Throughout my life I've noticed various psychic and empathic abilities but didn't think much about them, as they just seemed part of life. As a teen-ager a major mental illness started developing and was diagnosed a few years later. I've been diagnosed with other things since and take meds for some (very little) and have used a special type of behavioral therapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which is based on Zen Buddhist principles and cognitive behavioral therapy.
The reason I even mention it, is because it is the most effective and it has a definite ending unlike other kinds. The reason I bring these things up is I hear so many people thinking they are crazy when they experience psychic phenomenon. Also people who do have a brain disease or two or three, have similar experiences and think they are psychics.
As someone who is both I just wanted to clarify for folks that there is a quite a difference between the two experiences. I have had legitimate experiences while on and off meds, while peaceful and under duress, and people come to me for help no matter what.
For instance dappled light used make me feel like I was in another world, I later remembered a traumatic event early in life involving dappled light and I was actually having a PTSD reaction.
Shadows in my peripheral vision, triangle people (I would see little tiny people made out of black construction triangles) and some other visual things turned out to be part of psychotic episodes.
But I have seen ghosts, visions, auras, energy, and traveled remotely. The only thing that confuses me today is being empathic and having borderline personality disorder, as people with this heightened emotional state take on other people's emotions, think they are the characters in books, TV, movies because they feel them.
In all these cases the way I know the difference is that they feel very different. Brain chemistry issues usually have some level of fear and disorientation (for me) while my natural sensitivity is just that - natural - feels normal and if there is any fear it is outside me coming from something else and I know I can handle it. I'm curious about others dealing with this or anyone who has heard of "success" stories of folks dealing with both. I also am looking into doing a lot more to keep my chakras clean, increase compassion and "protect" myself - if you have any good sources for these, that would be great.