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am I developing schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder?

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am I developing schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder?

Postby DasAuge » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:49 pm

I have religious obsessions. I am obsessed by the idea that I am going to hell. I am sure that I am going to hell. I am constantly testing my faith in God. What I mean by "testing" is that throughout the day, I will reflect on how sure I am about God's existence. If I feel that I have doubts in His existence, I get very distressed. When this happens, I will run through various thought experiments that somewhat reassure me of my faith in God. I will not elaborate on these thought experiments because they get quite complex.

I also have an obsession about demons and demonic possession. I am afraid to be left alone in my house. Any random sound I hear coming from the house scares me, as I believe them to be demonic in nature. When my dogs bark at some random thing, I fear that it is at something paranormal. These fears about the paranormal and demons recently took a turn for the worse when I smoked cannabis and had a very distressing experience. I do believe that I had a mild case of cannabis induced paranoia. I was convinced that a demon was trying to possess me. I started praying and I would feel this demonic "presence" start to recede. I prayed constantly for about two days, but then stopped because I realized that this fear may have been brought on by a combination of the cannabis and OCD (I have been diagnosed with OCD in the past). I have since stopped smoking cannabis and have not smoked for nearly a month now.

I do not hear voices, nor do I find difficulty in stringing together coherent thoughts and sentences (hallmarks of schizophrenia). During the peak of my fears about demonic possession, however, I would hear a buzzing noise, as if someone were using the lawnmower outside. I would go outside to confirm that someone was indeed using the lawnmower, but would find nothing. I then attributed this "buzzing noise" to tinnitus brought on by anxiety.

The recent course of my life has, up to this point, not been good. I used to be a successful economics major with dreams of going to graduate school and becoming a researcher. I had a 4.0 GPA for the first year and a half of my undergraduate studies, but ever since my depression intensified, I started to cut class and couldn't be bothered to do my classwork. My GPA is now a measly 2.8.

I am desperately trying to pick up the tattered pieces of my life, but still have lingering obsessions and paranoia that is preventing me from pursuing my goals. My biggest fear is that all of what has been happening will culminate in a psychotic break.
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Re: am I developing schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder?

Postby Alucard » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:50 am

Hi.

Sounds like you're struggling a lot right now, especially with all this uncertainty spinning around in your head.

Let's do something "Radical" here. What I mean by that, is let's take away the option of anything like psychosis or schizophrenia,let's get rid of the idea of "illness" and let's focus on just your experiences and how that is distressing you. You have these obsessions, as you say, about the possibility of hell, about your faith in God, and about demonic entities. These have caused you uncomfortable feelings, particularly after smoking cannabis, which is a very common experience for a lot of people. Regardless of commonality, these things are really preventing you from doing as you'd wish, and that can make us feel trapped and helpless.

I personally do have hallucinations occasionally, such as voices, but I struggle more deeply with paranoia and what would be categorized as "delusions". As someone who has also had bad experiences smoking specific strains of Cannabis, I will say it's freaky, especially when all you want to do is relax. I thought an ambulance was gassing me (it was oxygen), I saw a man with a giant eye on the side of his head, I thought one of the emergency room nurses were plotting with a mother and a child to lock us in the E.R and "hold us" for "him", whoever "him" was. All of that was exasperated by Cannabis.

I also struggle with paranormal entities. I feel them, I feel they have an agenda against me, I feel they keep me up at night and watch me. Do they? Well, I haven't seen them yet, lest a few times, so I don't know if their motives are malicious or not.

However, what I will say, is it sounds like even though you do sometimes have to question your faith and remind yourself of your faith, you still believe in it and you still hold tight to that. That is powerful, whether demons are present or not, and I think that's something to take refuge in here. I don't think you're going crazy, I don't think you're psychotic or have schizophrenia. What it sounds like to me is you're struggling through this period of your life, and it is true that those of us who have anxiety (I do as well) often fear we're going "insane".

Struggling is okay. Having different beliefs is okay. It doesn't mean you're going to end up on lockdown in a psychward being forced drugs for something perceived as psychosis. What it means is you may have to find a path which suits you that will help ease your troubles, whether that be traditional methods like a psychologist, therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or non-traditional and less clinical methods like peer groups, homeopathy, community support programs, e.t.c. The point is to be able to life your life how you wish, and you have a choice on how you can go about that.

Wishing you well.
I like living in the world in my head because I'm in charge half the time.
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