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Author Topic: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis  (Read 1778 times)

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Offline Muggles

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Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« on: December 07, 2012, 08:14:36 AM »
Hi people,

I wasn't quite sure where to put this sorry. I'm feeling confused and frustrated because my psychologist says I have GAD and depression, but OCD and bipolar have also been mentioned and now the psychiatrist is saying that I have 'psychotic features' and I don't know whether to believe her. So I'm wondering what is the difference between just general worry, intrusive thoughts, and the psychotic stuff? E.g. I worry about every day stuff like work an getting sick. I also picture lots of things happening and they're really confronting pictures or thoughts that get in my head (e.g. Picturing picking up a knife and slicing off my nose, or thinking really racist things that I don't believe). Sometimes I think that there is someone in the house or that people are coming to get me and kill me. Sometimes I hear the piano playing and sometimes I'm scared my water has been poisoned or that There is a ghost in the room. Is this really psychotic or can it just be out down to anxiety??
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Offline Cheesus

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Re: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 11:00:55 AM »
It's best to listen to the professionals on this one.

From my own experience, however, I would say its dependent on your perception of your thoughts. For a thought to be delusional it would usually just have to be the cold, hard truth to the person. When you think these things, are they the gospel truth or are they just strange thoughts intruding on your normal thought stream? If when you thought them they appeared to be the absolute truth (i.e. you believe them as much as you believe you are a person living on the planet earth), then perhaps they might be deemed as delusional and so it could be a symptom of a psychotic disorder. If, however, you thought 'wow that is a bit odd, i wonder where that strange thought came from', then you started thinking about the thought and obsessing over it, I would think that you are likely more a victim of an over active imagination and a great deal of anxiety.

Psychiatrists and psychologists love to label things as psychosis because it puts them in a little box, however the human mind is very elastic and has the capacity to mould itself to all manner of ideas and experiences without them being particularly pathological or with a distinct pathological cause.

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Basis of Recovery
Intrusive Thoughts
A Philosophy of Anxiety

Offline EclecticJoe

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Re: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 11:11:48 AM »
It's best to listen to the professionals on this one.

From my own experience, however, I would say its dependent on your perception of your thoughts. For a thought to be delusional it would usually just have to be the cold, hard truth to the person. When you think these things, are they the gospel truth or are they just strange thoughts intruding on your normal thought stream? If when you thought them they appeared to be the absolute truth (i.e. you believe them as much as you believe you are a person living on the planet earth), then perhaps they might be deemed as delusional and so it could be a symptom of a psychotic disorder. If, however, you thought 'wow that is a bit odd, i wonder where that strange thought came from', then you started thinking about the thought and obsessing over it, I would think that you are likely more a victim of an over active imagination and a great deal of anxiety.

Psychiatrists and psychologists love to label things as psychosis because it puts them in a little box, however the human mind is very elastic and has the capacity to mould itself to all manner of ideas and experiences without them being particularly pathological or with a distinct pathological cause.

I completely concur with with Cheesus. Psychotic people truly don't know what they are doing, hearing, seeing is strange. Anxiety can play tricks on your mind and can cause your imagination to run wild. There is such a thing of psychotic stages of depression, but that is normally reserved for very bad cases.
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Offline e77

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Re: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 02:50:36 PM »
I agree with Cheesus and Eclectic Joe on your worry Muggles.  Being confused and frustrated does not feel good I'm sure, but that you are confused and frustrated about it is a good thing and shows that you are critically thinking and reasoning about it.  I have an overactive imagination too and sometimes get locked into thoughts I don't like and get obsessive about it.  Our thoughts can really work us over sometimes.  Take care.
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Offline Muggles

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Re: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 01:18:29 AM »
Thanks for the replies. That all makes sense. I think the psychiatrist shouldn't have randomly said this to me, she didn't seem to think much about it before she decided I was psychotic and gave me a prescription for seroquel! I have definately had times where I was completely convinced something was happening but I think most of my stuff could be put down to anxiety. I'm not gonna take those stupid tablets I'm so over medication.
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Offline Cheesus

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Re: Anxiety vs intrusive thoughts vs psychosis
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 07:25:18 AM »
Thanks for the replies. That all makes sense. I think the psychiatrist shouldn't have randomly said this to me, she didn't seem to think much about it before she decided I was psychotic and gave me a prescription for seroquel! I have definately had times where I was completely convinced something was happening but I think most of my stuff could be put down to anxiety. I'm not gonna take those stupid tablets I'm so over medication.

Yes, well, the psychiatrist does sound rather blase about prescribing you medication and labelling you psychotic. I think you should seek further opinion though before you completely reject the idea altogether. Perhaps seeking another opinion or two and fully explaining to them what the other psychiatrist said, why she said it, and why you think it not to be true. There might be a piece of insight that we are missing. People on the internet cannot decide whether you are experiencing psychotic symptoms or not, that is for trained professionals. It is just unfortunate that some professionals have blinders on in their approach to mental ill-health.

Best of luck.
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You can't calm the waves, but you can learn to surf!

Basis of Recovery
Intrusive Thoughts
A Philosophy of Anxiety

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