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I'm going through A LOT.

I'm even questioning the fact that I'm having a depressive episode- what if I'm just really feeling under the weather?

And am I really hallucinating? But maybe I was just seeing ghosts or being haunted by demons! The chief exorcist did say that I was undergoing "demonic oppression."

Was I really delusional when I believed that, through power of thought, I could influence events? Or did I just subscribe to some belief like ordinary, sane people sometimes do?

Where do we draw the line?

Perhaps, during pdoc visits, I tend to exaggerate my symptoms because I am poetic and tend to dramatize? I am eloquent and tend to state my symptoms well. Perhaps that accounts for the bulk of it?

Am I really sick? Am I in denial? Or is it true that I am not really sick?

My pdoc says I'm in denial...

Help me. My head needs ironing out.

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You are in denial. Seriously, listen to your pdoc. Normal, sane people sometimes ascribe to beliefs that are odd or wrong, but it is exactly a pdoc's job to distinguish between these people and people who are going through a psychotic episode. It is not normal to believe that you can influence events through the power of your thoughts, or to see ghosts and demons or other things that no-one else is seeing. Also, a depressive episode has actual criteria that you do or do not meet, and if you meet those criteria, you are not just 'feeling under the weather'.

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Guest Vapourware

I think how I personally draw the line is to examine my thoughts and whether they are a) within the realm of possibility and b) what evidence is there for said belief.

Regarding whether your delusions and hallucinations are true - that would be the angle in which I would examine them. Personally I am spiritual to a degree, but generally speaking, if you can control your spiritual experiences, then they are spiritual. If you can't control them, it points more to psychosis. I would also trust a doctor over an exorcist, simply because the exorcist would a) say things that would validate your point of view and b) the pdoc knows more about you than the exorcist.

I've also been in a similar situation where I've thought that I was exaggerating my symptoms and that there wasn't much wrong with me. I thought that my experiences were atypical, therefore I must have been faking them. However, that was more of a sign of a lack of insight from me rather than me faking. Pdocs are experienced and skilled when it comes to recognising symptoms, especially a doctor who has seen you regularly and has a good history of your symptoms. So, they would be able to judge the extent of your condition.

Also, you may think that you are not being very ill when it is blatantly obvious to everyone else that something is very wrong. I remember when I was in the throes of a deep depression, I thought that I was hiding it very well. My therapist suggested that I should tell a few people of my true state so I told a few close friends, who told me that they were completely unsurprised because it had been apparent to them for several weeks that something was wrong. They were basically waiting for me to spill the beans about it, because they weren't sure if they should say something to me.

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I've also been in a similar situation where I've thought that I was exaggerating my symptoms and that there wasn't much wrong with me. I thought that my experiences were atypical, therefore I must have been faking them. However, that was more of a sign of a lack of insight from me rather than me faking. Pdocs are experienced and skilled when it comes to recognising symptoms, especially a doctor who has seen you regularly and has a good history of your symptoms. So, they would be able to judge the extent of your condition.

I even looked up malingering. I'm so paranoid.

I'm such a wreck.

How do I overcome this state of denial?

How do I accept? How does acceptance truly begin?

For years, (and until now, admittedly) I've been convinced that I "just" have borderline personality disorder.

Until the schizoaffective dx came in. (Which I can't accept).

Help.

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Guest Vapourware

For me, what helped was looking back at my past experiences. They made me realise that my symptoms really were as bad as everyone else around me were saying. IIRC, you've been in hospital a few times - people generally don't go to the psych hospital until they're in a very bad state. Health professionals tend to try and keep people out of the hospital as much as possible, until there really isn't any other choice.

Having suicidal depression is a sign of a big problem. Same with mania, and same with having psychotic symptoms.

I do understand that accepting the dx can be hard. It's been about a year since I was given the schizoaffective label and there are times when I still have problems accepting it. Recently, I asked my pdoc to fill out a government form for me, and on the form he noted that I have sza and suffer from "severe episodes" - that came to me as quite a shock, because it wasn't how I interpreted my episodes.

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It's not just that it's hard, it's come down to me rationalizing my behaviors to explain away my symptoms.

I have insight- I KNOW I'm in denial, and yet I DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

Same with my delusions. I know they are not real and yet I believe them.

Am I, yet again, deluding myself?

I am lost in the labyrinth of my mind.

I keep formulating reasons to justify things because I am afraid of what it would all mean otherwise and I know this. But knowing it makes no difference because I make the reasons anyway.

I know I am a paradox, and I confuse myself. Which is why I have come to post this, so maybe you may shed some light on my otherwise forlorn mind.

Thank you.

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Sometimes I have that problem. I don't like admitting that I have schizoaffective disorder in real life but on the Internet for some reason I have no problem. Its not really denial in my case because I say it all the time online mostly because I am anonymous. At least most of the time. I don't use Facebook. What is weird is that we both share the same exact "delusion." I also believe that I influence events with my thoughts. This is why the gov is after me. The gov already knows they are after me so I am not scared on putting it on the Internet. They know who I am. Sometimes they threaten to kill me or my family other times they want to use me for a war. I won't get into that now. I don't like telling people in real life that I have schizoaffective disorder because it might cause them to look at me differently and judge me. They might compare me to a psycho killer on TV because that is what the public thinks of mental illness. The media is no help. Oh this psychotic killer killed 10 people today (I just made that story up but this is what the media always says in real life). I always fear a killer having schizophrenia or some other severe mental illness. It hurts our kind. Its good that you know your delusions are not real. Even though you still believe them if you still think they are not real that is some insight. Not total insight because you still believe them. I believe my thoughts 100% but doctors think they are delusions. I don't LIKE believing my thoughts can influence events because some of these events are horrible like 2 planets ending with alien life, tsunamis, earthquakes, bombings, and even plane crashes. For the planets the gov in my head told me about it but for the rest it came to me in the form of visions or dreams and became reality. This means I influenced it. So good luck in accepting your illness.

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I have had issues with accepting my dx too. I can quite happily convince myself that nothing is wrong (though I tend to believe that other people have the problem, rather than that I am just making it up). But if your pdoc says there is something wrong, then chances are he is probably right. He would not have given you a diagnosis and meds if he thought you was making it all up.

Years ago, when I was first ill, I used to believe that I could control the time of the day with my thoughts. It took me 3 years to accept that this might have been a delusion, but it was a delusion. None of us can influence anything outside of ourselves with our thoughts.

And I also have the issue (now that I am on meds, I could not entertain the possibility before going on meds) of still believing my delusions even though I know they are not real. I get this most with the thought broadcasting personally. I know that it is impossible (much as I hate that word, it is so limiting) for other people to hear my thoughts, but when I am in that position I still manage to convince myself that they can. This just makes being out in public unbearable, even when I know that I am wrong.

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Guest Vapourware

If you have insight, then try and hold onto that as much as possible. Listen to your voice of insight and when you are faced with a decision as to whether something is real or not, err on the side of that voice. Having insight is useful because you at least have some idea that your thoughts are not based in reality, so it will help you navigate through your delusions. I won't lie and say it will be an easy thing because it's not, but it's something to go on.

Do you have a therapist or other people you can use as a support network? They can help strengthen that voice of insight and tell you when your thoughts are not quite right. I rely quite a bit on my therapist and I trust her with helping me reality check when things start going pear-shaped, because I trust her judgement, and she's been very helpful. Also, I recommend that you keep in close contact with your pdoc about your symptoms and thoughts.

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I'm really in a bad place right now.

My psychiatrist told me to take 3 weeks off work because I'm in a depressive episode and it didn't go too well with my boss. Case in point: my boss said that my psychiatrist doesn't know his stuff because he allowed me to go into sales when I obviously can't handle it! OUCH!

Which leaves me thinking, what the FUCK if I AM NOT depressed at all and just have a melancholic temperament? Is that at all possible? Don't some people have that since, like, ancient times?

I feel like such a fucking failure.

Everything I do, I fucking fail. Name it. Driving. Med school. First job. Psychiatric appointments. SHIT.

I feel a mixed state coming. (Or do I even truly experience mixed states? Am I schizoaffective or "just" borderline? or "just" fucking confused???)

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Sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are questioning a lot of things. Sometimes the simplest or most likely answer is the truest one. If you feel depressed, it is not normal, something is wrong, and you probably are depressed. If you meet criteria for depression, you are depressed. Go with the highest odds and don't overcomplicate things or you will certainly end up confused. It might help as you are questioning your circumstances

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I want to stop being in denial.

However, I DO admit that I am the most stubborn horse in the stable.

Hurrah. Another reason to hate myself.

I am essentially out of a job. I can't think of what to do next.

I don't know how to make my non-sick friends and family understand what I am going through. They HAVE to understand, because I know I am draining their patience more and more.

I have a support system and an excellent psychiatrist. But I want to rely on myself. I don't want to rely on other people too much, because I don't like the idea of being dependent. I don't want to be helpless.

How do I make them understand that I'm trying not to be lazy, that I'm trying to understand myself, that I'm trying to make something OF myself, that I'm battling an illness unknown to them?

I'm getting so frustrated. It's getting too hard. And needing to sleep 16-18 hours a day for depression is not helping their impression that I'm just lazy and not taking initiative... and, the sad thing is, I'm starting to believe them... :(

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I don't know how to make my non-sick friends and family understand what I am going through. They HAVE to understand, because I know I am draining their patience more and more.

... and, the sad thing is, I'm starting to believe them...

I do not try to make any nonsick persons understand. I don't discuss my problems, or if I have to say a word or two about it, only with my parents. There is no persuading some people. Stigma and attitudes and "depressed person is just lazy" or "if I was depressed I could do better than you" can be very deeply held beliefs. You can try, and maybe they will understand but you cannot make them understand. I am not saying you shouldn't try, if your relationship with them seems to require it. But They may never understand. This is one of those things in life, that if you haven't experienced it yourself, the average person probably cannot understand it.

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How do I make them understand that I'm trying not to be lazy, that I'm trying to understand myself, that I'm trying to make something OF myself, that I'm battling an illness unknown to them?

Would it help if they were informed that you are doing everything your medical team recommends (assuming that you are) for getting better? This would show you are trying in good faith

Some people's expectations, especially friends and family, can be very rigid. Maybe you could work on the idea with them that expectations need to be adjusted, and that everyone needs to get used to the idea that maybe the course of your life is going to look a little different than they expected

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How do I make them understand that I'm trying not to be lazy, that I'm trying to understand myself, that I'm trying to make something OF myself, that I'm battling an illness unknown to them?

Would it help if they were informed that you are doing everything your medical team recommends (assuming that you are) for getting better? This would show you are trying in good faith

Some people's expectations, especially friends and family, can be very rigid. Maybe you could work on the idea with them that expectations need to be adjusted, and that everyone needs to get used to the idea that maybe the course of your life is going to look a little different than they expected

Sometimes I wish my ambitions are not so high... My dreams for the future are skyrocketing.. And knowing that I may not reach them is killing me... I guess I must get used to the fact that I may not fully reach that... That I have to aim lower than that.

I tell them I do my best, but they think I'm not doing enough. They think I'm not THAT ill, because I tend to keep the demons in my head hidden. I pull it off very well. I guess that's one of the reasons why I'm in denial. I can pull off not being sick, so maybe I'm not sick at all, or not that sick. I dunno... I'm just tired of grappling with these thoughts.

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They think I'm not THAT ill, because I tend to keep the demons in my head hidden.

When you are good at keeping secrets, it can really stun people when they find out what's really going on and they may be disbelieving because they can't see MI with their eyes

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Sometimes I wish my ambitions are not so high... My dreams for the future are skyrocketing.. And knowing that I may not reach them is killing me... I guess I must get used to the fact that I may not fully reach that... That I have to aim lower than that.

It's difficult to judge what is the right level of achievement to aim for. I've had to realize that my intellect is at one level, my ability to interact with people is at another level and each symptom represents a level of functionality in some domain. I have learned that I aimed too high, did not understand or respect my limitations and overshot some of my functional levels, putting myself in situations that were too high and demanding for me, resulting in repeated failure. I've learned that I should not, for example, be in a job that requires a lot of communication with people. If I had to do it all over again, I would take some kind of respected psychological instrument like a personality or capability profile to learn my strengths and weaknesses, and aim for something achievable in all human functional respects, even if that means shooting for a job that is below what my intellect is capable of. And then, within that job, try to reach the highest peak that I can reach.

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i always have a hard time believing my diagnosis. mainly because of the fact that i dont feel sick. i always ask my family "am i sick?" and they always reply "yes." I dont feel sick but i act like a child often and display other mild symptoms.

Ive also had thoughts that Im lazy. I havent been doing anything for almost a year. Now Im taking one class, but ive been seriously considering dropping it. I feel that im dropping it because im lazy. But my family says its not because im lazy but its because of my illness. They say that work/school and functioning in general is harder for me because I am ill. But my mind tells me its because im lazy.

Ive also had thoughts that im not sick because im able to act almost completely normal sometimes in front of friends.

In my view its best to trust what the doctor says in terms of diagnosis. I try to tell myself this and sometimes i try to "give myself a break" for my disfunction.

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Sometimes I wish my ambitions are not so high... My dreams for the future are skyrocketing.. And knowing that I may not reach them is killing me... I guess I must get used to the fact that I may not fully reach that... That I have to aim lower than that.

It's difficult to judge what is the right level of achievement to aim for. I've had to realize that my intellect is at one level, my ability to interact with people is at another level and each symptom represents a level of functionality in some domain. I have learned that I aimed too high, did not understand or respect my limitations and overshot some of my functional levels, putting myself in situations that were too high and demanding for me, resulting in repeated failure. I've learned that I should not, for example, be in a job that requires a lot of communication with people. If I had to do it all over again, I would take some kind of respected psychological instrument like a personality or capability profile to learn my strengths and weaknesses, and aim for something achievable in all human functional respects, even if that means shooting for a job that is below what my intellect is capable of. And then, within that job, try to reach the highest peak that I can reach.

That's good advice.

I'll find something to do- I was a med student, actually aiming to be a psychiatrist myself!

Gave that up, and aimed to be a real estate agent. Now I'm still kinda holding on to that. I don't know if I'm ready to give that up just yet.

Who knows, maybe when I'm out of this depressive funk, I might actually function well as an agent (I don't know).

Anyhow, I was referred by my pdoc to a tdoc specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy. I'm seeing her in 2 weeks. That's the earliest time I could get a schedule. Her schedule is jam-packed, I tell you. I don't know how to approach her. This is the first time I'm going to be seeing an actual tdoc. What am I supposed to say? That despite my high IQ, I'm failing miserably in all my endeavors? That no matter how hard I try, I can't even remember how to do simple tasks like operate the goddamn xerox machine in the goddamn office? Does that count as cognitive dysfunction?

My former pdoc said I had socio-occupational dysfunction, I wonder what makes pdocs say that to people? I mean, I have friends, I have family. But the occupational part, I totally get that. Yeah.

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This is the first time I'm going to be seeing an actual tdoc. What am I supposed to say? That despite my high IQ, I'm failing miserably in all my endeavors?

Sounds like that is one of the main issues that is bothering you right now, so yes I would say you should mention that issue as something to work on

no matter how hard I try, I can't even remember how to do simple tasks like operate the goddamn xerox machine in the goddamn office? Does that count as cognitive dysfunction?

Not necessarily. A doctor would have to decide. I think it depends on how pervasive the problem is, how severe, how many areas of life are affected, whether or not you are in the middle of an episode

My former pdoc said I had socio-occupational dysfunction, I wonder what makes pdocs say that to people? I mean, I have friends, I have family. But the occupational part, I totally get that. Yeah.

That to me sounds like a quote from the DSM, that the pdoc was saying "you meet criteria "C" or whatever in the DSM. It's a way of saying that your illness is affecting your ability to function in certain important areas of living

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