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Is this facticious disorder?

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Is this facticious disorder?

Postby Kip » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:36 pm

I feel like I faked my depression all along. I started suspecting it when I was 11- I was coming to terms with my sexual identity and lost some personal friendships which left me feeling lonely, deeply hurting, hating myself, isolated, and suicidal. And my dad was narcissistic, that too. I thought it would go away normally but it lasted for weeks. I self-diagnosed using online symptom checkers before I got my official diagnosis for situational depression a few months later.

It hurt a lot. I didn't want to have it. Yet at the same time I handled it so poorly. I wallowed in self pity. I had a huge victim mentality, sometimes I blamed others for all my problems, and then other times blamed myself for everything. I whined and complained a lot, one could say the things I said sounded like what an emo kid would. I had attention-seeking tendencies, I was not vocal about the things I was going through but I always had a mopey face on, hoping someone would notice I was hurting and come to show me love, care, and affection. If anyone did I usually turned them away though. Sometimes my attention seeking was dramatic though, such as asking my classmates how they would feel if I was gone. Or acting like an overall downer and pessimist in front of my peers.

A lot of my pain was self-inflicted. I jumped to conclusions, and often unconsciously pushed myself to feel worse as a form of self-sabotage, or simply because I was getting so used to my bad feelings they became a "blanket" of sorts and I was scared to get leave. I wanted to get better but I purposely hindered my recovery, finding new reasons to feel upset about something. It felt like it was becoming part of my identity. Bottom line, I did a lot of things to myself a me caused my own problems. I never listened to advice or tried to change things. I plunged myself deeper. I was still capable of feeling joy and soothing myself but I didn't take advantage of it.

I used to cut after I saw others doing it. It was a form of self-punishment but also it was a way of showing how I felt on the outside, and I took some sort of sick pride in them, not wanting them to heal. (They're healed now and I'm thankful.) But I also hid them, because I was scared of getting in trouble. I didn't want anyone to know. I used to hang out with these really toxic girls who were open about their issues. Their behaviors rubbed off on me and I used to tag about how long my scars lasted. I feel sick looking back on it.

I wanted to kill myself but I was too cowardly to. The worst I ever done was attempt to choke myself to death with a scarf. Petty I know. And I actually considered that an attempt knowing it would fail. Yuck. I feel like I overplayed my symptoms, my sleeping and fatigue wasn't as bad as I thought it was, nor was my concentration or weight. I also used to think I had panic attacks, but now after actually having them they are much worse than I imagined them to be.

I used to think that I needed someone to save me from the way I was feeling. There was this one person who had depression much worse than me but sacrificed their time to help me with mine. I deeply idolized them and craved for their love and affection and attention specifically. I used to vent about my problems all the time, I was very dependent on them, the conversation was always about me and I never helped them out with their problems because I was scared of triggering them. But even when they brought it up, somehow it always went back to me. I was so selfish/-absorbed/-centered and whiny that eventually I drove them away.

I used to have a secret vent account. Not for attention, just to drop my baggage. I had a picture of my scars (not bloody) not for attention, but as a vent as well. I posted a lot of depression quotes because I related to them and it made me feel better in a way, but it wasn't exactly healthy. Sometimes I'm scared I was just romanticizing though.

I had another account on a drawing app (separate from my personal social media) where I'd make a post whenever I felt sad and needed help and consolation. I made a lot of people worried about me. Eventually I cried wolf so many times nobody helped anymore. I can't recall, but I think someone accused me of faking or seeking attention once.

The first phase of my depression was a huge pity party, I never tried to change my outlook for the better. Not even my birthday party or Christmas could make me feel better. I was so selfish and bratty. It was an emotional, teary-eyed roller coaster with so, so much crying and feeling misunderstood.

That was until I was 12 and moved to a new school for a fresh start. Suddenly, like a light switch, my emotions went numb. My ability to physiologically feel positive feelings like joy or pleasure at all diminished. I felt empty and disconnected from my body, sense of self, and surroundings. Since then I've been in limbo, and time felt like it was passing too fast. Certain people are stuck in my brain. And my emotions are blunted. And the self-deprecating thoughts I used to hammer into my head became core beliefs, my truth, not just a way of emotional self-harm. The zest of life is overall hard to connect with again. And, I just don't talk to people about how I feel anymore.

I'm not sure if it's better or worse than what I had. But it makes me wonder if someone can fake depression so hard that they actually get it. Because I really miss my positive feelings now, and I wish I could've taken advantage of them when I still had them. Sometimes I wonder if I don't get diagnosed and just let my emotions play out normally, maybe it would have gone away. But I don't know.

I feel like it's my fault I'm still here today. And I hate myself for it. I brought this all on myself. I destroyed everything. I told my therapist I felt like I was faking, and brought up all the evidence I had against myself. He confirmed that I did have a huge victim mentality, and that my depression was situational not clinical, but he also said with a smile, "your pain was real, and it was hard for you. You are not a faker, fraud or a liar. Sorry, I'm not going to tell you that. You aren't faking."

I just have a hard time trusting and believing him. I feel like if my depression is fake, that invalidates all the hurt and struggle to get better I've had over the years. That all of this was for nothing. And that I was making a mockery of real depressed people. And that I was a bad person.

I'm only a teen but sometimes I'm really concerned I might've just had BPD all long, and this was a misdiagnosis. The dramatic-ness and attention seeking of it, the self-victimization, the deep-seated self-loathing, the self-absorption, the fact it was caused by relationship and abandonment problems, it all seems to add up. And I feel kinda awful.

I feel that the fact I'm even looking for validation one her just proves that I'm fake. But I wonder if anyone else feels the same way, and how maybe I can trust the words of my therapist without constantly doubting.
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Re: Is this facticious disorder?

Postby richard2002 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:33 pm

no, to me it seems like you are just tricking yourself into thinking it is all fake but it is just real depression, self-harm, etc.
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Re: Is this facticious disorder?

Postby blessthefall » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:18 pm

I had to check a handful of times that this wasn't my own post I relate so strongly to it from the behaviors to switching schools to change things up, get away, run away, whatever it was, the numbness that followed the switch. I struggled with depression in middle school and when a friend was diagnosed with it, I became angry because I wasn't being recognized for my pain which I deemed "worse than hers" - I started forcing myself to stop smiling, purposefully self-harmed even when I wasn't upset, etc.

Since early high school, I've been mis/diagnosed with everything under the sun: Borderline/Antisocial/Schizotypal personality disorders, bipolar, depression, general anxiety, dissociative disorders, brief psychosis, etc. I constantly question what IS wrong with me, how do I know what it is, if or how much I'm making up, how to stop inducing worse suffering on myself when it feels like I have to or even want to and like to. I made up lies about everything, compulsively lying for no clear reason, first about my name or occupation making small talk with strangers, eventually bigger ones, claiming I was assaulted when I hadn't been, injuring myself to make it look like I had been attacked, etc.

I started therapy with a clinician who called it OCD, and though I can see how my obsession with being "crazy" or "sick enough" leads me to compulsively harming myself and causing myself more misery, the OCD diagnosis didn't change what I was experiencing, if anything it only increased my distress about not knowing, doubting, and that led to increased "factitious" or, as I call it now, intentional self-deprecating behaviors: the lies, unusual forms of self-harm, watching or reading things I knew would scare or upset me.

What DID help me was the *treatment* for OCD that I was receiving. I did a combination of ERP and CBT, and I was able to identify triggers, obsessions, intrusive thoughts, along with how I tend to respond to my triggers, what my compulsions look like, and most importantly how to redirect myself. I started focusing more on my *values* like learning and playfulness and helping others, rather than on the "why's" of what I experience. When I look at my behavior now, it's from the standpoint of "is x behavior going to help me be the person I want to be" rather than "is this real" or "what do I call this."

I still go on "is this factitious disorder" trains (the worst of which was a week-long nearly sleepless binge-reading every book and article on FD I could find). I found this forum because the thoughts and questions haven't gone away and sometimes I slip back into that question. Exposure and Response Prevention was a blessing because it allows me to answer "is this factitious disorder " "am I faking" and "is this not real" with "so what." So, say I have factitious disorder, say I'm faking something. Even if I do or am, I'm still going to carry on with the things in my life like coursework and hobbies that will get me closer to the life I want to live. Factitious disorder or not, I struggle with so many of the things you described, and I can still live a meaningful life even with those things going on for me. There's hope no matter what we call it :)
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Re: Is this facticious disorder?

Postby ganjakites » Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:17 am

I am glad to have learned about this disorder, factitious. I am from the multiple personality disorder and we get blamed for being a fake. If I understand it correctly has a tendency to be nothing wrong as a disorder. Hang in there!
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