Mode Thinking Schema


Struggling with psychosis, the following schema of thinking might naturally occur to you:  

            I noticed that in the modality of the imagination, there are three layers of thinking.  (This modality in contrast to the five sensory modalities and proprioception -- feelings inside the body.)  The first layer – that of intentional, deliberate conscious thinking – I called “mode”.  As in “this is the mode you want to be in.”   The second layer, which I called quasi-mode, consists of ruminations and automatic thoughts.  Stuff you aren’t necessarily in intentional control over.  But not yet layer 3, non-mode thinking, which is outright hallucinations and intrusive thoughts.

            Since this is a three-layer model, instead of saying “layers 1, 2, and 3” I decided to use the more elegant manner of using the first three Greek letters:  alpha, beta, and gamma.

            Alpha thinking is where you want to be.  Beta, you should be wary of.  It can lead to destabilization.  Gamma is outright dangerous – pathological, you could say.  Even at home safe in bed, I’ve discovered that one should probably always avoid gamma thinking.

            An interesting question arises – “What about external reality?”  Reality kind of resembles gamma material – it is totally outside your control, and it seemingly comes from outside.  But I discovered that this isn’t actually the case.  Having lunch with a sane, rational person, one can stay on level 1, because the other is on level 1 also.  Having lunch with a schizophrenic, however, may come to resemble level 2 or 3 stuff.  If ~they are not in control of their thinking, listening to them is just as hopeless as listening to your own hallucinations.

            Obviously, I greatly admire the treatment team, which has to directly confront gamma material on a daily basis.  However, as a recovering schizophrenic, I am coming to learn that alpha, and perhaps beta, are where I really want to be.  Mental illness of others can actually trigger and destabilize me.