Eli5: why do schizophrenic people draw very similar pictures?

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You consistently see schizophrenic people draw those “sacred geometry” diagrams that are often like people with tons of lines and geometric shapes going through them.

Is it just a conspiracy theory that happens to stick well with them? Or is it something inherent that identifies these?

In: Mathematics

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments


Anonymous 0 Comments

Something to understand about brains is we’re all working on the same hardware. If your friend and you both have the same computer parts, they will behave similarly if the hardware fails in the same way.

Schizophrenia is the same hardware failing in a similar way. So you get similar anomalies.

This is also why we have a common name for it. It’s schizophrenia because there’s an underlying commonality in the symptoms and also likely the cause, which is also why different people can take the same medication and improve their results.

Humans aren’t exact copies though, so you won’t always get the exact same symptoms. You have to find the underlying similarity to group things as a disease.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a combination of things, schizophrenic people often become really interested and obsessed with religion and occultism. In fact, a sudden profound interest in religion and the occult where their previously wasn’t one is one of the signs of schizophrenia, often an early warning sign.
This means schizophrenic people are likely to be much more interested in sacred geometry than the baseline average.

In addition there are common hallucinations that many schizophrenic people share, things like geometry, divine light, and shadow people to name a few.

People have also drawn parallels between schizophrenic people and shamans/prophets, so there’s a bit of a fringe theory with growing popularity that most religions and cults were started by schizophrenic people and based on their hallucinations in the first place, so a lot of the common religious imagery would be schizophrenic people connecting to each other through time. After all, if you had already seen a particular geometric symbol in some kind of vision and then later saw that same symbol in a church, it makes sense how that could connect with you deeply.
This theory has two main schools of thought behind it, one is that all religion is pure delusion. The other is that schizophrenic people are spiritually gifted and modern society suppresses them and sees the difference as a defect.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They don’t. Schizophrenia is highly culturally specific; voices/images/ideas that people with schizophrenia experience vary significantly between cultures because the underlying substrate from which they are built differs based on the previous exposure to the environment. So if your day to day exposure tells you that certain images have mystical/sinister/powerful connotation, and you experience an episode these will be incorporated in them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is a hypothesis that shapes are innate to our vision. In addition shapes evoke emotional responses, for example, the downward triangle, which is frequently found in paintings of schizophrenics, are perceived as threatening; think of how the face of Devil is depicted, as goat with downward triangle, as well as the pentagram. V for Vendetta. These are not just stylistic choices. People also tend to find round shapes as happy, 😊.

Fear, threat, are common emotions that schizophrenics experience. There are more to that. But this should be sufficient.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Why does everyone wanna eat gumbo when it gets cold outside? Same kinda thing probably.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most of the “drawn by a schizophrenic” images you’ve seen on the internet were, regrettably, not drawn by schizophrenics. It’s something often tacked on when the art is reposted to garner more karma. For what that’s worth

Anonymous 0 Comments

One explanation is that it’s Jungian [archetypical images ](https://psychotherapy.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.1955.9.4.624) manifesting, these are images we all have in common but they are maybe most known for being used in religion and myth.