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Hi everyone, crazyboards newbie here. After a bit of lurking, I've decided to register because I really need some advice. This is a really long post, but any replies are appreciated.

I've been hospitalised twice for suicidal ideation and for general observation, but I still haven't got an established diagnosis. Currently, I see two clinical psychologists and a psychiatrist as part of a community intervention team. Basically, in this post, I'm going to try and list as many of my 'symptoms' as I can think of and am asking for thoughts on what I might have. I understand that this website and its users can't in any way provide a diagnosis but I want to see if anyone can relate and what they might have. Some of these might not be anything at all. I should add, I've been on Sertraline 75mg for melancholic depressive episodes (+ had CBT in the past for depression to no avail) and Quetiapine 50mg for terminal insomnia and thought disorder NOS and this is my second day drug free again. Apart from this, I don't take any other psychoactive/illicit drugs and never have.

depressive-type symptoms
I have a generally low mood apart from highs, but I'd describe it more as 'flat'. My psychs call this depression but my depressive episodes are distinctly worse - I don't get out of bed or if I do, it's straight to the couch; I won't really talk to anyone; no appetite at all; barely any concentration to speak of; no motivation to do anything; endless guilt; ridiculous self-loathing; absolutely zero priorities; irritable; I feel like someone's sort of turned off my brain; I'll either sleep all day or not sleep at all; I move and talk noticeably less and slowly. The rest of the time, I still have symptoms associated with depression, but I don't feel like it is MDD when I compare it to how I feel in these ultra-low 'episodes'. I've lost interest in everything I used to love; try to do things again like go out or participate in hobbies but I'm just going through the motions, not genuinely enjoying anything; 'brain fog'; low energy. The depression's been going on for a few years now, and with suicidal thoughts/feelings and frequent self harm present for the same amount of time, roughly.

 

opposite-of-depressive-type symptoms

Occasionally I have 'highs', and I've had these since I was a young child, although they were different then. When I was younger and I had these highs, I'd talk excessively and laugh a lot, feel euphoric and basically incredibly giddy. I became even more childlike, my brother commented on it once as a sort of 'mode' that I went in. Other times, I'd just become really irritable at the slightest things. I've had these ups longer than I ever started having the downs. I didn't think too much of it, though. Now, there are sort of two different types of these ups but neither of them feel natural. The first is manageable and actually enjoyable - I feel elated; sort of delirious and above happy; I feel incredibly creative and write lots and draw lots and paint lots and make a lot of plans, but they're realistic plans like going out to see people. I want to see and meet and talk to everyone when I'm like this. It only lasts for a few hours, and then I feel this ridiculous fatigue again. These are okay, though, because I haven't lost all of my grounding.

 

The second type of these ups that I get is the scary kind. When I'm low, I'm incredibly suicidal to the point of plans/attempts - when I'm in this type of high, I feel like I could never die and I have to live because I'm going to make a change in the world. But it's not the normal type of benevolent change - I'm going to start revolutions and bring light to humanity and save animal species and am basically like a messiah. I start making plans, but they're not good plans - they're unachievable and unrealistic. I have so, so many ideas. I get angry at people for no reason because I feel like they're 'stupid' - they don't understand the things I do, but at the same time I love everyone because I'm destined to save humanity. If I'm out and I'm like this, I spend too much money, I run out in front of traffic, I chain smoke. I'm invincible, though, so none of this matters. Or I feel invincible. Sometimes I think I hear things when i'm like this but I'm pretty sure it's just my state of mind playing tricks on me. I talk faster, and more - my mouth can't keep up with all the words in my head and all the thoughts. I have racing thoughts and my attention flickers too much between ridiculously different things. I feel like I have to keep talking, so I do, and in retrospect most of it is slightly crazy - I remember being like this and talking about numbers which are good and beneficial and about how I could feel the plants' spirits. When I'm low, I don't really move at all - when I'm like this, I laugh a lot and pace a lot as if I have all this sudden energy and no outlet. I can't control my anger sometimes, and this anger comes without reason, and I feel like my mind is going to explode.

things that happen which are unrelated to mood, more or less
'Catatonic behaviour' - I have periods of what are labelled catatonic agitation, and also catatonic stupour. I'm not entirely sure these are correct labels. When I'm in a state of stupour, I feel paralysed. I feel disconnected from my limbs and my body and sometimes when I snap out of it, I freak out mildly because I can't feel one or more body parts. People try to talk to me or get me to move or speak but I just can't, and I'm not sure I want to either. I get unbearable restless leg syndrome at night when trying to fall asleep, but the periods of agitation are more. I pace, a lot and very fast and for an unreasonable amount of time - almost always around or over a couple of hours. A psych at the hospital asked me if it interfered with my life, and my honest answer was that it wasn't so much an interference anymore, it had become my life. If I'm forced to sit down when I'm like this, I'll tap my nails or bang my hands or anything else that will keep me moving, generally I'm in a bit of a trance and ignore anyone who tells me to, though. It's the only thing on my mind when I'm like this - pacing, moving. I become frantic. I think it's more of a physical sensation and less of a thought that makes me think I have to keep moving.

 

Delusions - I've had delusions all my life, usually they come and go over a few years. I'll name some of them: believing other people can hear my thoughts (because I get the same feeling sometimes when I'm thinking as you do when you're speaking aloud. When I was younger I'd believe I was putting shields around my mind sometimes, either when I became really conscious of it or was thinking about something personal, to try and keep people out); believing there is someone watching me through the webcam of my laptop and that I'm being constantly tracked because I had alternative political views (but this one's most probably true); believing/feeling like there's someone inside my head - unlike my head voices, this one is foreign/someone else/an intruder - he can hear my thoughts and sometimes see out of my eyes quite literally, as in he sees and hears everything I'm seeing and hearing; sometimes I believe I have 'too much skin', I'm not entirely sure what this even means but I can feel it and sometimes it's a really prominent thought so I begin peeling layers of it off; when I was younger I believed that there were demons in my house that came out at night and I was scared of them, sometimes I'd converse with them from my head; I still sometimes believe I'm being watched through any vents in my house - shower drains, ducted airconditioning, everything.

Weird feelings - mostly of being watched, these were mega-prominent when I was younger (starting from about age five or six, incredibly strong until around eight and then gradually faded a little) - I used to look behind me every few minutes at night in the lounge room; feelings of being watched through uncovered windows at night; feelings of derealisation and depersonalisation that come and go; seperation from my body - one of my psychs gave me a sheet on mindfulness techniques to stop this from happening but it actually works the other way; feeling like certain body parts aren't right - for about six months, I had a persistent feeling of 'my ribs digging into me', having too much skin; vague out of body experience type things, feelings of floating (generally when I'm up); feeling like I'm just a consciousness at times with no connection to my existence in an objective physical world (this one starts to turn into an obsessive thought sometimes too and it's scary).

 

Not having control - sometimes I feel like I don't have control over my thoughts, especially when they're racing and I'm trying to get to sleep. I feel like I just can't switch off. Sometimes I actually don't have control over behaviours - I cry a lot for no reason, laugh/smile when bad things happen. I hate it. Sometimes when I'm talking about something that troubles me, I'll be smiling so the person I'm talking to disregards how much it gets to me when it could be the worst thing happening.

Hallucination-type things that I don't believe are hallucinations - hearing things isn't a big deal for me because it's happened all my life, just small things like hearing a sibling speak when they weren't actually and hearing phones ringing or a voice humming. Sometimes I think I see things but it's just in my peripheral vision so I don't really count this - like I'll walk past an empty room and think I saw people in there, go back and there's no one; see the same car drive past on a bit of a loop but when I look up at the window, there's nothing there. I can tell the difference between head voices and outside voices - the outside voices are things that I actually 'hear', the head voices don't have such audible voices, they're more thought voices. Like there are three or four of me and my inner voice in my head but I don't control the others, they say conflicting things and used to talk over me when I'd say/write things and sometimes respond to them as though my thoughts were one side of a conversation - which they sometimes become. Occasionally I have visual snow, like I can 'see' the air as static or slight ripples, and I get star bursts on lights sometimes but I always thought that was due to my voluntary diplopia. Sometimes I see light auras around objects and I can move them with the movements of my eyes - when they start to go thinner I can make them bigger, or move them around slightly. This is what I was doing when I was in a bit of a stupourous state, once - I was staring at a light aura around a computer mouse in class. I'd sort of lost contact with my body and didn't move for 45 minutes, and I was trying to keep it there every time it started going.

annoying cognitive function aspects
Basically, whenever my mood seems to be fine and simply flat/nothing, my thinking isn't. I have strange time gaps - chunks missing from my memory which are more bothersome than they are concerning. pDoc thinks they may be absence seizures so I'm having an EEG soon. I confuse memories of dreams/actual memories/strange thoughts that never happened and I didn't consciously makeup/daydreams/imagined things. Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up with what's happening around me. Memories that may or may not have been real come back to me at random (this has only been happening for the past couple of months). I can't focus and sometimes I can't finish trains of thought. Sometimes I'll start a sentence with the intent to say something, eg. 'Today the weather is nice' and get through "Today the weather--" and somewhere in between there my train of thought will completely flick to something unrelated and I'll finish it with the latter half of a different less prominent thought, eg. 'My hair looks terrible today' = "Today the weather looks terrible today". Because these often still make a lot of sense, and they're merely different to what I intended to say when starting the sentence, no one apart from me notices/sees it as a problem. Sometimes I'll be typing or writing a word like 'general' and end up writing a completely different albeit starting with the same letter-word, eg. 'gremlin'; 'even' instead of 'either'. I don't notice until after I've written it. I have intense dejavu often, and in times of no significance - this has been happening since I was maybe eight or nine. When I have the initial feeling of dejavu in a situation, anywhere from a minute to half an hour after the realisation also seems familiar. My concentration is often pretty poor and sometimes I have racing thoughts. My memory's been bad for a few years now and it's assumed to be caused by depression.

anxiety
I have all the symptoms of GAD (that was one of my initial diagnoses) and have occasional panic attacks. My anxiety isn't as bad as it used to be, somehow. Sometimes the sounds of footsteps and door locks give me really bad anxiety - but they're not connected to any bad memories or trauma. One psychologist put it together pretty quickly - "Do you feel like they're people coming to get you?". I lied and said 'no', but it was spot-on. I have social anxiety at times, too. The worst parts are obsessive thinking and physical symptoms. Also, I have OCD tendencies. I've had these all my life. Intrusive thoughts, obsessional thoughts, the whole 'magical thinking' side of it, and the compulsions. These also tend to come and go over a few years at a time, only to be replaced by something else. When I don't perform a compulsion or ritual, sometimes the consequence is merely the anxiety and feeling of things not being 'right' and sometimes there's a delusional consequence. I'll name some: If I touch something by mistake eg. hit my hand on a desk corner, I have to go back and do it again so it's even and if it doesn't feel right, I have to do it again twice until it's reached the next even number sufficiently. The volume on any device can't be any of the numbers 17, 18, 19 or 20 because they all correspond with a sibling/parent's birthdate, and if I do, something bad will happen to the corresponding person. I never, ever choose those numbers for anything else, either. It makes me feel strange even typing them. If I'm on my computer and I look at the clock and it happens to be a palindrome, I have to screenshot it. I don't know why. Right now it's 9:49, so into the screenshot folder it goes. Things like this, I know are irrational but I still 'have' to do them. I count to 120 every morning, but if I go over a number wrong, I have to go back and count it again until it feels right  - so most of the time I end up counting more than 120 times. I used to be very germaphobic. I'm a compulsive skin picker - blemishes have to feel smooth. A lot of the time, I have intrusive thoughts. I don't know if this goes with the OCD-type things or the strange thoughts, because sometimes I feel like I lose thoughts too. I focus too much on symmetry, and consistency - I'm conscious constantly of everything I'm touching and if both hands are touching my computer with the same amount of pressure and obsess over ridiculous things like this. I used to rinse my hands every time I'd touch paper - when I was in primary school, I'd feel anxious unbearably until lunch time so I could go and wash my hands after doing work. I've had the OCD type things my whole life, but never had help for it until I was hospitalised the first time and they noticed some of my rituals.

I haven't been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder formally because it's canceled out by things sometimes - eg. if I'm in a depressive episode, I'll feel too bereft of energy to go through with a compulsion at all. I was told I was on sertraline to get the dose up to 200mg to control these, but taken off it to 'see how I go'.

I'm 15 years old, and trying to make sense of what's happening to me. I've been told I have a lot of insight into all of this - eg. I realise some of my delusions are delusions (albeit still believing in them). My pDoc says there's a possibility this is all caused only by high intellect and an anxiety disorder, and the perceptual disturbances like derealisation/depersonalisation are caused by my emotional devlopment not having kept up with advanced thought processes. I can barely tolerate being conscious anymore. I just want some idea of what this all is, anyone?

Edited by indigo1
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Hello all. I'm not sure if my pDoc knows about all these - I can't remember or keep track of which 'symptoms' different people know/have been told/are aware of. MisterJoshua, I guess a diagnosis of sorts would validate everything I've feeling and experiencing for me, or give me a reason at least.

Are there any ideas as to what it could be? I'm not looking for a diagnosis here, I just want to know if anyone can relate to some/all of these signs and what's helped them deal with it.

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I'm not sure if my pDoc knows about all these - I can't remember or keep track of which 'symptoms' different people know/have been told/are aware of.

 

Which gives you another reason to print this out. To explain *exactly* what symptoms you are having & what you feel about them/how they affect you. Your Pdoc needs to know all the reasons why you are seeing him in the first place. He needs to know what he is treating to know how to treat it.

 

I'm not looking for a diagnosis here, I just want to know if anyone can relate to some/all of these signs and what's helped them deal with it.

 

Yes, I can relate greatly to many of your symptoms. What helped me deal with them? A therapist giving me guidance & assurance along with a psychiatrist prescribing medications that she perceives will help the symptoms I tell her. Also, a good support system from friends & family. As well as having resources to turn to when communicating with the people in our lives becomes difficult, like CB & community resources.

 

CB is a great place to find support & information, but not necessarily medical advice & professional opinions. We can help you with your symptoms (aka advice), but only on a peer level. You might want to check out the boards and see what CB members actually have to offer. You do not need a diagnosis to get support or treatment. Try looking at boards for specific symptoms you are having, such as the Schizophrenia & psychosis thread, the Bipolar thread, as well as the depression & anxiety threads.

 

If you need anything other than peer related information & support, see your doctor.

 

 

ETA spelling & grammar

Edited by the girl
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indigo1, on 24 Sept 2013 - 9:26 PM, said:snapback.png

I'm not sure if my pDoc knows about all these - I can't remember or keep track of which 'symptoms' different people know/have been told/are aware of.

 

Which gives you another reason to print this out. To explain *exactly* what symptoms you are having & what you feel about them/how they affect you. Your Pdoc needs to know all the reasons why you are seeing him in the first place. He needs to know what he is treating to know how to treat it.

 

^THIS.  It is really important to let your DR know what you are dealing with.  What has helped me deal with what you describe is medication, which my pdoc prescribed.  I don't have a tdoc, at least at the moment.  But don't feel I would get anything out of seeing one now.

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