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Psychotic symptoms when thinking about illness?


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Hello all. My last psychotic episode was in 2012, and I've had almost no noticeable paranoid or delusional thinking after I was properly medicated. I visited my pdoc last week and we discussed my diagnosis and the fact that excessive work can trigger breakthrough symptoms like transient auditory hallucinations (I sometimes  have to work upwards of 16 hours straight when we have a major outage at work). He also printed out several studies on the effects a new med I'm trying has on schizophrenia. I left the appointment feeling sort of confused and anxious, and kept having flashbacks of my last psychotic episode in 2012. For the entire day I wasn't able to get it out of my mind (perhaps due to my OCD "latching" onto it). I kept wondering what would happen if my illness gets worse, how I would have to handle work if I ever had to go IP again, etc. I started to have bizarre thoughts about cameras and people spying on me. Although fleeting, they felt real, so I'm not sure that they could be categorized as OCD intrusive thoughts. I was able to stifle them almost immediately, but it was disconcerting enough that I had to text my therapist. By the next day, I felt better. It was such a weird experience, and was the closest I think I've come to a psychotic break since 2012. It's almost like my Sza, OCD, and anxiety decided to work together, and that had I not challenged what was coming into my mind, I could have ended up in a bad place. Has anyone here ever had breakthrough symptoms after reflecting on a previous episode, or thinking about the limitations that your illness imposes on you?

Edited by Swamp56
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3 hours ago, Swamp56 said:

Has anyone here ever had breakthrough symptoms after reflecting on a previous episode, or thinking about the limitations that your illness imposes on you?

Sometimes reflecting back on things in the past triggers me in some way, ie, remembering psychotic parts of my life.  They are memories that I truly want to forget forever.  And it is very hard for me to forget it all when I am reminded of it all over again.  Kind of like I am at square one. 

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I oftentimes am triggered when I read or hear about things that somehow seem like psychotic content when I am already delusional. However, there is no rhyme or reason about it - I can read about psychosis with descriptions of psychotic symptoms with no problem, but then random little things set me off for reasons that I do not understand.

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9 hours ago, Closure said:

but then random little things set me off for reasons that I do not understand

I understand this ... I've never really sat down and thought about it, but I think when random things set me off, it might have to do with subconscious stuff that happened in the past, and just not in my mind at the time.  Making it so it is hard to understand and to figure out why whatever it is set me off.

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9 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

I understand this ... I've never really sat down and thought about it, but I think when random things set me off, it might have to do with subconscious stuff that happened in the past, and just not in my mind at the time.  Making it so it is hard to understand and to figure out why whatever it is set me off.

Yeah, I think there may have been some subconscious stuff going on now that I think about it. I've become somewhat withdrawn and agitated over the past few months, and overwhelmed with some stuff going on at work. I never really talked about it but I think I was scared that these may be part of a prodromal phase that foretells a psychotic break coming up in the near future even though I'm medicated. I think that fear, in combination with having these sort of flashbacks, together may have started to tip me over a little bit. I'm fortunate in that I have a support system in place that will allow for intervention if it got worse than just breakthrough symptoms, but it's really fucking frustrating having to walk such a fine line almost constantly to try and stay in a good place.

Edited by Swamp56
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10 minutes ago, Swamp56 said:

I think that fear, in combination with having these sort of flashbacks, together may have started to tip me over a little bit. I'm fortunate in that I have a support system in place that will allow for intervention if it got worse than just breakthrough symptoms, but it's really fucking frustrating having to walk such a fine line almost constantly to try and stay in a good place.

I think it is stressful having constant fear and worry about whether you'll have a psychotic episode or not.  I am glad you have a good support system in place for intervention should breakthrough symptoms start to happen.

And I totally agree with you about walking that fine line.  It is very hard to do every day, and the not knowing what each day will be like.

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