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Been experiencing phantosmia for about a week now... advice?


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Context: since I was a teenager I've been dx'd with BP, Schitzoaffective, OCD, & PTSD among others, though current pdoc has me listed as Mood Disorder NOS w/ psychosis & OCD. I have a family history of epilepsy and I've had one (that I know of) petit mal seizure about four years ago that may or may not have been a breakthrough seizure (it was around the time I had been taking Depakote for BP but I don't remember if I had tapered it off by that point or not). I've never been diagnosed with epilepsy.

 

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For the past week or so I've been experiencing on and off olfactory hallucinations, which I have never experienced except in the concept of a PTSD flashback, and that smell was always clean laundry. Up until today they had been relatively short, lasting no more than an hour or so, and have all smelled like dog poop (gross but whatever). The past day or so I've been a little sick and took a nap after I took my dog out for her morning walk. In the dream I had, I kept encountering this persistent smell-- foul, possibly like some really rank mushrooms-- that was so bad that I think it actually woke me up. In the past few hours that I've been awake, I've continued to smell this odor that I know has no basis in reality and it's awful.

 

So, thoughts/ways to cope/how should I approach this? I should probably see a doctor to rule out epilepsy, right? Or is the phantosmia seen in epilepsy different than this? Is this potentially the early stages of another psychotic episode (I hope not)? Anyone else here experience olfactory hallucinations?

 

ETA: I plan on seeing one doctor or another about this for obvious reasons, but I'm just unsure of which type I should seek out first (neurologist or my pdoc) and how to cope in the meantime because this doesn't appear to be going away.

Edited by kumiho
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Yeah, what is it with phantosomia and just totally bad smells? I wouldn't mind it nearly as much if things smelled good, like lemon cake or honeysuckle.

 

But anyways, thanks for the responses, y'all. I will be seeing an neurologist in the near future to be safe, but I think it may be a red flag for a psychosis episode starting again. My mood has been getting really funny and I've started to get on and off paranoid, so I'm going to see my pdoc asap.

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i've smelled something i can only describe as rotting formaldehyde, but it's always coming from me and i can't scrub it off. it only happens for me when i'm unmedicated though and once i am again it goes away relatively quickly. i don't really need to think on the implications of that, but, just posting to say i've had olfactory hallucinations and they've been pretty treatment responsive. hope you get your concerns resolved soon, whatever the cause.

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