• Quote of the Day
    "The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."
    Alfred Adler, posted by David Baxter

haunting

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About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with this disorder, not believing this to be true. I don't understand this to the full extent.

Yes, I admit I heard voices, saw things that apparently were not there. But it was short lived.

I do experience I believe to some extent, paranoia. I think others can look at me and know what I am thinking. I try to avoid eye contact as I think this way they won't know what's going on in my mind. I think that people are watching my every move. Like someone sent people to watch me. I look out windows wondering who is out there today.

I do hear things in my head, not sure if its just me though. The things telling how useless I am, to keep taking pills. (laxatives), that this is the answer. To not eat, cause I am fat and ugly enough. They or I tell myself to do this, to be in control. I tell myself that this is my way out.

But is this really considered schizoaffective? I don't think so. I am a cutter, sometimes. Its the voice inside my head that convinces me that I will better after harming myself, and holds to be true for a short time. (sigh).

Haunting
 

Daniel

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Yes, I admit I heard voices, saw things that apparently were not there. But it was short lived.

Psychotic episodes can result from anxiety, depression, mania, or some other negative emotional state...no personality or schizophrenic disorder required. Also, primitive cultures would induce psychosis by sleep deprivation and dancing for long periods of time at a manic pace. Personally, I think schizoaffective disorder is more myth than science:

The Disease called "Schizoaffective Disorder" was invented with the advent of the USA's DSM III but it was not until the DSM III r came out that actual guidelines for diagnosing this disease were invented.

Schizoaffective disorder is one of the most confusing and controversial diagnostic categories in psychiatry.
http://www.schizoaffective.org/whatis.htm

Regarding paranoia, lots of people are paranoid to some extent without being mentally ill per se...like the late President Nixon. To survive and flourish, our minds usually need something crazy to believe in. It's like the song by the artist Seal:

In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
Isn’t that crazy... isn’t that crazy... isn’t that crazy...

Ohh... But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless we are a little... crazy..

--from "Crazy" by Seal
 

haunting

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I really enjoy what you write. Kind of a different perspective. But with paranoia, if it drives you to the point of an emotional roller-coaster.... well is that normal?

I think though, maybe its just my voice inside. As confusing as this may sound. I find myself very up and down. I often feel like I could take on the world, bring on anything. Like as if I can fly. Then boom!!! I hit this feeling of such emptiness, the end seems so close. But then again..... all of a sudden I am wonderwoman. Its a up and down yo-yo type feeling. This happens constantly through out my day. Happy, sad, excited, depressed, elated, despair,....... its annoying to say the least.

Makes me wonder how sane or insane I am. I find this hard, the emotional upset. I find my thoughts race so bad, simply does not make any sense. The real VS. the unrealistic is what is so confusing. I don't know whats real and what's not anymore. Strange.

Haunting
 

Daniel

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Lamictal is now a popular drug for mood swings. However, the only thing that helps my mood swings so far is "behavior therapy," e.g. trying to follow the same daily routine regardless of mood.

The real VS. the unrealistic is what is so confusing. I don't know whats real and what's not anymore. Strange.
Frankly, I don't think having an objective view of reality and of oneself is exactly a road to happiness, though it would mitigate negatives like paranoia and grandiose thinking. Most happy people I know prefer to focus on an everyday, traditional view of the world and have a greater sense of a fixed personality than is actually true.

I am now fairly used to the transition from grandiose thinking to self-defeating thinking, so it is no longer significantly distressing. Also, one of my therapists said that grandiose thinking is not all bad, and I have found grandiose thinking to be positive when it gives me more energy to function. It was grandiose thinking, after all, that inspired the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and the other man-made wonders of the world.
 

haunting

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I will not take meds. I won't simply cause of the side effects.

I do think we need to understand our thinking, how can we get by when we have not a clue to what's going on inside?

There is without a doubt so many ways to view our lives, the world in general. It comes from within us, no matter our perception of what this may hold.

Haunting
 

Daniel

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I do think we need to understand our thinking, how can we get by when we have not a clue to what's going on inside?

Yes, of course. It's surprising that so many depressed people still don't seek any treatment at all. On the other hand, some people focus on their conditions so much that they can't help becoming self-absorbed, increasing their social isolation.
 

David Baxter

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Haunting, no one can accurately diagnose you online / at a distance, nor should anyone attempt to do so. First, an adequate initial diagnosis requires taking a reasonably complete personal, clinical, and family history, as well as ruling out several medical conditions that can mimic mental disorders. Second, some of the factors that one should take into account in a diagnosis are derived from direct observation of the individual, her reactions, style of communication, etc., etc.

On the other hand, I disagree absolutely with the view that schizoaffective disorder doesn't really exist, Daniel. And if the phrase "was invented" is intended as a negative comment, the same can be said of any other disorder in the DSM. The last version added several "new disorders" -- but of course the disorders themselves weren't new: it was simply that they were being recognized as separate disorders with separate criteria instead of being lumped in with one or more other disorders where they didn't really fit.

Daniel said:
Also, primitive cultures would induce psychosis by sleep deprivation and dancing for long periods of time at a manic pace.
No... they might be able to induce symptoms including hallucinations which mimicked "psychosis". You can also do that by inducing a hyperactive thyroid or through the ingestion of several drugs. But the effects are short-lived and have an identifiable origin which has nothing to do with a psychotic disorder (I'm not talking about substance-induced psychotic disorders here, which can be quite long-lasting).

Haunting said:
I will not take meds. I won't simply cause of the side effects.
Then you are condemning yourself to a great deal of unnecessary stress and distress. There are enough choices now in medications that with a bit of trial and error virtually anyone can find some medication or combination of medications that will provide the desired benefits without undesirable side effects.

Daniel said:
one of my therapists said that grandiose thinking is not all bad, and I have found grandiose thinking to be positive when it gives me more energy to function. It was grandiose thinking, after all, that inspired the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and the other man-made wonders of the world.
That isn't grandiose thinking. That's merely thinking big or ambitiously. Grandiose thinking requires a suspension of objective reality to some degree.
 

Daniel

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Of course, in the light of day, I have to agree with Dr. Baxter yet again. At a minimum, disorder criteria like that of schizoaffective disorder makes it easier to discuss a certain set of persistent symptoms.

Regarding meds:
Haunting, have you tried some meds, only to feel they didn't work except to give you side effects? If so, there are many other psych drugs to choose from, as you know. For example, the new antidepressant Lexapro is extremely well-tolerated.

According to what I have read, most psychiatrists, if they were mentally ill and had to choose between seeing a fellow psychiatrist or seeing a psychologist, would naturally prefer to see a psychiatrist because psychiatrists rightly believe that the underlying chemical imbalance is the most important issue in chronic mental illness. Of course, a combo package of both counseling and meds is the most effective treatment. At the very minimum, anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs could help you sleep better, Haunting. Personally, I take meds just to help prevent a relapse when external stresses arise, and I take anti-anxiety drugs if I have problems sleeping.

Of course, if you have side effects, you can simply ask to be titrated off the drug. (The only drug I would be very cautious with is the antipsychotic/antimanic drug Depakote.)

Also, who is to say that the supportive clinical environment in which the meds are given along with any placebo effects is not another valid reason for taking them?
 

haunting

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?

Sorry Dr. Baxter, I did not intend for someone to diagnos me over the net. I apologize. It kind of the way I phraze my questions. I know this is not possible. I am simply looking for ideas, experiences, suggestions and so on.

I find mental illness very difficult to understand and when you do not or have not had the proper help in finding these answers, well it is frustrating.

As to medications, I have been on so many it makes me ill just thinking about it. I was recently on Prozac, but with not eating it was affecting my stomach too much. My doctors were all hesitant in going any further with them, although they do want to look at this. I do fully believe that meds can and will help people. I was on Prozac years ago and helped me a great deal, with of course the counseling.

I agree with you Dr. Baxter when you say I am condemning myself to a great deal of unnecessary stress and distress. I don't deny this. I have not yet heard of any type of med that does not have the negative side effects that I fear.

Look at it from my point of view. I have a horrid fear of weight gain, being fat, and panick when the mere thought of food may enter the picture. So you give me meds, only to find it causes weight gain. Not only this, sleep disturbances, which already affect me to the fullest extent. I sleep maybe 3 hrs a night with nightmares. Why set my self up for more problems? When I was on med after med, I could function less then I could without them. I struggled daily with raising my children as I did not have any energy. Yes, my energy is extremely low right now, but I still manage.

This is very hard to see, I understand where others are coming from. I am not a closed minded individual, (usually). Yes, in my world it is black. The world that I have created for myself. But this is my safety net. I wish you could see inside, what is going on, then maybe.......

So, I do want to to say that I will be more careful with the questions I pose here, not looking for you all to fix me. I suppose the confusion part is where this may have been mistaken for. I apologize to my fullest extent. I do apreciate all of the feedback. I find it very interesting, and I thank you for this.

Haunting
 

David Baxter

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Haunting, I did not mean that as a rebuke, merely as a clarification. No need to censor your posts. I also understand that, like other members, some of what you post here is a way of thinking out loud to clarify your own thoughts and get reactions from others and differing perceptions, and I have no wish to cause you to inhibit that.

If you or any member is doing something that worries me from the point of view of this forum or other members, believe me I will state my concerns very directly. I don't have such concerns about your posts so far.

I still would suggest to you that what ties all of these problems together is PTSD. Try to investigate EMDR therapists in your area...

(then again, I think I said I was going to try to help you do that, didn't I?)
 

haunting

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Thanks

I am relieved to read this and I thank you for this. I don't want to say anything wrong or upset anyone. Thanks for clarifying this. My over-sensitivity is really strong, please be patient with this gal.

I agree with the PTSD. I have done research on this and see myself to a great extent when reading about it.

I must say I had to giggle with your comment, and I thank you for that. Yes, you did offer your help with this. Please see my side here. I have fought so much, I can't describe this without writing you a book. I am so tired, I have nothing left inside. I feel like my sick body is still here yet my spirit and soul have been dead for a long time. I have no desire to keep fighting and search for my missing self.

I am fatigued, drained, exhausted. What can I say? This ED is the most powerful demon that I have ever faced. This is the sickest I have ever been. The knowing that I could die at anytime with the mess my body is in only makes me sad for my kids; not me. I am sad at the thought of leaving them. The love I hold for them is so strong, please don't anyone think I don't care. This is litterally ripping me up inside. I am an aweful person, I know, I have to look at her everyday. I don't even know who she is anymore.

"You can't help someone who does not want help." Nobody can fix me or make me healthy. This comes from within, sorry its not in this body of mine. I am here because I need to vent my thoughts or I would most likely do something I really don't want to. This not wanting to make it easier by ending my life in a different form is my fear of everyone saying, "How selfish, she killed herself." I don't want my memory one that leaves unanswered questions for those I love and that love me. I don't want my kids to think it was their doing. So I don't choose to end life this way, although I do think about it all of the time. If I did not have kids, I would not be here. As sad and terrible as this sounds.

I know I am not worthy of even having an opportunity to be here. To listen to what struggles you all go through. I am not worthy of living, of having a gift of waking up everyday to enjoy the world. I love life, really. There are so many little things that I see. Like the birds, the sky, the cold crisp snow in the winter, the fun stuff that the kids and I do together. Trust me, I really love life. But right now I am so tired. I am only 29, why prolong this hatred I feel inside, why remember all the things that make me so darn depressed. I have tried to get better, have had many times in between where I was well. But then all of a sudden something happens, and back at the dark pit where I don't like to be.

This is not fair to my friends, my beautiful family. This shameful person I am, the coward for admitting I have given up. I hate her. Many days I have grabbed a hammer, stood in front of that mirror, wanting so badly to smash the thing into a million peices, like I am in. But instead I normally turn this onto myself. I will take that hammer and hit myself. Then I have to think of excuses for everyone for an explanation of my lovely new colors.

Anyway, sorry I did not mean to go on an on..... I tend to do this. I will shut up now; lol.

Haunting
 

haunting

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I wanted to add something. Maybe my thoughts about meds come from a history of these types of ideas.

When I first attempted suicide, yes, at this time I struggles with voices. Nobody knew this. I was a teenager. The doctors that were dealing with my parents tried very hard to get them to see that medication was needed. They gave them what they wanted to hear. But when I was released, they threw my meds in the trash. Let me know I need to stop the nonsense, grow up and get stronger.

Followed by their obsession of making me realize how big of a disapointment I am to the family. That I have let everyone down and embarrassed all of my family with my display of immaturity. And my sisters telling me over and over that they wished I would have died. And they still feel this way, trust me they make this known.

My dad recently said to me, "Just leave your kids with me, as for you, your not my daughter. I could care less about you, these kids I do love."

Why waste money on meds for me?

Haunting
 
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"The knowing that I could die at anytime with the mess my body is in only makes me sad for my kids; not me. I am sad at the thought of leaving them. The love I hold for them is so strong, please don't anyone think I don't care."

I just wanted to say that it is very obvious that you love your kids and I know they love you so much. You are their mom and no one in the world can replace you. I see that you are in so much pain and anguish that you think they would be better off without you, but that isn't true.

And don't think that you ever have to "shut up" here. It's a good place to vent about overwhelming things.

Janet :)
 

haunting

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Haunted

Thanks so very much. Helped release some tears on this end. I so appreciate these words.

This is all to real, so overwhelming. Even writing, admitting my thoughts, fears, feelings, it hits you suddenly and you realize that life is not as it seems. I think the strongest feeling for me, guilt, shame and pure hatred for myself.

I do adore those two special gifts, as they are so precious. Taking life for granted was never what I dreamed I could do, but now the side of me I did not know exsisted is in the here and now......

When I listen to my mom, her experiences at the cancer clinic; well sure makes me think. She said she will never complain after seeing what she has. These little babies, young children walking around with IV's coming out of every which way, no hair, pale....... but yet always find that innocent smile.

And here is this sickening person.......haunting suits me well.........I am killing myself when others are fighting so hard. How can this be right? How can this be justified? I would give my life to them.......

Haunting
 

Ash

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Having kids when you're mentally ill can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you want to be there for them and provide them stability. The thought of ever hurting them kills you. On the other hand, sometimes you feel as if they would be better off if they did not have to deal with you. It's really a vicious cycle that's hard to break out of. Someone once told me that it's okay to be a "good enough" mom. Sometimes I really have to remember that and just do my best.

As for meds, please don't rule them out. They can make life so much easier. Until recently, I was taking Lamictal for my Bipolar Disorder and boy did it help! Granted, it wasn't perfect but sometimes any little bit helps.

I also understand about the paranoia. In times of mania or deep depression, sometimes paranoia breaks loose and I can become just a tad bit delusional. It's irritating sometimes, scary other times. I'm thankful that I've never been so far in the hole that I've done things that I can't undo.
 

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