Am I developing schizophrenia?

Postby Millet » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:57 pm

I am really concerned about my mental health status and lack a lot of understanding. I am 23 year old female. I have a few years behind me in the mental health system. I have been in nearly 20 psychiatric hospitals since the age of 19. And on over 40 psychiatric drugs.

Nobody really wants to tell me anything. I feel like everyone is keeping a secret from me. Currently the diagnosis I know are

PTSD (mostly due to restraint and seclusion in hospital settings and other things that happened in hospital settings).

I was at one point told I had dissociative identity disorder by a doctor. ( I do have a strong history, I think of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, but since they're repressed I have no idea of knowing if they're truth or another delusion of mine?)

I've also been called borderline, simply because I self harm. (But if anything I get very uncomfortable with attention and self harm due to something inside my head telling me to.)

Major depressive disorder.

Bipolar has been questioned.

I have a history of a severe eating disorder that hasn't been present with me since I was 20.

In general, as far as I know my team says that I have PTSD, MDD, Generalized anxiety, social anxiety. They deny the DID and the borderline diagnosis. But lately I feel like there is something they are not telling me.

I hadn't been in a hospital in two years and then for a year I dealt with, what I now think was extreme paranoia and delusions. Constant mood swings. Extreme social phobia. Auditory hallucinations. I hear buzzes, beeps, music, people arguing. That I now know are not real. I have an internal voice that tells me to do bad things. My doctor says it's a "voice", but I surely think it's just prominent thoughts? But now I'm not so sure. My most recent hospitalization about a month ago I took a lethal dose of GHB, because this "prominent thought" was telling me certain people wanted me dead.

I constantly refuse medications, until I was recently court committed to a hospital and put on the bare minimal of a mood stabilizer, because the mood swings were terrible. The medication causes me to lack all feeling though. And that was terrible to begin with. I feel so bad when my little niece wants to cuddle and I can't even respond to her.

The medication does help though, I didn't really realize how sick I was until I started the tegretol. My doctor is currently trying to get me to take haldol and I agreed on the smallest dose available. .5 miligrams. But why is someone with a diagnosis like PTSD taking mood stabilizers and anti psychotics? My doctor himself said medications don't help PTSD, and now he suddenly wants me on them? It sounds fishy.

I also have a diagnosis of narcolepsy and I cannot take any drugs to help it. All stimulants make my mental health much worse. I remember being on concerta and only being able to think about death. I would sit in my apartment for days on end, never seeing another human being. Not being able to shower, even less then I already do. I would plot ways to escape if certain people were to hurt me. I would become increasingly worried that my mailman, my maintenance man, my therapist were all going to hurt me. That they had plans all along to harm me.

I started xyrem, (the ghb) to aid in my narcolepsy. It caused really extreme psychosis and I was of course hospitalized for ten days. While in there I tried to fight a court case but I was involuntarily committed. That time was really blurry for me.

This is a journal entry from 4 years ago at the beginning of my psych stays. I cannot speak nearly as eloquently as I could then. My thoughts don't flow that well anymore.

August 16th 2007

It's when I'm alone that this entity takes over me and causes me to feel so out of it. I'm just so confused. You see I don't know how to explain this and pardon me if I make NO sense at all... its 12:30 at night. But ever since I got to program they have named this entity "Ed" for eating disorder. E.D. Ed as in Edward or Edmund. But you see my entity isn't "Ed". My entity is something else. Yet I never named him, yet he's always been there. He tells me to do bad things. He tells me I'm worthless. But he's not me and I've always known that. Now until today I thought maybe this entity was this so called "Ed", however I never felt like it was. That somehow something didn't click.

Then in group today we were discussing this "ed" creature and how he's part of us. But you see mine, isn't me at all. I separate us totally. I have always separated my voice from this other voice. I have always said "this isn't me thinking like this". If this other voice isn't "ed" then what is it? And where is "ed"? I can't remember when he( the unnamed voice) entered my head. I just think it's always been there, forever. It's spiked over time at significant events in my life, but has never dropped. After this recent episode with my job i guess it hit red zone, because no matter what I'm doing, no matter how much I try to distract myself. If I'm alone, he takes over. It's never been this bad.

Up until the last year I could always tell him to shut up. Then he just got worse... and I started listening. "Just do it Chelsea, dammit, will you just kill yourself already? You act like they care about you? You act like they want you? Nobody wants you. Don't you see that? Don't you see how little you'll be missed. We're not happy here, we're not happy anywhere. It's better just to be dead". Logically inside MY head I know none of that is true, but it doesn't even matter, nothing matters, when this thing takes over all rational thinking is gone.

Nowadays, it's pretty hard to separate the voice from my own thoughts. If I'll even admit that it's a voice anymore. What is this? Am I developing schizophrenia?
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Postby Beloved » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:08 pm

Research the side effects and interactions of the drugs you are taking. An MRI might not hurt, either.
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Postby Candid » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:07 am

You don't mention having had any kind of therapy and I know psychiatric hospitals do little more than restrain you while they "bring you back to earth" -- and it sounds as though earth feels like a dangerous place for you.

I wouldn't suggest you worry about the medication for now, but that you find a professional you can talk to about all this. It's much too serious (and has gone on much too long) for you to find adequate help from a bunch of well-intentioned people on a forum who haven't even met you.

I say professional because they come in several guises: counsellor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist. Their qualifications are no indication of their ability to help. What matters more is what they bring to the role and, as with doctors, the degree to which you like and trust them.

Some of them charge a fortune and some of them are free. I'd like to believe what they earn has no relation to their effectiveness, but in my experience the one who charged most was the one who did most harm... and not only to my bank balance.

After years of resistance I've most recently been seeing a clinical psychologist. I thought he would be reaching for his prescription pad the minute I walked in; I also thought a woman would be better able to understand my troubles. I was wrong on both counts and this professional has moved me on further than all the others put together. Apart from that, I see him for nothing; I'm in the UK at present and I accessed him via the NHS.

I notice you write very clearly and I suspect the lack of insight into your troubles is largely due to the various medications you've been given over the years. I have great hope that if you find the right practitioner you'll be able to get to the bottom of it all and gradually be weaned off medication, and then these distressing effects will stop.

Please come back and let us know how you get on.
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Postby Millet » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:01 pm

O sorry, I should have mentioned that. I've been in steady therapy since I was 21. I have worked through a lot or things. All but two of the hospitalizations were from age 19-21, then I received an ACT team and a stable therapist I see anywhere from once to three times a week. But I still have no drive in life. I am actually currently switching therapists, because I've officially "outgrown" this one. It almost seems useless because no matter how much I work through apparent "issues", family dynamics, self esteem problems, etc. It doesn't help. I currently have no issues telling people to get lost, if they are using me, but I still cannot leave my own apartment. Not that I can't. I just don't want to? I can't even do my laundry, wash my dishes or pay my bills. Not that anyone does it for me. It just doesn't get done period. I've been homeless once. I don't really want to go back to that, but I have serious issues knowing when I have to ask for help. And when I figure it out, I don't ask anyway.

I should also clarify I am asking strangers, because my team doesn't want to reveal very much to me. I'm not stupid... I think I deserve to know what is going on...
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Postby Candid » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:30 am

Millet wrote: It almost seems useless because no matter how much I work through apparent "issues", family dynamics, self esteem problems, etc. It doesn't help.
No, 'it' wouldn't. Someone should have told you by now that no amount of therapy will work unless you take an active part in it. If you sit back and expect the therapist to fix you, you'll be waiting a very long time.
I currently have no issues telling people to get lost
So you're angry, too. I wonder if there's an element of defying therapists to fix you and then feeling triumphant that they can't.
I still cannot leave my own apartment. Not that I can't. I just don't want to? I can't even do my laundry, wash my dishes or pay my bills. Not that anyone does it for me. It just doesn't get done period.
This is what tipped me off to the above. I understand that you're troubled, but you seem to believe someone else 'should' sort it out for you. The truth is, no one can... and that's probably why you now feel angry and helpless.

Empowerment will come from taking some responsibility, starting with the easier tasks such as washing your own dishes and having a walk every day.

When babies wail someone usually comes to see what's wrong and solves it for them. It's unrealistic to expect anyone to do that when you're capable of doing it yourself.

Your advisers are there to help you understand yourself, not to do it for you.
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