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I got pulled off my meds for other health reasons I've mentioned on other topics. Anyway my problem:

I've had hallucinations with or without mania, probably my whole life, but didn't really start until my late teens/early 20's. Atypical Antipsychotics took care of them mostly, but without them, they're back, with a vengence. Crazy open eye hallucinations of sick and weird things, occasionally funny, occasionally entertaining. Like I've taken a weak dose of mushrooms or something. If I didn't have to work I could deal with these things, but I'm starting to freak people out here. I keep talking to people who aren't there, or I hear what they say wrong and get all screwed up, it's hard to explain. I'm constantly questioning my own reality. I swerve to avoid people who might or might not be in the street, strange stuff. Scary sometimes.

Hopefully in 2 weeks when we get more bloodwork back I can get back on meds, but until then, how do you cope?

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sounds a lot like me at work. i just told my managers that's how my brain works and they are pretty understanding. i just roll with it, i guess. i've never been on meds that controlled it at all, but sometimes it gets weird.

my coworkers know that sometimes they have to point out the obvious (there is a customer there, hon, that's real) and they don't seem too phased by me talking to walls. or they are and i just don't notice.

anyway, i still have the job, so they can't be that upset by it.

when it gets really bad, i ask to please take a moment to collect myself and i go in the back and just take slow deep breaths. i often go outside and feel the walls (nice jaggedy bricks) and work on grounding myself. the old grounding techniques of testing the senses helps me... what can i smell? what can i taste? (i usually ignore sight and hearing since those are where the hallucinations most are)...

ummm... eating sometimes helps, especially if it is very flavorful. but i think the deep breathing helps the most.

do you work anywhere that people would understand if you explained it to them? i know i'm one of the lucky few who does.

abi

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I do have the luck of the people I work with knowing about my mental illness. They don't know about my HIV status though, and never will. Same goes with my parents & family. I guess they will just have to get used to a little inappropriate behavior until I get back on meds. Today has been different, everything isn't so random. I think about "him" and I can smell him/hear him in my head. Think about my dead friend who died and have weird visions of the afterlife...kind of like a waking dream. Weird...I've been grounding myself physically, well pretty much unintentionally. I get ripped out of my little trance by waves of nausea or cramps or the like.

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DD was in your very same shoes until her AAP's started to control the hallucinations. Let me tell you that I really do understand your frustration. I've never, ever seen my daughter fall apart in the way she does when her hallucinations scare or upset her. In general, she could deal with them and accept them as just a "brain fart" knowing that they weren't real but they could really freak her out - mostly during times where they were one after another and when she started having difficult discerning them from reality. She had some periods where they'd start popping up around her and say things to her that were self destructive (these probably happened less than five times in total) but those were horrible for her and she said it would just make her mind "swim" in disorientation and uncontrol. In general, she either has (had) visual hallucinations or auditory (her name or odd sounds) but not generally both together.

Most of her hallucinations are "open eye", if I understand your phrase. What helped her was to blink (often they would go away but not always), look away (again, that helped most of the time), and sometimes she just would wait to see if they would speak to her or do something to indicate they were "real". Because she's been on AAP's since the first PDoc appt. (obviously when you tell a doctor you are hearing things they put you on AAP's really fast) she's never experienced them without meds. I think the meds "helped", even when they didn't take them totally away, by sometimes making the hallucinations obvious (figures aren't totally solid, figures faded in and out, only parts of bodies could be seen, etc.) She really would freak out (and I totally understand) when they were off the wall (blood running down someone's face, morphing of facial features, people "popping" up here and there like they were playing hide and seek). She had one guy that she saw quite frequently and she was certain he was "evil" and he really upset her. However, she knew that when she saw him that he was, without a doubt, a hallucination. When it got really bad she'd go in the bathroom, sometimes she called me, and sometimes she just tried to divert her attention to something else (like focusing on counting receipts or something).

I know this is really hard to do but dd does say that the more aggitated she got, the worse they got. I don't know how one sees these horribly frightful visions and NOT get aggitated but I think part of the answer, besides medication, is to learn some basic coping skills for when they happen.

I don't think there's an easy solution for this. For some reason dd would go through periods of intense hallucination activity (periods = 1/2 an hour of continuous problems) and she could never figure out exactly what caused those periods to occur. Just keep yourself safe, o.k. and get back with your doctor as soon as you can.

Take care and stay in touch with the Board....I don't think there is anyone with hallucinations that can't related to what you are going through.

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I'm very anxiously awaiting my return to anti-psychotics, even if they give me thorazine. Whatever my poor liver can metabolize. Luckily, most of the time I can discern my hallucinations from my reality, and I just kind of let them pass. Earlier today I was trying to pretend I was on an acid trip, and just sit back and enjoy, but it didn't work. They're definately triggered by stress or my own thoughts. Sometimes they co-incide with mood swings, sometimes they don't. I can't seem to discern a pattern. Mabye I should keep a hallucination journal like I do a mood journal.....if anything just to record the screwed up things my brain keeps outputting.

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I think a hallucination journal would be very helpful, especially when compared with your mood journal!

I hope you can get on new AAP's very soon! Keep in touch!

I'm very anxiously awaiting my return to anti-psychotics, even if they give me thorazine. Whatever my poor liver can metabolize. Luckily, most of the time I can discern my hallucinations from my reality, and I just kind of let them pass. Earlier today I was trying to pretend I was on an acid trip, and just sit back and enjoy, but it didn't work. They're definately triggered by stress or my own thoughts. Sometimes they co-incide with mood swings, sometimes they don't. I can't seem to discern a pattern. Mabye I should keep a hallucination journal like I do a mood journal.....if anything just to record the screwed up things my brain keeps outputting.
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It is great if people can realize what they see or hear is a hallucination. Unfortunately I never have that insight when psychotic. So far I have never seen people not there. Who knows about the next time. Once I saw someone as someone else I knew who had passed away, but then after a few minutes the face changed back to the original person and I had to apologize and explain that I thought he was someone else who I knew. Have seen faces freeze or become animated. What a mess. It is all so distressing. I just got out of the hospital. I really feel for everyone going through this.

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