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ATS - A forum with a Mental Condition?

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posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 02:46 AM
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I hope the title didn't offend anybody, I felt this was important though. Reading through this thread (www.abovetopsecret.com...) got me thinking...

Often on this board we see people who have similar experiences. We've had similar pasts, we think similar things, we think we're special or more advanced or informed than others and occasionally to the point of sounding arrogant. In other words, people gathering on this forum have something in common.

I think jkrog08 was a step ahead of me in some regards and asked.


So my question to you is....what does this all mean?Are we special or do we have certain plans for us?


People have theorised about this at least a little and suggested (naturally on a board covering conspiracy theories) that maybe we really are special, know something others don't or have had contact with aliens... yada yada.

What I'm considering is that perhaps many posters on this board have some sort of common condition that leads to thoughts of superiority, or difference/seperation from others. Bipolar 'Disorder' comes to mind, because this sort of behaviour is explicitly listed as a symptom of it, but it could be anything.

I realise that this may sound offensive to many posters, but while you're considering that you were abducted/implanted with special skills in the 9th dimension or whatever else perhaps this sort of thing is worth considering too. I'm not saying I'm exempt from it either! After all, I was drawn here...

It's a lot more down-to-Earth than the other theories after all.

I just think it's such a strange and reccuring theme on this forum and its so obvious that I think it warrants attention.

"I always felt special, I had strange experiences as a child, I feel as if people are watching me, I seem to predict things, I think differently to others, I never had the same goals as everyone else, I matured quickly".

Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe there's a common condition here. Maybe you have it, maybe we all do. Maybe it's bad, or totally unimportant! Maybe we really are different...

All I ask is that you consider it. Thanks for reading.



Edit/Disclaimer: I'm not trying to flame or debunk the board either by the way. I just thought it was worth considering. I myself find the comments about lights turning off while you go past, and 11:11 coming up a lot in that original thread disturbingly familiar.

[edit on 26/3/08 by Duality]




posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 03:43 AM
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Interesting topic.... and not an easy one to discuss.

I do agree with you on a certain level, though whether its a mental illness I dont know. My gut reaction tells me not.

I thought the original thread was interesting to read for the first couple of pages and credibility should be given to the first three posters (which includes OP). But after that people started to relate their accounts / experiences to birthday dates or dreams and not having many friends in their childhood, again as you said a feeling of being special.

I wonder if all this relates to a social interaction issue (is this classed as a mental illness) with the need to be accepted by society, we all look for acceptance in our lives so why should these people with their thoughts / ideas be any different.

Having said that, I also realise that some abduction experiences are real, h3akalee has spoke before about these experiences and I have to say that I do believe him. Which is not an easy thing for me to say.

I just wonder what percentage of people are telling the truth... 25%, 50% or much less.

Anyway thanks for bringing this topic up, I will look forward to other replies.

Regards,

JQ.


JAK

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 04:28 AM
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A human vulnerability? ATS more than others?

Focusing on those who believe they are in possession of certain abilities or particularly vulnerable to noticing seemingly excessive synchronicities it can be argued that due to it's nature ATS will act as a magnet for those with such beliefs and so it could then appear that a notably disproportionate number of members are in agreement over that which might be encountered with an impartial statistical survey of random people.

Is that so due to some on ATS simply taking the time to focus on and study reports and experiences of these events which may be ignored elsewhere or a misinterpretation / misunderstanding of the material presented here? (I read the other day that statistically it can be said the average human has roughly one testicle.)

Not only would someone have to bear in mind the possibility of apophenia in their own past experiences then but also take that into consideration when reading the experiences of others and the possibility of further similar vulnerability when reading on a website which, as mentioned above, quite understandably draws those who might be more inclined to look upon such experiences in a certain light. The second part of the following quote references this point:

On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a God


Humans are evolved pattern-spotting machines, often finding trends where none exist, which makes us terrible at producing and recognizing randomness. And research shows that those with stronger beliefs in the paranormal are even less prone to acknowledge randomness in, say, a truly unbiased series of coin tosses--independent of any other deficits in probabilistic reasoning


With all that said I do not mean to target anyone here nor detract from anyone's experience, only attempting to offer a perspective for consideration.

It is quite apt that Matthew Hutson the author of the quote ends the article with:



In my next post, I'll list a few examples of seeing too much life in the ones and zeroes.


and then in the following article brings up the relationship of conspiracy theories to this:

Ask iGod



For a while there were conspiracy theories about how random the iPod shuffle function is; users noticed weird patterns and Steven Levy had to ask Apple engineers to assure him it was really random.


So referenced we have an interest in the paranormal and conspiracy theories. It seems only logical then to consider ATS potentially particularly vulnerable. And as if that wasn't enough it seems the act of being on-line itself may not be helping:



We all see patterns where they don't exist, and we're also programmed to detect intentional agents--we anthropomorphize inanimate objects that merely hint at being alive. So we may perpetually overestimate the capabilities of artificial intelligences we come across. And a new study reported in the February issue of Psychological Science (pdf) says that the lonelier you are, the more that will happen. In the study, people who felt more more socially isolated attributed higher levels of free will, consciousness, and emotions to gadgets like "'Clocky' (a wheeled alarm clock that 'runs away' so that you must get up to turn it off)". Uh oh. Psychologists reported a decade ago that loneliness increases with Internet use. That means: more geeking out, more loneliness, more reliance on technology for companionship, and the cycle repeats.


The explanations offered on following website (which I'm sure has been mentioned elsewhere on ATS) are used as an example of the dangers highlighted here. If you go to view the following website with critical eyes, which might well be unavoidable considering how it comes to be offered here, you may well see the solution immediately ... but what if you had been sitting in the quiet of night after reading through some of the fascinating ESP related threads on ATS?

Cliff Pickover - ESP experiment

Jak

[edit on 26/3/08 by JAK]



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 05:43 AM
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But there is a difference between being batpoo crazy and not realizing it and seeing things around you in the world that are batpoo crazy and ackowledging them rather than ignoring, blocking out or pretending they are not there.

I think that the majority of otherwise healthy functioning stable individuals have a discussion (or many) with themselves about whether or not they are losing their mind, this is a pretty decent sign that in fact you are not crazy.

There may be a feeling of isolation, of being different or special that is more prevelant on a forum like this, but if people werent having experiences that led to these feelings then there would be no reason for this place to be as big and productive as it is.

But you also arent seeing a lot of the persons everyday life on a board like this, stuff is intentionally kept very private as they are sensitive and at time potentially dangerous things being discussed.

Now dont get me wrong, from time to time, and probably daily if I bothered to read them, I find a thread or post here that is frankly Batpoo crazy, makes no sense and is utterly out of touch with reality. I will refrain from examples but I can think of several that were quite memorable off the top of my head.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 07:30 AM
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I think we here at ATS tend to be brighter than the average bear. Some may have mental issues, but by and large, we are merely more insightful.

I only feel "special" insofar as I have scored rather above the "average" myself.

And I do think it is the nature of ATS that draws those of us who are more aware of things by virtue of this higher brightness.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by Amaterasu
I think we here at ATS tend to be brighter than the average bear. Some may have mental issues, but by and large, we are merely more insightful.


Isn't this a little arrogant or overconfident though? I'm not saying you specifically, I mean if ATS members as a whole take this view on.

Who are we to say we're smarter than everyone just because we are interested in conspiracy theories and such? I guess I just don't like this line of thought because it leads to the sort of idea that "Anything said by us is true, because we are enlightened".

That is, people stop asking for evidence or whatnot, people stop being logical about new ideas simply because they assume they are already within an untouchable domain of high-intelligence and alternative (and indeed accurate) thought, even if this may not be the case at all.

What I'm getting at is, what we may call being highly intelligent or being 'awakened', others may call being paranoid and irrational. I don't feel that we are any better or should be any less susceptible to criticism and calls for evidence than anyone else just because we're already communicating over an alternative medium.

Did that make sense? @_@

[edit on 26/3/08 by Duality]

[edit on 26/3/08 by Duality]



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 07:46 AM
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I wonder if ATS is becoming mainstream for the wrong reasons, are people coming here because they are lonely. You dont have to be weird or crazy to be lonely. Though is there anything wrong with this?

Maybe the world is a much more disturbing place than we realise, with many people losing faith in their own society.

This can also be seen with the ATS membership, why do so many people join but only 50% actually post anything. Is it fear of not being accepted by other ATS members or just afraid to speak out?

Whether it is a form of mental illness or simply just trying to fit in, it doesnt make the process of finding the truth any easier and as ATS members its just another obstacle we have to overcome.

Will we ever have disclosure though, if we continue to label ourselves with terms like mental illness or loneliness, who will believe us if we do find the truth.

Regards,

JQ.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by Duality
What I'm getting at is, what we may call being highly intelligent or being 'awakened', others may call being paranoid and irrational. I don't feel that we are any better or should be any less susceptible to criticism and calls for evidence than anyone else just because we're alread communicating over an alternative medium.


I do find that discussing some of the topics on the boards here with people that are not members does raise a few eyebrows with people.

My boyfriend thinks I am nuts and outlandish for discussing certain topics, and that I am way out in left field for some of the ideas I have about things.

Does that mean I am ready for a straight jacket? Could be, but the truth is, where this is concerned, he finds me highly entertaining (what he calls nuts) and I do get him thinking. He does ask me not to bring certain subject up around, say, his relatives, though!

So, in my opinion, people who post here might be like me, and find this site a perfect place to discuss things that other people don't find normal.



 

Mod Edit: Quote formatting correction - Jak

[edit on 26/3/08 by JAK]



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 08:48 AM
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There is some interesting stuff out there in relation to the OP's (imho) excellent post.

Check this out.
arginine.spc.org...

It is not surprising therefore, that delusions have been reported in the psychiatric
literature in which the internet has featured as a central theme (see Table 1). Broad
sociocultural influences on delusional beliefs are well known and previous research has
shown an influence on the presentation of delusions depending on country [1][2][3][4],
gender and social class [5] and social environment [6]. Considering that the DSM-IV
diagnostic criteria for a belief to be considered delusional are culturally relative (one of
the criterion being that the belief “is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of
the person's culture or subculture” [7]) it is perhaps unsurprising that cultural factors
might cause differences in the prevalence of certain themes between localised
populations.


although this paper is primarily looking at the internet as a feature of delusions present in individuals it has some importants comments on how the internet as technology can influence the state and strength of an individual presenting a delusion....and this is important when we see people re-inforcing these beliefs via forums and chats.

It is notable that the role of the internet in
such delusional beliefs is largely restricted to two major themes. The first is the use of
the internet as an explanatory tool to account for unusual experiences, such as
experiences of control, voice hearing or having one’s thoughts read.

I have read alot of alien contactees thats cut close to this discription. One could argue that those experiencing the above come here/internet to find some answers to what they are experiencing and this could account for the trend in similarities of themes......as the OP has mentioned. It could also be that what they are saying is true but conventional society has no venue to address this, which leads these individuals to the Net.

However, it has been noted [33] that people who are likely to be psychotic may use the
internet to form online communities based around their delusional beliefs, and archive a
large corpus of online information to support their conjectures. Research on the social
psychology of the internet has suggested that people who strongly identify with a group
identity or cause are more likely to have their attitudes influenced to polar extremes if
they are not in the same physical location [34]. Combined with the increasing
availability of domestic internet access and the fact that “on the internet, people who
share your interest and lean in the same direction as you are just a few keystrokes away,
regardless of the issue’s obscurity, social desirability, or bizarreness” [35], people
undergoing the initial stages of psychosis may have delusional beliefs primed,
strengthened or deepened by using the internet, where previously they might have
encountered very few people (if any) who would agree with their interpretations.


I have chopped the best bits of this paper that related to the OP ideas i hope the mods are not upset with my quoting. But by all means read the whole thing. Please don't assume that i think all people on ATS are delusional.....as that would be just plain crazy.




posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by JAK
 
What an excellent post from a moderator. One of the sad things about becoming one seems to be that the official gets so busy moderating he or she rarely has time to post. I've noticed how many formerly prolix members suddenly go all quiet after their elevation.

* * *


Cliff Pickover's 'ESP test' is brilliant and the answers page is an absolute scream. Definitely substantiates the OP proposition -- as does the brilliant post from atlasastro just above mine.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 11:35 AM
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I think this very subject matter attracts people with certain issues. One only needs to browse the forums for a couple of days to find a few examples of people who are probably suffering from clinical paranoia. I've even seen one or two examples of people who I would bet money are suffering from a form of schizophrenia. It's a bit frustrating for me because those sorts of people waste a lot of time for other people by posting garbage constantly.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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With a username as "Duality", I suspect that you are predisposed to the answer for your topical question...


Interesting thoughts, though and worth pondering...



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by atlasastro
 
Here's a story that also tends to confirm the OP conclusion, but from a slightly unusual angle. Some of it also tends to support the arguments in the Bell &c. paper you linked to.


HOW I BECAME AN ATS MEMBER


I discovered the internet in 1998, so in no way can I be called an early adopter. This was due to an accident of geography. Once it was rectified, I became an enthusiastic user -- and explorer.

Many years before this (in my younger and more credulous days), I had taken a more than passing interest in things like UFOs, ESP and what was then called 'the occult'. I was also, however, of a naturally empiricist persuasion, which meant that I eventually outgrew my earlier credulity. A scientific education helped, as did a fascination with psychology, especially the work of Carl Jung.

But though I lost my credulity, I retained my interest in the weird and wonderful. Only now my interest was in the people who came up with these weird and wonderful beliefs, or were attracted to them. I was entertained by the bizarre (to me) nature of their ideas -- as well as by the remarkable consistency of form that showed up through the endless profusion of content.

And so I became a habitué of the wild and woolly territory on the far (out) side of the internet.

The pickings were rich. Mind control, alien abductions, Virgin Mary sightings, Satanic ritual abuse, stigmata, elite conspiracies of world domination, plans for orgone boxes: I had found a treasure-vault of the human imagination. And in among these humble proletarians of the Paradise of Delusions were sprinkled the real crazies, the ones whose delusions had tipped over the indefinable edge that separates the mild paranoia that evidently haunts many ATS members from the howling hell of full-blown psychosis: the diary of a man tormented with mind-scrambling beams by the local chief of police, who is also sleeping with his wife and brother-in-law; the sketches of a young man tormented at night by malevolent visiting aliens who take many forms, which the sketches attempt to reproduce; the self-mutilator who is trying to remove an imaginary tracking-device from his thigh, and keeps displaying pictures of extracted components of it on his web site, together with close-up photos of the hideous gouge in his flesh from which he believes they came. A bit too rich for me, that one.

It was a phase, of course. I sickened of it after a while, concluding that I was no better than a voyeur -- at best a tourist satisfying a thirst for the exotic. But by then I'd spent a good few months exploring this parallel dimension of cyberspace and become quite familiar with the portals to it. One of these was a site called CrankDotNet, which I think is now history. It was a site of links -- links to crank sites. It was by clicking on one of these links, one day, that I discovered ATS.

Here was a site on which people who believed all these crazy things actually talked about them, and argued about them with each other and with yet other people who didn't believe a word of it. And thanks to the board design and strict moderation, it was possible to do this on a level playing field -- more or less -- without constant outbreaks of the dreaded 'drama'. How could I resist it?

So I lurked for a while and joined, then lurked some more and finally started posting.

The rest is history. Only time will tell whether it's also a case history.


[edit on 26-3-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by Duality
 


I believe that some of the posters come across wrong with their view... but let me ask if there is a correct way to post.

Is anyone in this world by default a perfect person? Could they reword things better? Yes they could reword it better is anyone perfect... lol i hope the anwser is no.

Nobody thinks they are better then anyone. In fact if you read further you will see statements where they feel they are far less superior and that they are just normal people who are sympathetic to others.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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being one of the posters in that thread it's pretty obvious you've missed the point.

Cosmic related her story people could identify themselves with.. and looking for more similarities people related more and more of their personal life.. So where you got that "we are better then" or "we are not like you" from really beats me..none of us are the same... that you could not relate to your lifes isn't some disorder. I'm sorry but your post is why people have problems posting their personal stories in the first place... lets keep it in the closet.. if thats what you like then I totally can understand your nickname.

what's the problem in having this discussion out in the open?.. this is ATS remember? with out calling it a disorder or starting a anti-post. I've read your comment in the original post i know where you come from...point made...move on?



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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is this thread referring to my thread??



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 12:43 PM
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I can honestly say that I have encountered people who have unusual experiences (experiences I share, as indicated in the thread in question) who do seem to feel a sense of speciality or superiority, but my guess is that this is their way of compensating for what would otherwise be a near universal sense of alienation. Furthermore, not everyone with such experiences holds such views of themselves.

I can only speak for myself, but I actually suffer from strong feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, social anxiety, and self consciousness. I've never felt better than anyone. To the contrary, I often feel inferior. I do however feel different, and I can easily see how if I was less skeptical than I am, I might end up with a sense of superiority based on the perceived notion of an as yet undefined "purpose" for lack of a better term, whether real or not.

If there is a mental disorder involved, my instincts tell me that it has more to do with how people with such experiences adapt to, and view themselves in relation to, the rest of society than with the experiences themselves. That said, it is definitely worth noting that there are any number of potential physiological causes for such experiences. Dissociative identity disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations all spring to mind. In my case though, all of those have been ruled out by medical and psychological professionals.

As I stated in the other thread, my instincts tell me something real is happening, but I have an open mind in either case.

(edited for typo.)

[edit on 3/26/2008 by AceWombat04]



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by cosmicstorm
 


Yeah, they are referring to your thread..
I think they want to say that we are mental..
and all who are mental have to leave now?
I guess this is goodbye..



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by Blue10110
 


I think all of you should keep an open mind... Remember our open mindedness? He is not right in what he says but he has a good point... Maybe we have been affected in this world that cuases us to feel a certain way... a way that is wrong to humanity. Who knows. Do not attack anothers thread ... take it with a grain of salt you will learn much and become wiser. Knowledge is power. Use it wisely!



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by rjmelter
 


Well said...

I think the key to this is being open minded on both threads and trying to see both points of view.

To say everyone that posted on the UFO thread is telling the truth, I find hard to believe but at the same time to say all these people have a mental illness is also wrong. There are cases where abductions have happened, so for this topic to move forward all points of view must be looked at.

Trying to find out who is telling the truth when speaking about their UFO experiences is the next step, how we get there I dont know.

Regards,

JQ.

Off topic: a little anyway, is this the first time two threads have run side by side discussing the different angles, this could be a new thing for ATS.



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