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Depression, Anxiety, Possible Dementophobia, and Hallucinations


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I was not quite sure where to post this as I have multiple issues overlapping here, so I thought I would post it here since hallucinations can be a symptom of depression.

 

Late Thursday night I was driving home from a friend's house, and I thought I heard my cellphone going off,  but it wasn't. Usually, if I have an auditory hallucination, it's just someone saying my name. Anyway, the phone thing made me extremely anxious, so here I was driving home late at night, about 13 miles from home. The trip was hell. I kept trying to do breathing exercising and repeating mantras in my mind, but I couldn't calm down. I love to drive, but that was one of the worst driving experiences ever. To make matters worse, there was also thunder and lightning, which normally doesn't bother me, but when I'm anxious like that and feel like I'm on the verge of paranoia or panic, everything makes it worse. At the time, I was not even thinking about what was triggering my anxiety. It was not until I had a chance to reflect on the experience that I finally realized what set me off.

 

Here is why the hallucinations bother me. My biological father was a paranoid schizophrenic, which means that there is a chance of becoming schizophrenic or bipolar, so I have developed a fear of mental illness, and considering the fact that I already have problems with depression and anxiety, it just makes matters worse. It’s even gotten to the point where I keep asking my therapist if I am bipolar, and she says no, so then I become paranoid, thinking that she is trying to hide the truth from me. I know my fear is irrational, but it needs to be addressed, and I feel like she doesn’t take that part seriously. :(

 

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Have you tried CBT? I didn't use it for phobias, but there were a lot of people in my class who did. They all improved during the time I was there. You just went 6 weeks in a row, so your class kind of changed during the 6 weeks, but even the woman I was only in class with for two weeks, who had emetophobia (fear of vomit and vomiting), improved in the time I was there.

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I hear phantom phones too.  I also hear phantom instant messages and phantom cell phone notifications.  I also see phantom bugs out of the corner of my eye, and when my anxiety is really bad I see phantom people too.  I'm not schizophrenic or bipolar, so just because this stuff happens doesn't mean you are either.

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Thanks for your responses, guys. I really appreciate it. However, I have a little more to add, and I figured this is pertinent.

 

I got my CPAP machine a little over a week ago. For the most part, it's been good. However, there have been a couple of days in which I was in a high energy state, almost like what people describe as hypomania. Obviously, if I were bipolar, I would have been diagnosed with it by now, so I can't explain it. In some ways it resembles some symptoms of anxiety,  mostly the physical aspects like increased heart rate and faster thinking. I have my fears of further mental illness, which I realize are irrational. I don't know if it's my brain trying to adjust or if sleep apnea has been masking the symptoms. Granted, I had some psych testing a while back, including the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory, and my score in the Hypomania subscale was 65, and according to parameters, anything above that, or below 50 is "significant", so according to the test I was at the high end of the normal range. However, the testing was completed long before CPAP therapy, and or course the lack of sleep and slower brain function may have been a factor. Whatever it is, I will be discussing it with my therapist and possibly my physician on Monday if my therapist thinks this may be indicitive of a problem or if it is just a strange reaction to increased alertness. I will keep you guys posted.

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I think a lot of people, even without MI, occasionally think they hear their phone ringing when it is not.  If this were a frequent occurrence or you didn't even own a cell phone, then I think it would be more concerning.  In any case, talking it over with a tdoc sounds like a good idea.  I hope your appointment on Monday goes well.

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I used to think I was hearing the voice of my friend, and thought it had meant she had "called out" to me. I finally asked her after that happened once, and it turns out she wasn't even thinking of me at the time (that BITCH ;) ).

 

But ever since I had auditory hallucinations (just a few), I think I am hearing stuff all the time but usually it is explainable.  My husband knows what I'm doing when I start walking from room to room and sticking my head in the doors, and he usually can tell me what (actual) thing I heard before I even ask him if he's heard anything. But the fear is real, that's what sucks.

 

Changes in sleep can affect mood. It can happen whether it is too much or too little, although for me it is too little. It doesn't matter whether the change in sleep is for good reasons or bad. My husband is only mildly clinically depressive, but it is really more a part of the whole epilepsy crap. And I am not trying to be dismissive, that "mildly" is from his doctor's lips. But anyway, if he sleeps *too much,* he gets worse.

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BTW

 

The CPAP machine may be heightening your symptoms (although not causing them). Considering you are now getting normal to above normal oxygen when you are sleeping, your brain will react differently because it literally can breathe better. More oxygen flow to the brain can cause symptoms like nightmares and energy (or even depression), which to a depressed or bipolar mind may be significant.

 

And in that case, I would also talk to your doctor who is "in charge" of your CPAP and sleep apnea care.

 

Also, ditto to those who said hearing "simple" (as my pdoc put it) noises does not merit a hallucination diagnosis :) which is good news!

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  • 2 weeks later...

yes, I hear the phone all the time. I have a call phone which I carry alternately with co-workers and it is for emergencies - and when I am on-call I often hear this phone ring in my sleep. I shoot up so hard and fast from a deep REM sleep that it hurts, my heart pounds, I suck in a huge breath - if you have ever dreamed that you tripped over something and fell and woke up in a panic, this is what it feels like. I HEAR that phone. I even check it to see if I missed a call. Sometimes even when I am not on-call I get this, because I am so conditioned to the ring. Unfortunately t is a common phone in our town and when I'm at a restaurant the a guy behind me has the same ringtone and it goes off, I just about choke and fall off my seat with panic.

 

I often hear and see with my mind's eye some very strange and random things as I'm falling off the sleep or waking up. Flashes of images and words strung together in half sentances. Apparently this is normal and is not indictative of MI - I too was worried that was having schizophrenic episodes when I started having them.

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