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what to expect?/ what could it be?

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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what to expect?/ what could it be?

I started hallucinating voices about 3 months ago when I was living in residence at university, basically I thought that there was a camera in my room and that the other people living with me were watching me at all times. Looking back now I realize they were, just that; hallucinations. No matter how hard I try and rationalize it though, I remember clearly that everything I did was being commented on, even what I was reading about on my computer, which is preposterous, though the voices I was hearing sounded vividly real. Even back at home I was hearing them for a while, even hallucinations of my family members and friends talking on the phone to whoever was watching, being able to hear the full (one) side of a conversation about my actions. Then it started to get a lot weirder, the 'people watching me' started talking to me in my head, telepathically, according to them. I have sat and analyzed these situations and know for sure that I was hallucinating them, but still after that, I can still hear them some days.

I went to see my family doctor who performed blood tests and found I was perfectly fine, but my blood pressure was low. I'm going in sometime within a week to what she called an 'early psych ward' to be evaluated, and I was wondering what kind of tests they might do so I can be as clear and understandable as possible. I read a few **** articles and 'schizoaffective disorder' seems to me to be the case I'm dealing with, just looking for anyone who has experience or knowledge with these kinds of things to maybe clarify.

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Old 01-05-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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Re: what to expect?/ what could it be?

It definitely sounds like some sort of psychosis. For it to be schizoaffective disorder, you need to have a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. People with bipolar disorder can be psychotic (have hallucinations and delusions) during episodes of depression, mania, or both. However, once their mood returns to normal, their psychosis remits. In schizoaffective disorder, a person will have mood episodes of depression and mania, but once returning to a normal mood, the psychotic symptoms will remain. This is why it is a mixture of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Have you read descriptions of mania/depression? Do you fit those criteria during your three months of hallucinations/delusions? Paranoia, especially with persecutory themes of spying/cameras and aliens, usually are indicative of schizophrenia-type psychosis or non-mood episode schizoaffective psychosis. In psychotic depression, psychotic symptoms tend to be themed towards punishment, guilt, and death. Psychotic mania often is filled with grandiose delusions. This is called mood-congruent hallucinations/delusions, since the psychotic symptoms match the mood episode symptoms.

Since you know now that your hallucinations/delusions aren't real, the psychologists/psychiatrists will delve into that, too. Based on your description, though, it sounds like classic paranoia psychosis, rather than obsessions in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. (I have OCD, so I can explain the difference between psychotic thoughts and obsessions more, if you'd like.) They also likely will check to see if these symptoms happened naturally or as a side effect of substance/medication use. You probably will be given some psychiatric evaluation. The SCID is a very common one used, and you will be asked diagnostic questions for various disorders to tease everything out and create a general diagnostic impression.

Another clue that you are indeed suffering from a psychotic disorder is your age. You said the hallucinating period happened while you were at university. Psychotic disorders almost always begin in late adolescence/early adulthood. It is still uncertain why this is, but it's believed to be associated with how the prefrontal cortex (PFC) doesn't fully "turn on" and gain some of its advanced cognitive abilities until this time in development. Both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) have been heavily implicated in causing psychotic symptoms. I hope your evaluation goes well, and please let me know if you have any more questions.
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

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