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Important question for all OCDers, worried about schizophrenia


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Hello,

I read something really worrying in a psychiatry book (not in english language) in the chapter about OCD.

It said that there are overlying symptoms in OCD and schizophrenia and then it said something like " positive awareness" as an indicator that it's not OCD but schizophrenia.

What could this mean? Does this mean that if you have OCD and you wash your hands 5 times cause you feel like they are dirty but in reality you know that they aren't really dirty

then you are "aware" of it and this means it's not OCD but schizo!?!?

 

Really!? I am confused and worried.

 

And what about gulit and OCD behavior? For example when I feel guilty about something then this also causes OCD behavior like washing and so on.

Is this "normal" in OCD? Do you also have this? Or is this schizo?

The whole stuff I read really freaked me out.

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I think the positive awareness is more of the if you are worrying about having/getting symptoms and are aware of this vs if you are very symptomatic with psychotic/schizophrenic symptoms and are unaware.of them.

I don't have ocd so I can't add much.

 

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Well, I dont really know what he means with awareness wether being aware is good or bad.

For example I am scared of rabies cause I read about it. Now I am scared of petting cats cause I think what if they bite me and have rabies.

I know that this is not very likely but I am still scared of it. Is this "normal" or schizo?

I mean I am aware that it's not likely but I am still scared and if I pet a cat then I directly use disinfectant spray on my hands.

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I don't know anything about the terminology "positive awareness," but I can say a bit about insight and OCD. With OCD you can have varying levels of insight into your obsessions and compulsions. You can have good/fair insight (where you realize your compulsions are unnecessary but do them anyway), poor insight (where you think your obsessions are probably true), or absent/delusional insight (where you are 100% convinced by your beliefs). 

So you can actually have delusional OCD beliefs, but not have a psychotic disorder. According to the DSM V, the difference is the presence of obsessions and compulsions in OCD, and the absence of other indicators of schizophrenia, like hallucinations and thought disorder. 

I've had poor and absent insight at varying times in my experience of OCD, so I can understand your worry. I've had to rely on my doctors in the past to let me know that what is happening is OCD not psychosis. 

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What scares me is that according to this doctor OCD and schizo are fluent.

Then how shall I know if it's just OCD or schizo? But even if I was schizo I'd never take antipsychotics. These drugs have way too many side effects no way.

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6 minutes ago, regis said:

Well, I dont really know what he means with awareness wether being aware is good or bad.

For example I am scared of rabies cause I read about it. Now I am scared of petting cats cause I think what if they bite me and have rabies.

I know that this is not very likely but I am still scared of it. Is this "normal" or schizo?

I mean I am aware that it's not likely but I am still scared and if I pet a cat then I directly use disinfectant spray on my hands.

Not a doctor, but this sounds like classic obsession/compulsion to me. In fact, I have the same fear about rabies!

I don't understand what you mean by schizophrenia and OCD being "fluent."

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I mean that on one page there was a chart and on one side it listed ocd symptoms and right next to it it listed schizo symptoms it made

it look like there really isn't much of a difference and this "positive awareness" stuff was, according to the author, a key symptom to distinguish both.

 

He also wrote stuff like hypochondria can be schizophrenia. This also sounded really weird to me. I have hypochondria but I am not delusional. You can have fear of

diseases which is valid for example. This author is a psychiatry professor but I am really confused by his stuff.

 

Edited by regis
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FYI I do not have OCD but I feel like I can add something helpful; I will tread lightly.

A lot of disorders have symptoms that mimic each other. Meaning the symptoms seem similar, but are actually different when looked at closely.

It can be difficult telling the difference between a delusional belief and a irrational fear at first glance, but there is a difference. And it's important for treatment to discern the two (to be aware of the differences). It doesn't mean the disorders are related or co-morbid (which is what I think you mean by "fluent"), it means the symptoms look alike and it's important to separated the 2.

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In psychiatry terms, positive = things that shouldn't be there but are vs. negative = stuff that should be there but isn't

One of my best friends is schizoaffective (with the bipolar variant) and we get into quite a few enlightening/interesting discussions.

One thing we've noticed is that the symptoms of her disorder and the symptoms of mine do, at times, overlap. It's been useful in that it helps us get a better perspective into the things that trouble us. It's the thinking patterns, the thoughts that we get stuck on, and the fact that we do get stuck on them in what makes them similar. Also, in that we're acting in response to unrealistic/illogical experiences/beliefs.

The difference lies in that my grounding on reality is still intact. I know the things I do don't make sense. I know they're harmful and serve as nothing but a detriment, yet I give into them. The voices she hears shakes the grounding of her reality and dulls that distinction between what is real and what isn't. She might not be able to keep her footing, and slips into full on psychosis.

The funny thing is that neither of us wants what the other has, although I still feel that schizoaffective is a much heavier burden to deal with than my OCD.

I guess positive would be a hyperawareness, whereas negative means a lack of awareness/insight.

 

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