
9 minutes ago, paradoxer said:

For those starting to engage in a 'reasoned' philosophical discussion, I suggest you don't. Don't mix existential questions with a mental disorder. Take that to a philosophy forum. 

Yes but I suffer anxiety and ocd and have these questions going on these forums probably wouldn’t help to be honest 

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Trying to answer the endless questions you have is a problem. It is a compulsion and will only serve to keep you stuck.

You have to take a leap of faith here Phil.

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Guest Phil10
8 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Trying to answer the endless questions you have is a problem. It is a compulsion and will only serve to keep you stuck.

You have to take a leap of faith here Phil.

True I have lots of questions and yes in past forgetting them helps but there’s times you just feel you need answers? I question my hospital treatment a few years ago too. Why things happen ect 

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Guest Phil10

I got a reply on another forum so I posted this back

Nog said:

Solipsism is the idea that you can only PROVE that your consciousness is the only one that exists.  Its just an extreme form of idealism, which is the idea that the only things that exist are things that exist in both you and other peoples consciousness.

The things you just talked about don't disprove solipsism in the slightest.  People aging could just be your brain imagining peoples appearance changing over time.  Reproduction could just be your brain creating new "NPC's" in your reality.  Only 2 genders exist because your brain decided there were 2 genders. 

However all of this is going off the assumption that solipsists think that reality is fake, which isnt true.  Once again they only believe you cant PROVE that anything else actually exists.  After all, the only reality and existence you  ever perceive is your own.  

The thing that dpdr sufferers get wrong is they assume that nothing else exists, which is kinda ridiculous imo

 

This is nonsense.

 

If age and others do I must not exist either because the process of me aging is the same as everybody else. Solipsism does not suggest I’m not real it’s the opposite it’s nobody else is real.

 

If I cook my dinner I can smell it, see it and taste it. If I come in from work to my dinner cooked logic suggest the sausage was fried but you are saying the magic man made it it just appeared like Star Trek and the food replicator. It only becomes cooked if I stand there? 

 

There can only be two genders because it’s the same with animals. Two of the same sex do not work to reproduce. If females don’t exist Must have got here another way. Yet I still went through childhood and grew up like everybody else. There is a theropy that in reincarnation the previous soul stays with you until you are older but that’s nothing to do with solipsism. 

 

Listen reality is fake if you say you can’t prove it. What solipsism can’t prove is yes life could be a trick or an illusion but you can’t prove millions of people are not part of this virtual experience too.

 

I go back to solipsism again I never heard of it so my mind made it up did it? Imagining people over time well I notice my furniture getting old I notice carpets wearing down and clothes getting old. So things do get old because time does pass. What you suggest is when I open a door everything appears when I close the door nothing is behind it. For that to happen the virtual experience would have to be beyond what human computers produce today for example a PlayStation game isn’t as detailed as real life. 

 

Solipsism is as bonkers as flat earth theory. Solipsism is saying everything just appears, joe bloggs is having that conversation because I’m here, nobody else deserves to come to earth and live a life only me im the chosen one. If solipsism is real it can’t also prove millions of people are plugged into computers experiencing different versions of the earth. If solipsism is real no aliens exist because only earth exists. People breathing is all a lie, yet I’m breathing so if they are not really breathing neither am I? This is where it’s bonkers “I” is so alike millions of others if you are going to doubt others existence then truth is you can’t exist either but if you don’t exist I would not be able to ask this question.

Edited by Phil10

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Guest Phil10

The fact is solipsism suggest you are the only one. But my post suggests you can’t exist either which goes back to depersonalization. And how else did I get here did the magic man teleport me down here if I have a family and watch them grow up do they vanish when I vanish? You watch them being born for then to not exist when I’m not here? It goes back to another theory everyone is pointless that’s another debate. 

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Ruminating over this, pondering and trying to figure out andwers is not doing you any good. It is causing harm.

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Guest Phil10
1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

Ruminating over this, pondering and trying to figure out andwers is not doing you any good. It is causing harm.

But it’s common with anxiety is it not to have these thoughts? I have ocd so it makes it worse 

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