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Author Topic: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!  (Read 615 times)

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Offline StudentOfHope

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Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« on: March 21, 2013, 02:50:17 PM »
 :(   Hi Everyone.  I have been reading through posts and it seems to be a very supportive community here!  I will try to be brief, but I am also embarrassed to admit these things out loud because it sounds so crazy.

I've been diagnosed with OCD for around 10 years..I am now 33.  My doctor (sadly for him) knows me quite well.  I am currently taking Education courses, one of which is psychology. Last night, the topic for discussion was schizophrenia.  I tried to face this down as it has been a fear and the main obsession of mine for years.  In fact, it started with a course in psychology.  At that point, I had no idea about this disorder.  My creative mind started to churn out wacky obsessions.  Here's where I grow embarrassed, but am anxious to know whether anyone here has experienced anything like this!!

After learning about the positive symptoms, mainly hallucinations- my mind started to make up an internal voice thought-   nothing running through my mind all day, nothing crazy or anything, but basically like an imaginary friend that agrees or something.  I know, this sounds so, so crazy!!  I know that this is just my mind making these thoughts up, and I get very anxious, naturally, because I start to question whether I am "nuts" or going "psychotic" even though I know that this is just my own mind, and my thoughts. 
Of course I've shared this with my doctor, who has worked with me on CBT and lets me know that I am not schizo, but that anything is possible (this is a part of the exposure)--but no, I've never been diagnosed with anything other than OCD.

Well, last night in class, we went over the symptoms of schizo and other psychoses again, and again, I am freaking out because my internal "voice" obsessions have started again.  Last night in class, my professor talked about how people who hear voices hear internal shouting, swearing and running commentary, so of course, my own internal thoughts have started this crap...not all day or anything.  But at times....again, I know I am not hearing anything outside of myself, and that my mind is working in overdrive.  Still, I am so, so scared and feel the 10th degree (on a scale of 1-10) that I am going to lose it.

I am at work and of course no one has any idea, which only further proves I am not schizophrenic or psychotic...otherwise I wouldn't be functioning.  Still, I need some support and or suggestions, and... if you've experienced anything like this, it'd be such a relief to hear. 

I feel grateful for being an empathetic person, and all of you here on this board seem to be so supportive.  It is wonderful!   Please respond if you can.....
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Offline Mr. Rager

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 04:14:50 PM »
Welcome.

I don't have OCD but his is something I feared the most out of any disease. First off usually people with skitzophrenia do not question if they do. They won't notice anything taboo.

The internal voice thing, I have that in my head too. A lot of people do. I don't hear it but I just get a million things running through my mind like what I'm doing, what I'm feeling yada yada. Some people talk to themselves out loud but usually it doesn't mean they're schizophrenic or mentally unstable.

Nothing of what you're writing sounds like someone with Schizophrenia.  You sound like an anxious person with an intense fear.  I saw a video on youtube about someone who was going through it and I think it helped me in realizing I definitley do not go through anything remotely close to it.

Do you have any family members with Skitzophrenia ?
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Offline StudentOfHope

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 04:27:01 PM »
Thank you so much for your response!  I really appreciate your time- it is a very scary place and you're right, it is very much an intense, intense fear.

No one in my family has schizophrenia, but there's definitely OCD in there- along with other anxiety disorders.  Not so much fun!  It sounds like you're doing well
with your obsessions, which is great-- do you have any tips for me?

Thank you again.
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Offline andie

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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 10:15:23 PM »
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Offline StudentOfHope

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 10:28:50 PM »
Mr Rager- I saw your response and I asked you
About your obsessions, but you don't have any.
I don't know what brings you to this message board
But I hope all is okay for you.  Thank you for being
So kind to respond.

I hope I can provide support to others here too.
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Offline Mr. Rager

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 11:51:57 AM »
Sorry I didn't respond in time. I hope you didn't confuse mine with andie's post. Sometimes I cruise through the boards and try to reply to topics where I have experience in. I have PTSD, and hypochondria but I'm managing it to the point it dosen't take over my life anymore which I am happy with. If I had any tips...

1) Stick to the facts.  This one is kind of hard when OCD can fill your brain with very unreasonable thoughts. The fact is you don't exhibit any symptoms of Schizophrenia but you fear going psychotic.

2) A fear no matter how legitimate is a thought. A thought does not decide your reality. Actions do. Always keep this in mind.

3) CBT can really help you out. No symptoms, and it certainly won't make you worse. They will teach you strategies on how to control these obsessive thoughts you're having.

4) As usual I always recommend exercise exercise exercise.

Hope that helps !
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Offline Cheesus

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 10:21:29 AM »
I'm a veteran of this fear. I've had terrible, terrible fears in the past and this one is by far the worst I have ever encountered. It took me about 14 months to get over it. I've had genuine hallucinations and confused myself so much I thought I might have delusions. I'm still here though and am still relatively sane :) I watched A Beautiful Mind and Shutter Island back to back recently (don't ask why, I wouldn't advise anyone with this fear to do it), and though it was daunting, they are daunting films for anyone and I handled it well.

You can and will get over this. It just takes time and perseverance. I would highly recommend seeking professional help.

This is a good post to read:

http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php?topic=51517.0
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Offline Calamy

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 09:03:27 AM »
My father was a paranoid schizophrenic and we didn't even know until I was about 14 or so. He died when he was 45 because he didn't take care of himself and went off his meds and had a blood clot in his leg -- but he was severely dehydrated and even though his leg was hurting so bad he couldn't walk on it, he didn't go to the hospital until the last minute. It's how he acted in my childhood and also his death that spiraled me into anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD, panic and health fears. But I'm not schizophrenic at all. (I even had myself psych tested when I was 17 to be sure because I was worried about it being genetic.) Now there's always a little worry in there but I know now (I'm 40) that I most likely won't become schizophrenic out of nowhere. To be sure, it's something you have or don't have and it comes out usually in early adulthood. My dad's was unrecognized and he didn't have hallucinations til stuff happened that triggered that stuff. He DID act strange, like never letting us answer the door, never letting us have friends over, etc. When I say "unrecognized" i mean my mom and my sister and I had no clue. and HE sure didn't, either! Eventually he was properly diagnosed and put on meds. But you know even then, when he was on his meds, he was able to work etc. He went off his meds, and that's why he ended up the way he did.

Now with you, you don't sound schizophrenic at all. My father never once questioned his mental state that I ever knew. He refused to go to therapists, he refused everything. He had no idea anything was wrong. He thought everyone else was wrong. You're educated on this and you question it. AND you're studying it so it is absolutely normal to start feeling symptoms -- the whole placebo effect. it's a documented, real phenomenon and does not mean you have the disease. The mind is just extremely powerful. If you were schizophrenic, you would not know and probably would not care because reality would seem so very different to you that you wouldn't be working with the same kind of "consciousness" that society works with.

I think people can even induce stuff like "voices" and whatnot and NOT have schizophrenia. People can go blind from anxiety, people can feel a lump in the throat that isn't there (I had that one, it's maddening). Your mind produces that stuff. I also had times when my anxiety was at its height where i had tunnel vision, derealization like things around me were far away and I couldn't reach them, like I existed way back in my own head (I calle dit the fishbowl effect because it felt like I was looking at the world from inside a fishbowl). I had a lot of scary sensations but through them all, I knew who I was, where I was, and that the sensations weren't right. I had depersonalization, too. I think I had the "voices" you describe but they weren't the voices of OTHER people, they were my own racing thoughts. I have never heard a voice talk in my mind that wasn't my own, but my thoughts can race and cause me anxiety as well. I feel like Gollum from LOTR sometimes but it's ME arguing with myself. I talked about this with a psych doc when I was 17 and he put me on Haldol and hey guess what, it didn't do anything for me because I'm not psychotic. I simply was wracked with panic and anxiety. I have always been fully aware of what is real and what is not, but that's the biggest thing about it. My dad didn't. He thought those things were REAL and didn't question them. He would tell us that there were spies and police in the building watching him and stuff like that. He really believed it. You could not talk him out of it or reason with him because he absolutely could not accept what you were saying as part of his reality.

When your anxiety comes down, you will see a huge improvement in your mind. For me it was months of working on it but I finally got back to "normal" again even after all those things. I have flares and spikes but it's mainly my heart obsession that is my concern now. I honestly never even consider schizophrenia anymore. So take it from me, because I actually have a first degree relative who had it, and I'm not worried for myself anymore. I think you're going to be FINE once you tackle the ocd and the anxiety. Anxiety can cause so many symptoms, it is just amazing. But they're all illusions and NOT the real deal. You can beat it, once it is in perspective. Let the feelings come and go, put them in their place. You know above all that what you're feeling is odd, and that in itself should bring a little wee bit of comfort and reassurance.
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline Calamy

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 09:07:49 AM »
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

Offline StudentOfHope

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Re: Please help- Schizophrenia Fears!!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 05:02:21 PM »
I want to thank everyone once again, for taking time to respond to me thoughtfully.  It means a lot, and does help tremendously.  I recognize that my being online can be a manifestation of "checking" behaviors, to see whether anyone experiences the same wacky thoughts or obsessions, and to reassure myself that I am "okay."

Cheesus, that post was very informative; you're a very intelligent person!  Thank you for pointing me there, and for the insight therein.  Surely I am taking material from my coursework (A Masters in Counseling Psych..LOL) and applying it to my own struggle of OCD.  It is very easy to be objective, and yet the nightmare continues when the thoughts crowd in and provoke my anxiety. 

Calamy, your post was excellent too!  I wonder how it feels to read through posts like mine where the fixation is an obsession and yet your father went through a difficult illness..experienced the 'real thing'.  I only hope it isn't too offensive to read through fears like mine.  The internal voice thoughts are my own voice too... I didn't mean to make it seem like they are different sounding.  It is just that my mind makes up my own responses, in the third person.   Even as I write this it sounds absurd to me.  I am sorry that you experience anxiety and OCD. When you'd described your own difficulties with depersonalization and feelings of unreality, I can truly empathize.  Still, obviously your intellect allows you insight into what you're experiencing and like me, you're able to reason your way through the anxiety.  Thank you for your input and let me know whether I can ever provide the same support.

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