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Old 07-25-2005, 04:31 PM   #1
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folle HB User
Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

Hello all,

This is actually the first time I have visited this site, but I have been wondering about my paranoid delusions for several years now. I am now 23, but I had my first fairly paranoid occurance from 16-18. In reading through a variety of sites detailing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia today..it only further arouses my curiosity. I would like to hear everyone else's opinion on just what this is, so here's a somewhat brief summary of what I have encountered as well as the thoughts that continue to persist. When I hit 16, my anxiety started out at night...I never heard voices, but I was convinced that some kind of demon was going to possess me unless I did all these very specific things before I went to sleep at night. I had to pray 3 different prayers, cross myself all over the place 3 different times(with nothing adding up to 6), and do the same thing for anything else I was sleeping on. I got to the point,however, where it went beyond night. I was convinced that unless I thought all the right thoughts 24/7 I would still become possesed and that there was forever some prescence hovering around in the one angle I couldn't see in my line of sight. The result of that was I ended up having to sleep with a cross every night...as if that were the only other thing I could do to protect myself. That lasted for about 3 years altogether and when I left for college it was like it disappeared except for the occassional attack of anxiety. Now, coming home again after college I am starting to be overtaken with the same kind of patterns of thought. They are not as complusive at the moment...but I still feel like (at least once or twice every week) there is somekind of prescence watching me and trying to torture me through violent dreams. Should I explore the possibility of getting assessed? The truth is it would be a relief to know exactly what is wrong in my mind, so i can put myself at ease. Then again, I might have just gone too far in diagnosing myself. Have any of you encountered anyone with a similar experience?

 
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:50 AM   #2
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Re: Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

I saw a news documentary about a teenager who was being treated because he was obsessed with going to hell. He was said to have severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, so what you have could just be an obsession that is linked to some kind of anxiety disorder like OCD, not necessarily schizophrenia. On the other hand, schizophrenia involves being unable to distinguish fantasy from reality and your fear of demons/supernatural is clearly causing you to react strongly so that you are living your life as if a demon WAS haunting you. Honestly, your case is a hard one for me to analyze. Let's see what Gatsby has to say about this since she is very smart and knows a lot. I like Gatsby. She is like the angel guarding these boards

I do think that you should see an expert since this fear of demons is affecting your life so that you aren't functioning properly, and please let me know what you find out.

Last edited by curiouslearner; 07-26-2005 at 01:04 AM.

 
Old 07-26-2005, 05:55 AM   #3
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Re: Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

Aw! Thanks so much, CuriousLearner! That was very sweet of you! I definitely think that it's OCD-related. The whole thing with you crossing yourself- OMG! That's soooo me! This is the only noticeable compulsion that I have: whenever I think of a blasphemous thought such as "I hate God" or something equally horrible, I cross myself repeatedly and mentally say, "Forgive me, God," and "Forgive me, Jesus" over and over again until it "feels right" to stop and I have been repented. As I have said before, many people who start having obsessions, especially those like you and me who have sexual, violent, or blasphemous obsessions, begin to think that they're schizophrenic because they can't understand why they would be thinking these awful things unless they were possessed or going "crazy." I know that I felt the exact same way when I began having severe obsessions- I thought that the Devil must be making me think these things because why else would I say such horrible things about God and my loved ones? I find it interesting that you described that you've never heard voices, but you feel that something evil is making you think these things because that is EXACTLY how I used to feel! Still, the important distinction here is that, even though we may think that we're possessed, we know that the thoughts are coming from inside OUR mind and nobody's transmitting the thoughts from a radio or something. So, we just think we're possessed because there's no other seemingly logical explanation for our bizarre, intrusive thoughts, but in reality, we don't really believe that we're possessed, but it's too hard to actually come right out and say, "These are my own thoughts," because that makes us think that we want this stuff to happen, which is false. It also fascinates me that you mentioned how you clutched the cross to keep the "demons" away because when my OCD was really bad, every night, I would make my mother close my door completely. She didn't know this, but I thought that at night, with my door closed, I was safe from the "demons." The "demons" of course were the obsessions, which only would go away at night after I was asleep. Every night before bed, I would be forced to confess all of my sinful thoughts to my mother, and afterwards, I felt cleansed and pure, and I didn't want to take any chances that the "demons" would return and soil my newly cathartic soul. You also say that you think something is lingering constantly- I had something similar as well. I didn't think that there was actually a person hiding to try and "get me" as a paranoid schizophrenic would believe, but instead, it was more like an unexplainable "presence," because my head was constantly swimmng and foggy, and I knew that another "bad thought" could strike at any moment. Thus, you try to avoid having any more obsessions, but your brain just won't listen... Another key reason I think it's OCD is the fact that you mentioned that you pray and cross yourself three times exactly and you never want anything to add up to the number six- for me, the evil number is 13... Also, you mentioned that you said that you felt you had to do these "things" all day long or you would become possessed. Very OCD-like: "If I don't do ________, then _______ will happen," even though it sounds ridiculous. One of my things is that, every morning before I go to school (it's summer now, though), I spritz exactly four squirts of lemon-scented perfume on my right wrist, and then proceed in rubbing my two wrists together while praying for good luck in school. I also have this pair of blue socks that I must wear on test days or I'll fail. Do I really believe that these things have these "magical" powers, and that these things will happen if I don't do them? Of course not! But when I'm worrying, they provide a sense of comfort, and to not do them could possibly mean that the dreaded event might occur. That's what OCD is- it feeds on your uncertainty. You're probably feeling that if you don't cross yourself and such, that this might be the time when the Devil will overtake you, but when you're not having the thoughts, you know it's utterly absurd. This is the important distinction between OCD and schizophrenia: we OCD-ers have insight that our thoughts are nonsensical; schizophrenics don't. You also mentioned that the symptoms subsided for awhile- another key component of OCD- it takes on a "waxing-and-waning" condition. For example, my OCD struck suddenly when I was 11 1/2- 12, but mysteriously went away when I was 13, only to return at age 15 and, then, 17. I definitely feel your pain because, when OCD-related thoughts first strike, it's as though you have no one to turn to, not even God because you're constantly thinking these blasphemous things and feel like such a filthy person. So you pray over and over for forgiveness, and in the middle of the prayer another blasphemous thought strikes, and the cycle repeats. Whatever you do, don't lose your faith because of the OCD! God's the only thing that's kept me going because I know that He wanted me to have OCD for a reason and that he'd make it all okay. I highly doubt that what you're experiencing is schizophrenia, even though it might seem that way because, out of the blue, you've suddenly lost control of your mind and your ability to filter out thoughts. Who wouldn't think they were psychotic if they suddenly saw grotesque images of themself killing their parents or doing something blasphemous or sexual in nature? If you ever want to talk, or you have any more questions/concerns regarding this matter, please let me know. There's plenty of support out here, and as I'm sure CuriousLearner would agree, we're always here when you need to vent about OCD evils. Good luck, God bless, and write back soon!
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 07-26-2005 at 06:17 AM.

 
Old 07-27-2005, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

Thank you both for your impressions. It would seem that in many ways this would make sense being an OCD related issue. As you said Curious Learner, schizophrenics have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. For me, all that seems very real when I am in the crux an episode, but then afterwards I feel silly for having been soo paranoid. Does that make sense? Nobody takes me seriously here when I tell them that I have these kind of issues...they make it into a joke. It's amazing what all your mind can convince yourself of, u know? I have been living too much inside my head since birth and because of that I have had several other health issues. GatsbyLuvr, the past experiences that u have detailed from your life in analyzing my situation intrigue me as well...very similar indeed. As a child, I had a seperate kind of OCD...always running around the house checking the locks at night and making sure all night lights around the house worked in case of a fire. My parents took me to a therapist shortly after that, which didn't help because i only went to play with the toys. But, I have always been worried about something. My fears at night or during the day have gone beyond demons. For example, I also used to be concerned that someone was hiding in my room during the middle of the night and was waiting to stab or beat me to death in my sleep. Also, I've always been worried about things underneath my bed. And...sometimes when I am alone in the house and taking a shower or something I have to have the curtain open partially b/c if there is anything in front of me that i cannot see through I worry there will be something there the next time I look. So, as if some girl in the middle of a real life horror film, the visual picture of me is the panic-stricken blonde darting her eyes back and forth and tuning her ears to wait for the next sound to emerge that will confirm her fears. I am just tired of feeling like I am driving myself crazy...it's a real distraction. U are right GatsbyLuvr b/c I think the same thing as you do....."u try to avoid having these obsessions, but your brain won't listen". So, is there ever any hope to make all that stuff completely stop?

 
Old 07-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

Hi! My brother is a schizophrenic and although he had an episode at the age of 17; it was not full blown until he was 24. We did not know what was wrong with him and this was 24 years ago. I often feel that if he had treatment, earlier, the illness might not have progressed to the point it did. The new medications for this illness are wonderful with very few side effects. You need to see a mental health professional.



Quote:
Originally Posted by folle
Hello all,

This is actually the first time I have visited this site, but I have been wondering about my paranoid delusions for several years now. I am now 23, but I had my first fairly paranoid occurance from 16-18. In reading through a variety of sites detailing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia today..it only further arouses my curiosity. I would like to hear everyone else's opinion on just what this is, so here's a somewhat brief summary of what I have encountered as well as the thoughts that continue to persist. When I hit 16, my anxiety started out at night...I never heard voices, but I was convinced that some kind of demon was going to possess me unless I did all these very specific things before I went to sleep at night. I had to pray 3 different prayers, cross myself all over the place 3 different times(with nothing adding up to 6), and do the same thing for anything else I was sleeping on. I got to the point,however, where it went beyond night. I was convinced that unless I thought all the right thoughts 24/7 I would still become possesed and that there was forever some prescence hovering around in the one angle I couldn't see in my line of sight. The result of that was I ended up having to sleep with a cross every night...as if that were the only other thing I could do to protect myself. That lasted for about 3 years altogether and when I left for college it was like it disappeared except for the occassional attack of anxiety. Now, coming home again after college I am starting to be overtaken with the same kind of patterns of thought. They are not as complusive at the moment...but I still feel like (at least once or twice every week) there is somekind of prescence watching me and trying to torture me through violent dreams. Should I explore the possibility of getting assessed? The truth is it would be a relief to know exactly what is wrong in my mind, so i can put myself at ease. Then again, I might have just gone too far in diagnosing myself. Have any of you encountered anyone with a similar experience?

 
Old 07-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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Re: Early Symptoms of Paranoid Schizo or Psychosis?

Well, I'm glad to hear that it's not schizophrenia! Yeah! Being an obsessive-compulsive is a lifelong diagnosis, but you can get better. It is most likely that both you and I will have obsessions all of our lives, even with CBT and medications, but the important thing is that CBT helps us block our obsessions and not let them take over our lives. It certainly does sound as though we've experienced similar things related to our OCD. My heart goes out to you because the time I described to you was my rock bottom- who knew someone could hit rock bottom at 12?! Anyway, it does sound as if you've had previous OCD symptoms, so it seems to be pretty clear that this is what you probably have. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
-GatsbyLuvr1920-
P.S. I love your user name, by the way! "Folle" is one of the few words I remember from my French class!
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