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[Misc] Are tulpas a mental disorder?
#1
Everyone’s rushing to call tulpamancy a disorder, DID, or even schizophrenia as soon as they learn it’s not a practical joke and people actually practise tulpamancy. But is tulpamancy a disorder? Is it something you should be concerned about or treated for?

Let’s begin with what tulpamancy is definitely not and that’s schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that is thought to have a significant but not solely genetic component; found in about 1% of the population worldwide. Schizophrenia involves a chronic psychosis, characterised by hallucinating (including multimodal hallucinations – i.e. affecting several senses at once), and thinking or believing things with no basis in reality. Contrary to the popular belief, people with schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities and the hallucinations they experience originate from the outwards. In other words people with schizophrenia might hear voices which they would fully perceive as coming from the outside, physically unable to relate to them as being within their mind alone.

Tulpamancy, on the other hand, is primarily focused on multiple personality aspect, whereas visualisation and hallucination components are optional and not deemed crucial to the development of a tulpa. While some tulpamancers practise “imposition” also known as overlaying the visual looks of the tulpa over the real world or otherwise sensing them at best it results in pseudo-hallucinations and the tulpamancer has to apply a non-trivial effort to make the illusion stay.

Now, though, what about dissociative identity disorder aka DID?

Read the article

Note from Shinyuus: While the page linked is clean/SFW, other pages/articles on my blog are not. I'm working on that but for now stay aware of this if you thread out of the tulpamancy category. A Medium mirror link pending.
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#2
The quote below comes directly from the medical criteria for Schizophrenia diagnoses. It is one of the 3 criteria areas for diagnoses

"Prominent hallucinations
Voices commenting or Voices conversing or Voices emanating from body part"

I want to point this out as I hear people here say over and over that in people with Schizophrenia they hear voices from outside of themselves and those who have tulpas hear voices within.. when in truth that does not have to be the case at all according to diagnostic criteria.

In you have voices which you do not think are your own coming from inside your head, you do in fact met that aspect of diagnostic criteria.

For reference.. here is the whole diagnostic criteria for Schizophrenia and not you only need TWO out of the THREE sections to meet this criteria (and others who do not know any better and are not willing to research for themselves may mistake tulpas as a "bizarre delusion" so you need to be careful with mental health professionals)

ICD-10 Diagnostic criteria for Schizophrenia

>1 month of:

At least 2:
Hallucinations frequent or with any delusions
Disorganized speech
Catatonic behavior
Negative symptoms, e.g.,Marked apathy or Poverty of speech or Flat affect

OR

Bizarre delusions
Implausible (many specific types of delusions are delineated)

OR

Prominent hallucinations
Voices commenting or Voices conversing or Voices emanating from body part
Jesse (human male) DOB 16th April 2013 
Working on imposition
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#3
@Tania A disorder has to be a disorder. Organized tulpamancy practice doesn't at all qualify, although for someone like you you may have the general ways of thinking that might cause a therapist to associate tulpamancy with something like schizophrenia, in most cases of mentally-sound people you're not really at risk of being diagnosed with a disorder just for having tulpas.

Unless you're particularly stupid about it, for example going around telling people in school about tulpas for no reason with no context or something along those lines, but even then I think most of the time it's worked out fine with therapists that it's not a disorder.
Hi! I'm Lumi, host of Reisen, Tewi, Flandre and Lucilyn.
Everyone deserves to love and be loved. It's human nature.
My tulpas and I have a Q&A thread, which was the first (and largest) of its kind. Feel free to ask us stuff.
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#4
Lumi has a great point. One of the main diagnosis criteria for basically anything in the DSM (the dsm IV at least, im not up to date with the dsm V) require significant impairment to functioning in social, educational, or work life.

It seems like nitpicking but to be fair a lot of conditions never get diagnosed due to that factor of significant impairment. I think 95% of tulpa hosts would consider their tulpas an asset and not a hindrance to their functioning. So due to semantics, tulpas aren't likely to be classified as a disorder.
Despite the name, the host bodybody is the one usually using this account. 
Spice was born in 2013 and Tomoe was born in 2014.
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#5
There was a time, perhaps thirty to forty years ago, when just saying you heard voices could get you admitted to a mental hospital. Not now, and not for several decades. Mental illness, or disease, or a disorder, requires impaired functioning and loss of control of some aspect of mind and/or brain and no one is going to want to enforce treatment on a person who is not in distress or causing distress to others. There is plenty enough psychopathology in the world to occupy the limited number of therapists and doctors. And, mental care is expensive. 
I suppose that their are some tulpamancers who have some form of mental illness and I doubt that the percentage is greater than that in the general population. 
In my practice, tulpamancy is a kind of spiritual growth and as such it can be stressful. Can it cause a mental breakdown? Frankly, I do not know, but I do not think so. It takes intention to create a tulpa. They are formed from our own experience and if you weren't inclined to mental illness before taking up the practice, it is hardly conceivable that you could succumb to forces out of your control, or cause damage to your brain. theholodoc, a retired psychiatrist.
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#6
(For the record I was only replying to Tania, not trying to dismiss the Article Submission as unnecessary)
Hi! I'm Lumi, host of Reisen, Tewi, Flandre and Lucilyn.
Everyone deserves to love and be loved. It's human nature.
My tulpas and I have a Q&A thread, which was the first (and largest) of its kind. Feel free to ask us stuff.
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#7
Here's my break-down review.
Final thoughts:
I'm sorry, I don't think I can approve this. You haven't really answered the questions you were asking, and the answers you did give were incorrect or misleading. It may be informative to some people, I just don't think it's accurate and honest enough for my own approval. I would take another look at the 5 criteria for DID (and the criteria for OSDD and DDNOS) and more thoroughly address them in regards to tulpas, and/or more clearly explain why it isn't inherently disorderly to have tulpas.
I'm Piano Soul, the "Star Man" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa formed January 2017. My systemmates are Apollo & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#8
I am not sure who 'everyone' refers to when you say everyone is rushing to make tulpamancy a disorder. I work in Mental Health. No one has a clue what tulpas are, or what tulpamancy is. No one. When I ask a doctor, or another professional, I spend more time defining the terms and practice than I do discussing whether or not it's a disorder. And, on the rare occasion I say, I practice this, I am lucky if I get, "that's interesting." No one is diagnosis me. No one is dismissing me. I get the sense no one really cares. Other than enhancing my inner life, it has done nothing for me. I have even tried to talk to some of the Jung specialist that focus on active imagination to see if they want to discuss tulpamancy as a form of 'active imagination' that is subconsciously driven, and i have not had one taker. I would love to have more professionals discussing this with me.

Now, if you show up at a hospital, or an ER, or a in a mental health clinic, for the sole purpose of seeking a diagnosis for med management, and you tell them oh and by the way, I have tulpas... and you have any collateral evidence for major depression and or bipolar, you can bet that will be used as definitive proof of what they're looking for. If all you have is visual auditory hallucinations, but you're otherwise functioning, and you don't want meds, you will go home with no meds. If you show up at a psych hospital because the police took you there after collecting you on a criminal trespass charge, higher chance that any mention of tulpas will be used against you... Context is also a valid part of diagnosing a person. You don't just check off criteria and call it done. A person's ability to function is also a measure.

If you show up in my office and you tell me you have a tulpa, I am going to spend the first half of my time with you exploring if you have other issues. I am going to spend of rest of my time talking tulpa shop. And if you have no other diagnosis, I will not be using your tulpa as evidence for a mental illness. It's not DID. It's not schizophrenia. It's not major depression with psychosis. It's not Bipolar with Psychosis. If anyone in the public or media is saying it is, they're being dramatic to get reads. I doubt there are enough of us tulpamancers to generate profits by pushing our buttons with adversarial articles, so I am not sure who their target audience is, but it is also not directed at mental health professionals.

This is, of course, just my humble opinion. Smile
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#9
Aside from possibly quenching fears in newcomers that they have DID (which I think is unlikely anyway) and introducing the idea of tulpas (somewhat) to people unfamiliar, I don't think there's much point in this article. I don't really see its usefulness to the community.

In addition to what the Felights said in their review, you never cited your sources nor linked the surveys you alluded to.

Since I don't see the usefulness in this article, and since it has many problems, I can't approve it.

-Hector
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#10
I could go on about various parts of this article that I like and those that I don't, but at the end of the day none of that really matters because I don't think that I would be able to approve of this article even if you fixed all that stuff, because all of it relies on a bad question.

the question "is tulpamancy a mental disorder?" can be answered in one sentence "no, because mental disorders require there to be significant distress caused by the symptoms, and tulpamancy doesn't do that". this question is just too simple and has too obvious of an answer to warrant a whole essay. furthermore, such a question isn't even a useful question to ask unless you are a psychologist (and they can probably figure this out on their own), because if you are experiencing clinically significant distress then you should get help regardless of if tulpas are a mental disorder, and if you aren't experiencing that, then you don't need help regardless of if tulpamancy is a disorder, whether or not it is a disorder would only change the treatment

I cannot approve this article, or think of any situation in which I would change my mind
I have a tulpa named Miela (formerly known as Monika) who I love very much.


"People put quotes in their signatures, right?"
-Me
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