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Is this just the OCD, or something else?


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Lately, every once in a while, I'll hear things, but I know they're not real. Where does the official "cutoff point" between psychosis, and the random neurological misfirings that happen to even "normals", start? And does any of this have anything to do with my OCD?

Once, last year, I thought I heard a bunch of cell phones going off, in the hallway outside my room at work. I looked out the doorway, and beheld an empty room.

For the next full year, nothing else like that happened. Then, the other night, I noticed that I heard some really tiny little melodic note sounds from the ceiling fan (clearly not noises from its motor), that sounded almost like chimes. It was actually sort of pretty. It went away after a few minutes, and then I just heard the fan and the motor.

Last night, I was reading another website, and the print started looking almost lumpy, like there were bubbles under the words, or something, and parts of the [black-and-white] text page looked like it had flashing traces of bluish-white shimmering light, especially under parts I was just reading. I should edit this to add that this wasn't a Flash animation, or any other sort of special graphics thing. It was plain HTML, just a generic bulletin board like this one.

...Yet, as soon as these things happen, I instantly realize that they aren't real.

Does that ever happen just at random? Or paradoxically from Seroquel? Or as a rarer OCD symptom? Or am I actually going some kind of mild, high-insight form of psychotic?

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The only time my husband would hear things or see things that weren't there is when he was waaayyy manic and on his way to psychosis. He was prescribed Seroquel to stop those symptoms (that and zyprexa always brought him out of it).

So (ttoootallly guessing) I don't think the seroquel is causing it. And I have never heard of hallucinations (auditory or otherwise) being part of OCD, but I don't know a whole lot about this condition. Random...possible once in a while. Even non-mi me gets that. But if it is happening with more and more frequency, I would be concerned about psychosis.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest espressogrrl

My sister has severe OCD and hears voices, and hallucinates at times. The voices though are usually manifestations of bad things she thinks about herself, not pretty things...

thats all i know!

Lately, every once in a while, I'll hear things, but I know they're not real. Where does the official "cutoff point" between psychosis, and the random neurological misfirings that happen to even "normals", start? And does any of this have anything to do with my OCD?

Once, last year, I thought I heard a bunch of cell phones going off, in the hallway outside my room at work. I looked out the doorway, and beheld an empty room.

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yes, I've also known someone (online) who has OCD and hears voices and hallucinates.

for myself, who has also 'heard voices' when under much stress, and could be said to have some OCD as part of my PTSD (sorry about dsm overload there...).... when the mind is worrying a lot, it gets very anxious in there...and tensed up and stressed and starts unconsciously imagining things....because its so strung out and on edge....

this is my theory anyway...

also, tiredness can do it, when you are very very tired....

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is certainly a point where clinical obsessions end and psychotic hallucinations start.

In terms of diagnosis, its usually "what is the best fit for this patient".

In terms of treatment, it is often the same where someone is on the borderline - ssri's + potentiallly atypical anti-psychotics.

I was a borderline case but my best fit is schizophrenia and I have been diagnosed and treated accordingly.

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There is certainly a point where clinical obsessions end and psychotic hallucinations start.

In terms of diagnosis, its usually "what is the best fit for this patient".

In terms of treatment, it is often the same where someone is on the borderline - ssri's + potentiallly atypical anti-psychotics.

I was a borderline case but my best fit is schizophrenia and I have been diagnosed and treated accordingly.

Sometimes, I wonder if I might have schizotypal along with the OCD. I look extremely eccentric, am mostly asocial, have no real friends, and get mildly paranoid at times, even though I have never been clinically psychotic. But, I don't know if that's just obsession about the possibility of it, or the real thing.

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There is certainly a point where clinical obsessions end and psychotic hallucinations start.

In terms of diagnosis, its usually "what is the best fit for this patient".

In terms of treatment, it is often the same where someone is on the borderline - ssri's + potentiallly atypical anti-psychotics.

I was a borderline case but my best fit is schizophrenia and I have been diagnosed and treated accordingly.

I wish I could tolerate those two classes of drug. They've always been a big help to me; but the side effects are hell.

Lately, I've had some paranoid symptoms; but I'm still more than insightful enough to realize that they're not real within a few days of getting them.

I don't know what the hell is going on, but it doesn't always feel like just the OCD.

Damn, I don't know.

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I don't believe that their is a cut-off point between OCD and psychosis... I mean, I've been diagnosed with OCD and I've definately experienced the exact same thing that you're talking about. I used to hear what sounded like music playing while my air cleaner was humming... but I always knew it was inside my own head... so I guess that would make it not "true" psychosis... although, like I stated before, I believe that their is not a definate point where psychosis begins, but rather a smooth continuum from average to very strange thinking.

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I don't believe that their is a cut-off point between OCD and psychosis... I mean, I've been diagnosed with OCD and I've definately experienced the exact same thing that you're talking about. I used to hear what sounded like music playing while my air cleaner was humming... but I always knew it was inside my own head... so I guess that would make it not "true" psychosis... although, like I stated before, I believe that their is not a definate point where psychosis begins, but rather a smooth continuum from average to very strange thinking.

Yeah, that's the difference that has me concerned, though- it's not in my head. I hear it all around me, at different places and random times, and it takes a while for me to figure out that it's not real. ;) That, and, I actually do get thoughts that people are whispering rumors about me; or the Feds will come after me for the things I say online.

The line is getting blurry.

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I'm certainly not in a position to diagnose you but one of the mysteries of several disorders is the thought that they could be a combination or at least involve symptoms of multiple disorders. God, most of these disorders share a lot of the same symptoms and, frankly, these chemical imbalances are not well understood at all. So, you could be developing psychosis as the result of OCD (not unheard of) or you may have something else going on that is causing this in addition to the OCD. I'll give you our example....dd is definitely bipolar and has ongoing hallucinations (indicating something else, probably schizoaffective) but she certainly has had a few occasions of OCD tendencies in the last year or so which come and go, she's had some panic attacks, and a few other things. Does she have OCD or a panic disorder or are these just symptomatic of something they can't quite put their finger on yet? No exact science, right (damn it!).

This is hard to say (and it seems so intellectual but hard when *you're* the one going through it) but "what" you have isn't as important as treating it. Go to your doctor and get on some meds to control the auditory hallucinations and what may be delusions because early treatment will yeild the potential for better long term results. You need to do that for yourself and to hell with what the diagnosis is (at least for now). O.K.?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hey quadrophenia - I just wanted to reply to this because I sort of went through something like this last year.

My biggest obsession is that I have or am developing schizophrenia. At the height of my obsession I was developing "symptoms" that I associated with psychosis. I was getting paranoid thoughts - not really believing them, but I was getting them and they were scaring me. I started questioning whether everything I saw or heard was real or not. I was so hypervigilant that I started hearing things in other sounds. Like the car's engine would start to sound like whistling, the hum of our heater would sound like someone singing, our fan would sound like someone whispering, etc, etc. I got so caught up in it I would notice it all of the time, and I was terrified.

It wasn't until I started actually getting treatment for the OCD that I stopped noticing all of that stuff. It's amazing what a purely anxious mind can produce - especially for an obsessive, hyperaware person like someone with OCD.

This may or may not be the same for you - but what you described really resonated with me. Has this become an obsession for you?

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I get the thing with music that's really just ordinary sound, like you had with the ceiling fan. For me, it's clearly related to taking Adderall, it's mild, and it doesn't bother me. I don't recall what you're taking, so I don't know if that's a clue or not.

Also, with no meds at all, when I was alone on an island for some days, the trees rustling in the wind started to sound like voices. Not unusual, I gather, from what I read about single handed sailors.

I don't claim any insight into you in particular, but your post made me think of the above.

Of course, then there's the strange perceptions during certain recreational experiences, but let's not talk about that. Many years ago.

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