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Is it a Delusion or an Illusion?

Updated on September 1, 2013

The delusion is created by oneself.

Few realize that there really is a difference between these two words. One is we create the perception of something ourselves, and the other is where another creates the perception for us. After a long thought process regarding these two words, I realized that I had the two words confused as well. It then lead to further thoughts on how everyone creates both of these depending on the situation.

A delusion is where we create our own reality and how we feel things should be, but there is a fine line where it can be construed as a mental disorder, when we fully lose touch with what is going on around us. Delusions can be created by one’s mind to assist with dealing with a traumatic situation. We all have a delusion or our own perception of how things are. By themselves, delusions aren't necessarily a bad thing. We all create them within our minds. We all have things that could be considered figments of the imagination. Some though get lost in the fantasy and can’t find their way back.

The illusion is created for us

An illusion is where someone deceives with visual stimuli, or even words to create an impression of either themselves or a situation. Again this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is when an illusion is used to misrepresent oneself as one way, when in actuality they are really not that at all. This can be done to manipulate a situation to one’s advantage depending on what is being offered, similar to how a magician uses magic to deceive an audience into thinking what they would like them to believe about the visual enchantment presented.

Then there are the situations where a delusion is created because of an illusion presented. For example, and we have all experienced this, when someone presents themselves as your friend, and says all the things that would make you believe they are who they say they are, you develop a delusion that this person is your friend, and you can trust them with anything, and they are going to be there for you when you need them, and so on and so forth. However, this is a carefully created illusion because they know they have said all the right things, done just enough to assist in keeping the delusion you have going, because they are benefiting in some way from the "friendship", but as time goes on, you begin to see holes in the stories, and the actions don’t fit the words, and slowly it all unravels. Not only for you but for them as well.

Illusions and delusions, more often than not, go hand in hand.

As the illusion begins to unravel, you find that the delusion does as well. No matter how much you may try to hold onto the delusion because the reality of the deception is almost too painful to bear. Because there was trust established, there was a bond that was there, but in the end, the only pain that is there is the holding on. Once you let go of the illusion and the delusion that was created, you find that there is peace, that the pain is no longer there, and you find that the delusions and illusions weren't so hard to let go of after all.

Everyone has been on one side or the other at different times. Sometimes we are the ones who are deluded, and sometimes we are the ones who created the illusions. But over time I’ve begun to understand that these two words go hand in hand. This is so because someone had to create the illusion for one to have a delusion.

To me it is similar to how sometimes we are the one to break up with a significant other or friend, sometimes the situation is reversed. To use a cliché, it is the circle of life. The difference is whether you choose to be a victim, where emotional stagnation happens, where anger, bitterness and negativity, will be your companions, or whether you gain wisdom from the lesson that has been taught and move forward, and have peace, happiness, and positivity as your companions.


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    • LEWMaxwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Schock 

      5 years ago from Tulsa, Oklahoma

      Denise, the only way to help someone is to be there for them, be a shoulder to cry on, don't judge, don't offer advice unless it is requested, and if you had warned the person to be careful, do not say I told you so, because that will only make someone feel worse about themselves and feel more like a failure, which can prolong the healing process. But overall, it is going to take time. How long depends on the person. They are grieving, and everyone grieves in their own time, and in their own way. There isn't a right or a wrong, or a time limit that can be placed on this type of thing. It is all up to the individual.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      How do you help someone who has had this experience, and is coming back from being in a relationship where they have been deceived by another person who presented the illusion of being their friend, and has since shown their true colors. The delusion has been destroyed by the letdown. There is a lot of pain and heartache that need to be overcome.


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