“Lucky me. Always being in my favourite place.” Zarra quipped.
Her mother lauded her positivity. “Yes, dear. You’ll always be with me. Isn’t that your favourite place?”
“No! It’s the backyard. So much warmth from the sunshine. The scent of the flowers in green fields filled with love. What else would I want?” Zarra was always dreamy.
“Isn’t that me, dear?”
A slight, reminiscent chuckle followed.
Her mother thought to herself about how Zarra had grown happy even after the accident that had killed her father in the very same field. She handled herself well, had frequent conversations with an ‘imaginary’ alien, and all other things that were probably normal. Well, she was just a kid wasn’t she?
“Tell me, sweetie, are you going back out there?”
Fantasies can be wonderful pieces of creativity that our mind conjectured. We have encountered our bit with Fantasy, each varying on individual levels. While some could be a fable, some could be fatal.
Along commonly known disorders like Schizophrenia, there are other disorders that affect people in ways unknown to them, leading them through unknown paths. Fantasy prone personality is one of them. It presents as attempts to live in a “dream world”.
Zarra entered her house after a long day in the fields. She felt the house had become silent and tranquil, and everything around her was positioned where they should be. An ideal situation, where everything is just perfect. Calmly, she opened the unlocked door – the lock was missing, so it wasn’t much of an effort to her. She entered to see bright red spots and broken pieces of jewellery. “Wow, strawberry juice! Why were you running, mom? See, you missed your favourite earrings.” She said into the violent silence. She went around to find her mom and surprise her with the flower collection she found. Managing to find them and neatly string them into a tiara, could only be rewarded with her mom’s smile.
The strawberry juice could ever so slightly mean anything. A sweet delicacy for the moment, or a sour dent that would haunt dreams for long. What do we do when we see something out of the ordinary? Be within the realm? Or elevate to the unknown?
Fantasy Prone Personality can be characterized by vivid sensations and elaborate yet lucid hypnotic subjects.
So where is Zarra? Where are we?
“Mom! Where are you? The weather is so beautiful. You can’t be sleeping now.”
She eventually found her mom, with streaks of red splashed all along her dress and the walls. Her jewelry, along with her favorite golden insignia was missing. “Mom! I love that you made strawberry juice. But you can’t have it all wasted like this. Get up, we’ll find some more strawberries. Also your earrings were outside, did you miss the chain like that as well?”
Her mom didn’t respond. Then Zarra saw her Dad coming in through the front door.
Hallucinating is one of many major symptoms of psychological disorders. The extent of hallucinations can indicate the depth of the disorder.
“Remember Zarra, how you healed your mom that day? With your alien friend? She’s been sleeping for long. Help her, will you?”
“Yes, dad. No problem. Now please leave. She hates you.”
“Okay, if you say so”
In our elevated fantasies, anything can happen. That’s why we make them, don’t we? We want something surreal, something that isn’t usual, because we need the escape. Our mind is a beautiful elixir of memories, real and unreal. Do you know which is which?
“Unsatisfied wishes are the driving power behind fantasies, every separate fantasy contains the fulfillment of a wish, and improves an unsatisfactory reality.”
Pertaining to Fantasy Prone Personality, trauma and other harmful factors can manifest into fantasies, as a coping mechanism. Being involved in healing among others, can be extensive factors pointing to this ‘trait’.
Zarra set into action, engaging her psychic powers in full effect. Through intense forces that displayed exuberant auras, her mother magically came back, full of life.
“Zarra, what happened? I’m right here. You didn’t have to heal me now. I’m alright and always will be.”
She woke up to find Zarra motionless. She kept tugging her and was trying to wake her up.
“Get up Zarra, you can’t just leave! I love you so much, please wake up.”
She kept tugging to distant noises of concerned voices. The annoying noise of a patient monitor agitated her further with recollections from the past.
A bright flash, after you wake up to the early sunshine, is an ideal way to start the day. And when that happens during the day, it’ll be a lovely daydream you just snapped out of. Sometimes, don’t they become too close to comfort? Almost as if, you wanted it to be real, never descending down the abyss of the real world.
Suddenly, nothing made sense. She saw people she had never seen before. Standing outside the room was her husband, but why was he there?
The patient monitor started beeping much more frequently. She started seizing.
You are always in the real world, living surreal experiences. They are ultimately what your mind makes of it, positive or negative. After a bad day, a nice remedy is to go into a deep sleep, to technically ‘die before waking up’. Dreams start appearing in your REM sleep. And very, very rarely, do you dream of dreaming?
Schizotypal Personality Disorder is a severe mental disorder that can present with Dysthymia, delusions, and psychosis. The primary difference between Schizophrenia and Schizotypal disorder is the ability to recognise reality at times and accept it. Schizophrenic patients can never be averted from their delusions.
The room was filled with tension, she was weak and unstable after she’d consumed the new meds that she had switched to, from antidepressants to Nembutal. Her husband entered the room and tried to console her. She panicked as he entered, while he rushed in to prevent her from cutting the IV line.
“You can’t be beating yourself up, every day, because of her death. Only you felt that she hated you. That everybody hated you. What happened, was an accident.”
“YOU AREN’T ALIVE!”
“And neither will you be, if you continue like this.”
Our fantasies revolve around people, quite significantly. They can be from any place, near or far. Could be anyway, dead or alive. But why are they there? They matter to us, don’t they?
“Snap out of it, Sarah! She may not have hated you, but she regretted seeing you. She already saw you nearly losing your life because of that manic robber. You just kept getting worse. Why can’t you be normal now, at least for her? Now I’m regretting seeing you.”
People affected by Schizotypal disorder have intense feelings of nihilism, derealization and often, the idea of everyone around being filled with hatred for them.
Everything made sense now to Sarah, but it will all slip away eventually. Zarra was again the daughter whose name she’d forgotten, as she lay buried down under the ground. She kept reliving everything in different variations. This was just another dream, which somehow managed to induce more physical distress. But she couldn’t know everything.
Why was she hearing from a man, whose voice was lost at birth?
The disease continued to kill her indirectly, day by day.
Schizotypal disorder is usually persistent with other comorbid disorders. For around 3% of the general population, life takes turns of euphoric moments and euthanizing morbidity.
Questions bring out many details from us. We can continue asking questions and subtly keep questioning our internal system. But our mind is the basic essence of our body. Our subconscious holds powers unknown. We can continue exploring and try to live, as far as we get the right balance between the real and the surreal.