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Factitious disorder


Guest specsguy

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Guest specsguy

Hi

I am dxd with bipolar and have been admitted to hospital a few times mainly due to 'depresison'. I am SO worried that I am a fake. PLEASE listen to my 'symptoms' and tell me your opinions... Firstly I have never believed I actually have bipolar (I know its common for people to be in denial but I really dont think I am ill I am so different to the real ill people Ive met). I HAVE definatly expereinced a manic-psychosis but it was just a prolongued and extreme reaction to a change in my life (moving house) and I have experienced crippling depressions which began aged 15 but turned into a kind of numb phase from the ages of 17 to 20 in which I literally lived in my room and barricaded myself away from society, in essence I became a total loner.

Now I think that BECAUSE of that and having lost friends, failed at education etc I am using illness and the past experiences of psychosis etc as some kind of excuse. Sometimes I fantasize about going back to hosptial but I don't know why. I have these expereinces which made me wonder if I actually hve schizophrenia and although I can match most of the symtpoms list (especially feelings of being out of coontrol and negative syptoms) I still KNOW I AM NOT ILL. delusions and hallucinations are not a pominant thing in my life, infact it is only at night that I feel like my head is noisy. Its like Im searching for an illness and I dont know why.

I have had delusions and hallucinations (VERY MILD hllucinations) in the past related to stress as Im an emotional person but when the doctor asked me questions such as 'are you hearing voices' and about my current state I autimatically said 'yes', talking about those past voices as though they are happening now - which they're not. I feel so frightened and confused. I have quit everything and just end up sitting all day thinking about whether I have a terrible illness which is not mental illnss but is in fact factitious disorder. I then think maybe im in denial that Im ill as the doc wants me to take medication but then I realise it cos I've exaggerated and mislead him. also I dont feel at all depressed I sit at home on the internet and sometimes even chuckle about things. I dont hear voices now but have thoughts which are commntating on my other thoughts but I CANT HEAR them, so its not like I am hallucinating. (the voices in the past were only fleeting by the way, it was described as transient psychosis).

I'm woried Im going mad but not in a genuine way. Please comment... oh by the way I also think i'M a liar because although I'm 'socialy withdrawn', I dont even try to go out, I dont even want to and yes I do feel as though I'm being monitered when I go out and its too loud I think it's a social phobia that I'm trying to make sound more serious.

Specsguy

[edit: Paragraph breaks graciously provided by a.m.]

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You don't sound like a fake to me. It actually sounds like you're having severe problems and not being sufficiently treated for them. Spending all day thinking about whether you're really mentally ill or are making it up is not normal, and may be a symptom of mental illness itself - as does feeling like you're being monitored, and having thoughts you can't hear commenting on your other thoughts. It sounds like it would be a really good idea for you to seriously consider taking medication or going to the hospital. If you're not actually ill, then you'll maybe get some side effects but see no other changes. If you are ill, then medication/treatment may make a huge difference. You have little to lose by trying, and a great deal you could potentially gain.

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It really sounds as though part of it is denial and part of it is a true fear that you are just maing excuses. You are in denial. Really. You are going to have to accept that at some point. Reading over what you have written- you have been hospitalized for depression, have experienced a manic episode, hallucinations, delusions, are maybe mildly paranoid, have social phobia to some degree- these are not normal things and can't just be brushed off. If you have a manic episode as a result of a stressful time in your life, something is off. If you are hospitalized for depression, something is off.

You seem to want to push all of these things aside and say

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I don't think there's such thing as "factitious disorder" in mental illness. Factitious disorder is when the patient fakes illness using actual clinically detectable signs (such as inducing fever with certain drugs to simulate an infection). Unless you go complaining to your psychiatrist about something you know you absolutely don't have, I don't think this can be factitious. I have no idea why one would do that, so I assume that's not the issue with you here.

Mental illness is largely subjective on your part. So if you feel like you have mild hallucinations and delusions, then well, you do. If you feel depressively numb, then, well, you probably are. That's not factitious disorder, that's a real illness.

I thought I was "factitious" (or make up mental illness analogue here) from the ages of 9-19, or at least my parents tried to convince me to "snap out of it". That's something most of us can't do (as a side note, my parents are idiots).

Also, in the psychosis department, I have had several instances of thinking my co-workers (this is in various jobs in various states) were talking negatively of me behind my back. (Turns out they were, so apparently it's not paranoia if it's really happening.)

This is when you go to a psychiatrist, and while you're at it, find a therapist. Your psychiatrist (pdoc) will manage your meds and hopefully can help find you a good therapist (tdoc). Looks to my speculative eyes that you need both.

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Guest specsguy

I'm terrified that my pdoc will do a search and find this thread, I have read all you replies, thankyou so much for all your advice, its just that now I feel as though I've decieved you all too. Plus I'm so afriad my pdoc is actualuy going to do a search and find this thread before I make an appointment to see her and explain so could it PLEASE be deleted?? Thankyou all again for replies it has calmed me down a bit.

specs

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Specsguy,

Don't worry about your anonymity. We all feel that way at first. However, consider 1. Doctors have hundreds of active patients, and the last thing they want to do is spend their free time hunting down patients on the internet. 2. You have not given any information that can distinguish you personally. Honest.

I think that we should leave your thread up so that you can continue to recieve the benefits of others comments and advice.

Now, having read your description of how you are feeling, I am quite certain that you are not making up or 'faking" being ill. You do not have a factitious disorder.

I DO think that you should keep seeing your psychiatrist, and strongly recommend that you follow his recommendations including taking meds. Please serious consider seeing a therapist for talk therapy. It isn't normal to sit at home, ruminating about being ill, and not go out. It isn't normal to feel that you are being monitored or to have thoughts commmenting about thoughts.

All this doesn't mean that you are around the bend or would be institutionalized. Quite the contrary, as there as good medicines that can control these symptoms and make your life much freer and happier.

Please stick around. You can be safely anonymous, as the mods are very careful in looking out for our members.

Best, a.m.

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Guest specsguy

Specsguy,

Don't worry about your anonymity. We all feel that way at first. However, consider 1. Doctors have hundreds of active patients, and the last thing they want to do is spend their free time hunting down patients on the internet. 2. You have not given any information that can distinguish you personally. Honest.

I think that we should leave your thread up so that you can continue to recieve the benefits of others comments and advice.

Now, having read your description of how you are feeling, I am quite certain that you are not making up or 'faking" being ill. You do not have a factitious disorder.

I DO think that you should keep seeing your psychiatrist, and strongly recommend that you follow his recommendations including taking meds. Please serious consider seeing a therapist for talk therapy. It isn't normal to sit at home, ruminating about being ill, and not go out. It isn't normal to feel that you are being monitored or to have thoughts commmenting about thoughts.

All this doesn't mean that you are around the bend or would be institutionalized. Quite the contrary, as there as good medicines that can control these symptoms and make your life much freer and happier.

Please stick around. You can be safely anonymous, as the mods are very careful in looking out for our members.

Best, a.m.

Thankyou I would like to stick round I feel so on my own. This makes me feel as though I can't go to my doctor because that is just another sign I'm faking and want attention. And what if those episodes in hospital were also fake? I thought I was depressed but when I analyse it all I always start staying inside, away from society which then would MAKE anyone depressed. Am I just isolating myself in order to become depressed? I don't even feel depressed, for the last few weeks I felt like I would fit the clinical picture of it but deep down inside I was saying "this isn't real depression, this is just doing what a depressed person would do" and now i feel I have no emotions except terrible worry and confusion.

I feel so alone, I really want to go to my mom and tell her I'm just so worried (without saying why) just to have some support and just to not be so alone but I feel like 1). It would stress her out and 2). I dont want to bring her into my lies and 3). whenever I go to her home I absolutel cannot stand seeing her to the point that I have to turn around and walk straight out again. I can't even bring myself to talk to her or even LOOK at her. I am SO confused. Do I feel like that because Ive shut myself away for 2 months? Deep inside me I try to will myslef to just get up, go round there, say "hey mom" and smile and make a coffee or something but thinking abou it doesn't seem to do anything.

The same with reading my books, I have given up even trying to read and I thought it was cos I cant concentrate but realy I think it is because not being able to concentrate is a symptom of lots of mental illness and really I can concentrate but I'm faking and deep down in myself I try to will myself to pick up a book and read it but however much I try and engage with my will it doesnt turn into an action. BUT if I really couldn't read how would I have been able to read your replies??? That is another sign I'm a fake.

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you don't sound fake to me at all.

people rarely fake depression. and, if you do have facticious disorder, you need therapy for it. it, in itself, is an illness that needs treatment.

but you do not sound like a fake. you sound like someone who needs a good psychiatrist to help you sort through what is going on.

by the way... as for the reading: i can't read a book right now, i can't retain the information or pay attention for longer than 5 minutes. but i can still read the board. it doesn't require the same level of attention. being unable to read is a definite sign of many mental illnesses.

please stick around.

please go see a doctor.

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I'm terrified that my pdoc will do a search and find this thread, I have read all you replies, thankyou so much for all your advice, its just that now I feel as though I've decieved you all too. Plus I'm so afriad my pdoc is actualuy going to do a search and find this thread before I make an appointment to see her and explain so could it PLEASE be deleted?? Thankyou all again for replies it has calmed me down a bit.

specs

Sometimes I worry that either my mother or ex-boss will find this board (they're both very mentally ill). Fortunately, the former isn't intelligent enough to figure out who I am if she found this place, and the latter doesn't know me well enough (unless she finds certain references to herself sprinkled here and there).

I wouldn't worry about a pdoc finding this board, though. Way too much anonymity, which is one of the things that makes this a good support group.

I thought I was depressed but when I analyse it all I always start staying inside, away from society which then would MAKE anyone depressed. Am I just isolating myself in order to become depressed? I don't even feel depressed, for the last few weeks I felt like I would fit the clinical picture of it but deep down inside I was saying "this isn't real depression, this is just doing what a depressed person would do" and now i feel I have no emotions except terrible worry and confusion.

What you mentioned there is known as a "vicious cycle" (known to hoity-toity researchers as "triangulation"). It doesn't mean anything is fake, but it does mean you, your pdoc, and tdoc need to take steps to break the cycle. I should know, I have the exact same problem as you do, and trust me, neither of us have it faked.

I have these expereinces which made me wonder if I actually hve schizophrenia and although I can match most of the symtpoms list (especially feelings of being out of coontrol and negative syptoms) I still KNOW I AM NOT ILL. delusions and hallucinations are not a pominant thing in my life, infact it is only at night that I feel like my head is noisy. Its like Im searching for an illness and I dont know why.

Schizophrenia (SZ) can be such a protean disorder in the beginning, but feeling out of control and having negative symptoms (lack of energy, catatonia, etc.) are also very indicative of anxiety and depression disorders. Having a "noisy" head for me, is a major symptom of anxiety. SZ, although it's a serious diagnosis, is much less common than the depressive an anxiety disorders. Also, just because you don't have SZ does NOT make you "not ill". Major depression, general anxiety, phobias, bipolar disorder, and other non-psychotic/SZ mental illnesses can ruin your life as badly as SZ can. (Not to mention, any of those can have psychotic features.) So you still do need to seek treatment.

Also, about those voices you might/might not be hearing... those are also symptoms of certain sleep disorders, and to my knowledge, don't respond to SZ treatment. If they really correlate well with falling asleep/awakening, you might want to talk about it in our sleep disorders subforum.

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Specsguy..Faking? I don't think so. You see, people with no brain difficulties don't wonder if they have an MI and then set out to prove they do by "faking" the symptoms. Really, they wouldn't even think of doing something like that.The mere act of doing that kinda proves there is something going on ya know?? I wonder if you aren't sure WHAT is going on so you pump up some of your symptoms in the hope that your doc could "fix" you..I have felt JUST like you do. I think it's another song on good ole depression's greatest hits album right up there with "You suck" and "You will never amount to anything so why don't you just leave"..Yeah depression, the gift that keeps on giving!

You really need to share all of this with your doctor. Crap like this festers in the dark and until you share it it's just going to grow and get worse. Seriously, just telling your pdoc that you suspect that you are full of crap and faking all of this is not going to prove to him that you are..It'll probably do just the opposite in fact..and give him a better window on your condition. He can't help you out of this if you aren't 100% honest with him ya know??

I feel for you..Oh and welcome to Crazy Boards!

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Guest specsguy

Thanks. I see what you mean by needing to be fixed and pumping symptoms, I called my sister this morning (she also has biplar but just seems so different from me) and told her I was worried I am a fake and maybe it is because she has it and is 6 years older than me that I have subconsiouly copied her or else they have expected me to catch it so much that at the slightest chance they say I have bipolar too. I don't usually speak to my sister much as she moved away (not far) when get mrried but we had a long conversation which is the first conversation i had with anyone in weeks and she reckons I dont need to worry about being a fake because even if my dignose is wrong I still have to stop obsessing over it or i'lll be told I have ocd and then worry that I'm faking that aswell so it's a visous cirlce. So I am just going to try and concentrate on other things now and tell my pdoc at the next appointment. I really wish there was a bloodtest for these type of things.

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specsguy,

It seems to me that you're doing some good things for yourself now. Talking here, talking to your sister (big milestone i'd say), and deciding to tell your pdoc at your next appt. good for you! The advice here at CB is excellent and I hope you continue coming, however you're feeling.

BTW, I have been torturing myself for well over a yr. now with the anxiety that I "Faked" my first session with my pdoc and ended up with a false dx. I still do. The vicious cycle is iron-clad for me, no matter what my pdoc and tdoc say to support his initial dx and work with meds and therapy. He says I'm not accepting my illness. Maybe questioning our dx is common for BP's.

but I think your problems are serious and real, and I hope you get to your pdoc really soon.

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This sounds like what can be delusional guilt. I'm fake. My symptoms are not good enough. Now I'm OCD cause I can't stop thinking about how I'm making this up. It does not stop bothering you because you are presently ill and that's what delusions are all about making you think things about yourself that are not true and it does not let up at all. Follows you constantly. This is what happens to me and is part of depression for me. Meds do help me with this. Your emotional pain is real.

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I really wish there was a bloodtest for these type of things

Oh me too! Wouldn't that be lovely??

Kudos to you on calling your sister! THAT my friend was a very healthy first step to letting some light get into that dark place..I promise. That dark place gets impossible to navigate the longer you allow stuff to hide in there.

Keep posting! I wanna know what your pdoc says..if you feel comfortable sharing of course!

This sounds like what can be delusional guilt. I'm fake. My symptoms are not good enough. Now I'm OCD cause I can't stop thinking about how I'm making this up

I KNEW there was a better way of explaining that! Thanks for the terminology..My English isn't great these days!

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