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Hey all,

This place has helped me so much. So, first, thank you all for being here.

I'm having trouble because I'm not sure if what I'm experiencing are loud thoughts or hallucinations. My psychiatrist calls them voices and has prescribed an anti psychotic, but I'm just not sure. Could you help?

Yesterday I was walking outside, saw a shallow pond and heard "You should kill yourself." This isn't a thought I have a lot, and felt inside my head but not necessarily my own thought, if that makes sense. But it wasn't a separate voice from my normal head voice, and was more annoying than anything else.

The more disturbing thing that happened yesterday was a strong feeling/visual that there was a crack at the top of my head and a nail should be hammered into it. Again, I knew it wasn't happening and wasn't afraid of doing that to myself (although I have been afraid of other visuals like this before).

Are either of these things hallucinations? Are they psychotic features? Or is it possible that I'm so paranoid that I'm going crazy that I'm amplifying my normal, albeit disturbing, thoughts.

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Based on my previous experiences, these both sound like hallucinations. I would talk to your doctor about these things and possibly being put on a anti psychotic.

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They definitely sound like psychosis symptoms to me, I experience similar things to this. Are you taking the antispsychotic your doctor prescribed? 

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My sense of normal must be really skewed right now as neither of these things seems that unusual to me. How does one differentiate between intrusive thoughts and psychosis?

Like the first example ... I have a voice in my head that randomly tells me to kill myself etc. I mostly ignore it or sometimes talk back to it, tell it that's not helpful, but I thought it was just the internal voice that everybody has or maybe a form of intrusive thought? 

Edited by Juniper29

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Thanks for the replies all! It's so good to feel less alone.

@Juniper29 I don't know how to differentiate between intrusive thoughts and psychosis! That's what is making me so upset. My docs are telling me that they're hallucinations, thus the anti psychotic (that apparently isn't working). Part of me feels like this is something I shouldn't worry too much about (although in the past these kinds of thoughts/this voice has really put me in precarious situations).

Does anyone else know the difference between intrusive thoughts and hallucinations?

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If it's put you in precarious situations I think it's good to take it seriously whatever it is. Which antipsychotic are you taking?

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Intrusive thoughts are thoughts you know are your own even though they may not be desirable. Once they seem other than your own or outside your head, they fall on the hallucination spectrum. At least that's my understanding. Auditory hallucinations are external to yourself even if they are in your head and you know they are a bad idea. Visual hallucinations usually are wholely external. It is possible to have hallucinations without believing them. That means you are hallucinating but not delusional.

The crack in your head thought is on the delusion spectrum unless you are actually seeing it in the mirror, which would be a hallucination.

Then there's the in between which sounds like where you might be. An antipsychotic is a really good idea. You don't want to go full blown psychotic and have more elaborate hallucinations or become truly delusional. That's when you start acting out and become a danger to yourself and others. You have your warning. If you are euphoric, it might be somewhat intriging or even intoxicating. Regardless, it leads to a path that can turn very frightening and, sadly, causes brain damage even when it feels good. 

Respond responsibly and be kind to yourself. This illness is not your fault or a fault in yourself.

 

Take care.

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I know intrusive thoughts can be a part of psychosis, and that they respond well to antipsychotics in my case, because I have them and have never been considered OCD or anything else other than schizoaffective. I guess for me they aren’t very random and generally play into delusions. For me delusions are odd in that when I’m not super unwell I can sense they may not be real, but tend to believe them anyway (and they don’t go away even if I have some level of doubt). I do not get auditory hallucinations for the most part except for chatter. 

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4 minutes ago, saintalto said:

I know intrusive thoughts can be a part of psychosis, and that they respond well to antipsychotics in my case, because I have them and have never been considered OCD or anything else other than schizoaffective. I guess for me they aren’t very random and generally play into delusions. For me delusions are odd in that when I’m not super unwell I can sense they may not be real, but tend to believe them anyway (and they don’t go away even if I have some level of doubt). I do not get auditory hallucinations for the most part except for chatter. 

So to use an example from a couple days ago - I had the thought clearly "You don't deserve to exist" and it felt very true and then developed quickly into believing that I was on some sort of list of people to be eliminated by the government and the incoming calls on my phone were all from government officials etc. So is that a delusion, or an intrusive thought that turned into a delusion, or ...? Are delusions a form of intrusive thought? I am not sure if I would consider the initial thought "mine" or not. Sorry if this is confusing, I am so confused right now!

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20 minutes ago, Juniper29 said:

So to use an example from a couple days ago - I had the thought clearly "You don't deserve to exist" and it felt very true and then developed quickly into believing that I was on some sort of list of people to be eliminated by the government and the incoming calls on my phone were all from government officials etc. So is that a delusion, or an intrusive thought that turned into a delusion, or ...? Are delusions a form of intrusive thought? I am not sure if I would consider the initial thought "mine" or not. Sorry if this is confusing, I am so confused right now!

 I would say they are part of the delusion. They don’t feel like my own thoughts, like they’ve been put there by something else. Recently it’s a thought that comes into my head that x person is following me or wants to kill me or is in my head reading my mind. I have these fears of my own that that’s happening already, but the intrusive thought kind of confirms it like an outside opinion. It makes it scarier and more real for me. 

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If you believe things that are not real are true, you are delusional. Then there's the half way there place where you believe what is patently not real while also knowing the belief and the false reality make no sense and cannot be real yet you pretty much believe. It is a very strange place to be. The thing is, it doesnt matter if the voices are hallucinations or intrusive thoughts once you start believing them.

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They sound like psychotic symptoms (to me, who is definitely NOT a doctor.) But one of my major issues is psychosis and I can recognize some of your symptoms. My main problem is that I always, always believe my psychotic symptoms. Or at least -- almost always. Please be careful. And like Stacia said - if you believe things that are not real are true, you are delusional. I"ve had enough of delusions to last me a lifetime, and know the torture they put someone through. Hoping this passes for you, and soon. 

20 hours ago, Juniper29 said:

So to use an example from a couple days ago - I had the thought clearly "You don't deserve to exist" and it felt very true and then developed quickly into believing that I was on some sort of list of people to be eliminated by the government and the incoming calls on my phone were all from government officials etc. So is that a delusion, or an intrusive thought that turned into a delusion, or ...? Are delusions a form of intrusive thought? I am not sure if I would consider the initial thought "mine" or not. Sorry if this is confusing, I am so confused right now!

Okay, this sounds like psychosis. I've had these thoughts while psychotic. This sounds like a delusion to me. Please be careful. 

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On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 11:32 AM, Stacia said:

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts you know are your own even though they may not be desirable. Once they seem other than your own or outside your head, they fall on the hallucination spectrum. At least that's my understanding. Auditory hallucinations are external to yourself even if they are in your head and you know they are a bad idea. Visual hallucinations usually are wholely external. It is possible to have hallucinations without believing them. That means you are hallucinating but not delusional

This is a very helpful description.  I sit on the line between the two much of the time, and question when it is I've stuck a foot into one side or the other.  This makes a lot of sense to me and helps me to differentiate out the two types of experiences.

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The experiences I get are somewhat similar. The voices I hear are also like my own thoughts although I know they "aren't". If that makes sense. They obviously are mine and my brain just gets confused with what I experience as my own thoughts. They can be as quiet just like another thought, be louder like if you have a song stuck in your head or quite real; I woke myself up from a very light sleep the other night by a voice going, "Boo!" Really loudly, scared me.

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5 hours ago, Southern Discomfort said:

The experiences I get are somewhat similar. The voices I hear are also like my own thoughts although I know they "aren't". If that makes sense. They obviously are mine and my brain just gets confused with what I experience as my own thoughts. They can be as quiet just like another thought, be louder like if you have a song stuck in your head or quite real; I woke myself up from a very light sleep the other night by a voice going, "Boo!" Really loudly, scared me.

I once woke up in the middle of the night to a woman screaming. :( It sucked big time.

And another time, woke up to a woman telling me to kill myself. 

So I can totally empathize.... hallucinations can be so frightening. 

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