Posts Tagged Psychosis

Feeling that Reality is Unreal


It feels like NOTHING is real, but…that doesn’t depress me. Shouldn’t it? For the past few months (and nothing I can think of significant has happened in the past few months, at least nothing out of the ordinary) i’ve begun to feel as if the world around me wasn’t real. But it’s not…depressing or scary…and the fact that its not scary, is a little bit odd to me. I don’t feel particularly unhappy or unsafe, in fact, you could even say that recently I’ve been happier than normal. But even sitting down in the living room typing this seems like it isn’t really happening. It’s like i’m just thinking really hard about things happening or watching some odd 3d projection of information pretending to be physical matter or light or whatever. Shouldn’t I be depressed? Why do I feel so strangely…I don’t even know how to explain it. Not euphoric, because that’s too extreme, just…disconnected. A sort of happy isolation. Am I crazy, or am I like…SUPER CRAZY? What’s wrong with me?

A. I would need many more details about your symptoms to know what, if anything, may be wrong. For instance, it would have been helpful to have answers to the following questions:

  • Do you have a recent history of substance use?
  • How often do you feel as though nothing is real?
  • When did these feelings begin?
  • Are you able to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t?
  • Are you engaging in any particular activity when these feelings occur?
  • Did you recently began taking a new medication?

There are several general possibilities that may explain your symptoms: a significant lack of sleep or the use of drugs or alcohol. If you have used drugs or alcohol recently, your symptoms may be a side effect of those substances. I receive many letters from individuals who have recently “smoked something” and subsequently feel similar to what you have described.

It’s also possible that you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Depersonalization disorder is characterized by feeling detached or estranged from oneself. Sometimes individuals with this disorder describe feeling as though they are in a movie or living in a dream. Some individuals who experience depersonalization worry that they are “crazy.”

On some occasions, individuals with depersonalization disorder experience derealization. Derealization is the experience of feeling as though the external world is strange or not real. Depersonalization disorder typically develops in adolescence or early adulthood (average age is about 16) and can be exacerbated by a traumatic event. Depersonalization disorder is categorized as a dissociative disorder and may be associated with other conditions such as schizophrenia, panic disorder, acute stress disorder, another type of dissociative disorder, drug use, or a general medical problem.

My recommendation is to have an evaluation by a mental health professional. An evaluation could determine if you should be concerned about your symptoms, if your symptoms require treatment and if you have a mental health condition. It is advantageous to receive an objective opinion from a trained professional when experiencing unusual psychological symptoms. Please take care. I wish you the best of luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Someone is Trying to Control Me


Okay so I have this guy in my head who is putting thoughts in my head, thoughts about self injuring again and all over my body, it gets worse every night.He has been there off and on for almost two years, but this time I don’t think that he will be going away. He was only there when I was having trouble at school with bullies or fears that it would happen again, but i am on summer break right now and he is back. Sometimes I can actually feel him in my head, like there’s a lot of pressure in my head.

Some nights it gets so bad that he makes me walk towards the knives in the kitchen but i walk away and i just end up pacing back and forth trying to keep control. I can’t yell back because when I do I start shaking really bad as he starts trying to take control to show me not to mess with him.
My diagnosis so far is depression and social phobia but I think there is something else wrong with me. I have a appointment with my psychiatrist in a week and two days for a med change.

Now there is more people after me, again, they are a secret government that controls everything. They left me alone for a while but now they are back and I have to wear a scarf to hide my face. Sometimes i feel like others can read my mind so I have to think of something else when I am putting in passwords or listen to music to confuse them.

I just don’t know what to do or what will even help anymore. I mean i try listening to music, watching videos, drawing, spending time with family but nothing seems to help because nothing can really hold my attention anymore.

A; The first thing to do is to see a medical doctor for a complete medical workup. Sometimes delusions like these are caused by things like a vitamin deficiency, an electrolyte imbalance or a brain tumor, to name only a few possibilities. I’d hate to have you go on heavy-duty psych meds if the problem is physical.

If you are medically okay, then you need to take your letter and this response with you when you see your psychiatrist. A psychiatrist relies on you to provide enough information to determine an accurate diagnosis and to work out a treatment plan. Unless you are completely honest about what you are experiencing, your psychiatrist is left to guess – not a good basis for prescribing medicine.

If you do have a mental illness, I strongly suggest that you get started with some psychotherapy as well as medication. You need more relief than meds alone will give you. A therapist can provide you with important support and can help you learn additional ways to cope.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Hallucinations Tell Me To Do Things That Hurt


I feel like I am being controlled by the man in my head named Simon. He is new. The other ones aren’t here now, he just came. I intended on it anyways, but yesterday when I put a razor inside my private area, I was fine you know, it felt good. The. It felt like Simon took over my hand and he cut and cut, and I only saw blood. And he told me he’d do it every night until he stopped. I’m ging to tell my therapist, I just dunno what to do till then. I’m on my medicines right. I don’t like being I trouble so I can’t tell anyone, they might send me away again. I just need some advice please. I cry and he keeps yelling and if I do anything he yells more and says bad thing and it’s gonna be worse next time. I’m scared, and I hope you’ll answer this, thanx.

A. I would recommend calling your therapist or your psychiatrist immediately. They may be able to assist you before your next appointment. This is a serious problem that should not be ignored. You feel compelled to cut yourself and have done so already. You have lost your ability to control your behavior. This is a situation where you need to be safe and you should not fear the hospitalization, if necessary, that will protect you.

You should consider going to the hospital. You may not require inpatient hospitalization. The hospital staff can keep you safe until you feel as though you can control your behavior. The staff at the hospital may also be able to adjust your medication which could significantly reduce your hallucinations and desire to cut. Perhaps they can even contact your psychiatrist or therapist who could guide them in adjusting your medication. Please don’t ignore this problem and make an effort to receive emergency assistance. I hope you’re able to receive the help that will make you safe.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Can Schizophrenic Family Member Turn Against Others?


My mother is a schizophrenic. My mother is around 47 years old and she’s had schizophrenia since before she got married in her 20s I guess. My mother has turned against almost all of our relatives, we have no family friends and we barely go out. As they create scenarios in their mind and believe it’s true. I have a feeling my mother is gradually turning against us. Is this possible?

Also, I have a feeling that my brother (21) has also been genetically affected. Some people believe it might be some sort of demonic possession as the effects are on and off, but I think it might be schizophrenia. Can schizophrenia be passed on genetically?

A. Yes, unfortunately, it is possible for an individual with schizophrenia to “turn on their family.” I worked on a research study in which we were attempting to build a website for individuals with schizophrenia and their family members. We had to alter our recruiting process because we found that so few individuals with schizophrenia had retained positive connections with their family.

It is important to separate the individual from their illness. In other words, an individual with schizophrenia might “turn on their family” because of their symptoms, not because they don’t love their family. Individuals with schizophrenia are not thinking clearly. Schizophrenia is a thought disorder. Delusions, hallucinations and paranoia interrupt an individual’s logical thinking ability and tricks them into believing in a false reality. That is the cruel nature of the disease.

I worked with a client who believed that her husband was plotting to harm her. Every move he made was perceived as being part of his plot to harm her. At one point, she called the police and falsely reported that he was dealing drugs just so he would be arrested. She only did it because she wholeheartedly believed that he was attempting to harm her. He was not but in her illogical mind, he was. By having her husband arrested, she was attempting to protect herself.

In many ways, schizophrenia is a family disease because it affects the family to such a large degree. In the example above, it would’ve been understandable for the client’s husband to have been furious with her for having called the police but he realized that she did it because of her illness. No one wants to have or chooses to have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia afflicts people of any gender, race, or socioeconomic status.

With regard to schizophrenia being passed on genetically, it is possible. Having a family member with schizophrenia increases the likelihood that other family members will develop the disorder. It does not guarantee that members of the family will develop the disorder but the genetic risk is real, though slight.

Your brother is also showing signs of schizophrenia and “some people” believe that he is possessed by demons. Historically, individuals with schizophrenia were thought to have been possessed by demons. The current understanding of schizophrenia is that it is a brain disorder that is brought on or exacerbated by stress. If your brother is experiencing signs of schizophrenia, then he should be evaluated by a mental health professional immediately. Time is of the essence with regard to schizophrenia and psychosis. The sooner that he can begin treatment, the sooner his symptoms can be decreased or eliminated.

I would recommend contacting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is an advocacy group that provides support and psychoeducation about mental illnesses. Many NAMI members have family members with mental illnesses and can relate to your situation. I wish you the best of luck.

Kristina Randle

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