The word “crazy” means different things to different people. A cat lady is crazy. That homeless guy on the street is crazy. Your ex girlfriend is crazy (or at least she has a personality disorder).
However, there is a much more interesting, much more dangerous form of crazy – psychosis.
I throw around the words “psychotic” and “psychosis” a lot at work, and sometimes I forget most people don’t know what those terms mean (I didn’t before going through medical school). So here I’m going to break down the concept.
When someone is psychotic it means they are experiencing one (or more) of the following symptoms:
- Hallucinations, or a sensory stimulus that isn’t there. For example, a person may see an image that isn’t there (visual hallucination) or hear voices that aren’t there (auditory hallucination).
- Delusions. A delusion is a firmly held, fixed, and false belief. Delusions can be nonbizarre, meaning that the belief is unlikely, but within the realm of possibility, such as thinking the CIA is following you. Or they can be bizarre, meaning that the belief is totally impossible, such as thinking aliens implanted a microchip in your brain (this type of delusion is characteristic of schizophrenia).
- Disordered thinking. Disordered thought is a hallmark of schizophrenia. It’s evidenced by disordered speech, such as loose associations (jumping from one unrelated topic to the next), thought blocking (stopping conversation midsentence), and “word salad” (speech that is incoherent because words are meaninglessly strung together).
The interesting thing about psychosis is that only a handful of disorders cause these symptoms, so it’s usually not too tricky to narrow down the diagnosis.
[As a side note: Psychosis is not caused by stress (although stress can bring out underlying symptoms). It is (usually) an indication of a serious mental or physical illness. Or an indication that you just did some LSD. It often requires treatment with heavy-duty antipsychotic medications.]
Here’s an overview of the most common conditions leading to psychosis.
Probably the most common cause of psychosis is the use of illicit drugs, such as marijuana, hallucinogens (LSD, acid, schrooms), or amphetamines (meth, cocaine). If you don’t experience psychotic symptoms while using hallucinogens you’re probably not getting your money’s worth.
Usually the effect wears off when the drug wears off, although I’ve seen patients who used so many drugs for so long that they have lingering psychotic symptoms even after a period of time off substances.
I see patients who are psychotic after taking drugs at the VA all the time. They go out, do some meth, and then come into the ER sure that the Mexican mafia is trying to kill them or that they’re being followed.
I had a patient who, after snorting bath salts (a new synthetic amphetamine derivative that is can be purchased at head shops), abruptly left the hotel room where he was staying because he became paranoid that people were trying to break in and kill him. He left all of his stuff behind (including wallet, ID, money) and then after wandering the city streets for a few hours wasn’t able to find the hotel, and lost all of his valuables.
Substance-induced psychosis will usually go away on it’s own once the person stops taking drugs. However, for people with lingering symptoms off drugs, a psychiatrist may prescribe antipsychotic medication as treatment.
Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features
When people get really, really depressed, they can become psychotic. This is extremely common in older adults. I had a patient at UCLA last year who was a woman in her 80s. Over a period of months prior to her hospitalization she became increasingly depressed.
As she became worse, she started to have delusional beliefs that the devil was “influencing” her.” She was convinced the devil was calling her on the phone and then hanging up once she answered. She thought the devil had bugged her house and was listening in on all of her conversations. Even in the hospital she attributed small incidents, such as not being able to find the remote, to the devil’s influence.
The psychotic symptoms in psychotic depression are congruent with the person’s depressed mood. For example, people may here voices telling them they’re a bad person, or that they should hurt themselves. They may have delusional beliefs about people trying to punish them.
Treating Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features almost always requires medication. Psychotic symptoms indicate severe depression. A psychiatrist would use both an antidepressant to treat the mood symptoms and an antipsychotic to treat the psychotic symptoms.
In older adults, we often use ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) to treat psychotic depression because it’s extremely effective and has fewer side effects than medications.
Bipolar Disorder in a Manic Episode
Bipolar Disorder is characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania. Mania is characterized by a period of a persistently elevated and euphoric mood, decreased need for sleep, rapid and pressured speech, increased goal-directed activity (such as staying up all night to write “the next great American novel”) and reckless behavior, such as gambling, sexual promiscuity, or spending large sums of money on things the person can’t afford (like buying a yacht). When people are manic, they often become psychotic.
People who are manic will have mood congruent, grandiose delusions. They’ll think they’re the president of the United States. They’ll think they’re Jesus. They’ll think they have six PhDs and that they’re dating Lindsay Lohan.
We typically treat a person who is manic and psychotic with a newer generation atypical antipsychotic, such as Zyprexa, Risperdal or Abilify, plus/minus a mood stabilizer such as Lithium or Depakote.
Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophrenia (or Schizoaffective Disorder, which is Schizophrenia plus a prominent mood disorder, such as Depression or Bipolar Disorder) is a primary psychotic disorder. This means that the psychotic symptoms are a primary feature of the disorder and are not resulting from mood symptoms.
Schizophrenia is characterized by:
- Hallucinations (usually auditory hallucinations of voices)
- Disordered speech or behavior
- Negative symptoms, such as blunted affect, poverty of speech, and decreased motivation
Certain psychotic symptoms are so characteristic of schizophrenia that they are diagnostic of the disorder. These are “first rank symptoms.” They include:
- Auditory hallucinations or two voices arguing with each other.
- Auditory hallucinations of a single voice making a running commentary on the person.
- Thought withdrawal – the delusion that thoughts are being pulled out of the person’s head.
- Thought insertion – the delusion that thoughts are being put into the person’s head.
- Thought broadcasting – the delusion that other people can “hear” a person’s thoughts.
Schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong mental illness that requires ongoing treatment with antipsychotic medications.
Delusional Disorder is uncommon and difficult to treat. It is diagnosed when a person who is otherwise normal has a fixed, nonbizarre delusion that they continue to believe even in the face of evidence to the contrary. For example, a woman who becomes absolutely fixated on the idea that her husband is cheating on her, which no evidence to support it, may have delusional disorder. She’ll attribute small, insignificant things, such as seeing a door left ajar or there being less milk left in the fridge than she remembers, as evidence of her delusion.
Psychosis Secondary to a General Medical Condition
Sometimes a person has psychotic symptoms because of a physical, rather than mental illness. For example, a brain tumor pushing on the visual cortex might lead to visual hallucinations. When a patient with no past psychiatric history comes into the hospital with new-onset psychotic symptoms, we often do head imaging such as a CT or MRI to ensure there is not a tumor.
Delirium is a condition very common in medical ill people (such as patients with infections, metabolic abnormalities, or who recently had surgery) that results in confusion, disorientation, and often hallucinations or delusions. The term “ICU psychosis” (not actually a medical diagnosis) refers to the delirium that commonly occurs when a patient is in the ICU.
Just last week I had a patient who was in the hospital with a subdural hematoma from a ground-level fall. In the ICU she became confused, thinking she was in her house and accusing nursing staff of being intruders who had misplaced her furniture. After a few days her mental status cleared and she was able to go home. She joked that she was “crazy” for believing some of the things she did when she was delirious. Often we use short-term low-dose antipsychotics – most often haldol – to treat delirium.
I Bet You Didn’t Know There Was So Much to Psychosis
Next time you call that random person on the street “crazy,” I want to hear what your diagnosis is :-).
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Image by Morgaine
There are other ways of considering psychosis.
Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis
and in fact many people recover without aggressive and dangerous medications…this is unfortunately not taught or considered in medical school.
I thought this site with the suggestion of it being spiritual (zen-like) would have some insight into this. I hope that perhaps you’ll think about what you might not be learning in medical school.
Best to you…(I liked your ukulele song!!)
Hi Gianna, thanks for your comment – I think that there are times when medications are overused in psychiatry, but my perspective is that psychosis is a serious condition that there is not a great understanding of among laypeople, so that’s what I wanted to bring to attention here.
Antipsychotics are powerful medications with many side effects, but they also positively impact many people and allow them to live more functional lives.
The “zen” in zen psychiatry is meant to reflect a balanced approach, which I think means neither jumping straight to medications, nor vilifying them.
Thank you for sharing your opinion and glad you liked the ukulele song 🙂
I once believed that there were ways around resorting to medications, but as I gained more experience working as a mental health nurse, I’d have to agree with you 100% . Thank you
I agree with you. It is all guesswork and it completely denies the spiritual.
Everything in the article is true AND there are ppl who hear voices for many years who aren’t psychotic. Voices stop when concentrating for hours at a time on anything of interest. The verbiage generally doesn’t interrupt. Which I’m sure is not considered typical. And this is what is going on with me.
There are “voice hearers” who insist they aren’t mentally ill and at the same time flaunt dyed green hair, too many tattoos and otherwise go out of their way to look exactly like the ppl they claim they aren’t. At the same time probably claiming there are many who are button down conservative average etc etc. An answer for everything if you engage them. I believe them and at the same time their message is way too deliberately perverse and manipulated.
This might seem off topic but they seem to have a lot in common with the makers of thousands of fringe You Tube channels on such topics as mind control, gang stalking, chemtrails, NWO Illuminati that are supposed to be by delusionals for delusionals.
IMO, they aren’t. A joke might be made that delusionals who think of themselves as great minds of destiny or persecuted by government agents tend to think alike in trying to explain all the similar outrageous claims in their presentation and content. The videos in question do follow a pattern but relatively few are made by the mentally ill. Just the opposite.
Which means IMO most are made by well financed troll farms and are made to be intentionally laughable and ridiculous. Now why would anyone do something like that? Why also would a group of ppl claim to hear voices, not as schizophrenics or psychotics and then go out of their way to look exactly like a stereotype?
Regarding the above You Tube channels and why they are made: how about a concerted effort to degrade the Internet in general (is that too much of an unproven conspiracy theory for some?) while at the same time calling into question objective reality and facts. The people who pump them out by the thousands have enough money to make up their own reality as they go along. Which just happens to resonate a little too closely with unstated extreme right wing populist political objectives that have been mainstreamed in quite a few countries besides the US. The idea of making up your own reality, ie: science (or science denial), economics (it’s the Fed. Reserve I tell ya) conservapedia, Blood Moon endtime eschatology, financial panic fear and doom, Jade Helm invasions of Texas, Obama the Muslim, Marxist, Kenyon, repeated over and over with more right wing money than they know what to do with.
The above is directed at the young and impressionable adults who spend a lot of money on drugs, guns and ammo. But that’s hardly the only reason. Most of these videos are, as stated, made intentionally ridiculous and are described in news articles very generally as “soft news” topics when discussing the millions of rubles poured into You Tube by countries like Russia by way of RT. Videos are made to invite eyerolls and ridicule b/ c they are directed at the US government and the NSA.
(Manipulating paranoia is a Russian RT speciality particularly when they have an ex-CIA/ NSA contractor named Snowden living in their country. How’s that for incentive)
Did I say manipulating paranoia? Now why would a group calling themselves voice hearers be doing that? Why invite ridicule? Is it b/ c they don’t mind flaunting their differences and putting it ppl’s faces with photos released to the press? No, IMO, it seems to be a perverse attempt to invite ridicule just as others manufacture confusion and doubt.
Am I doing the same thing? Are my claims about YT an off topic unsupported meta conspiracy theory? Not at all.
Ninja Tzimisce says
Some actual referenced evidence might be nice here, rather than a rant about people choosing to look how they want to look and how terrible that is for mainstream society.
Ever heard of HAARP?
it exists in Alaska, and more people need to know.
Judging someone on their apprearence is ignorant. Just because someone appreciates art, music, colors does not make them psychotic, a drug user, seeker, as a matter of fact, they could be smarter and more aware then crazy doctors telling them they have this or that and giving them pills. Society today is too quick to judge people by the outer appearance. I am heavily tattooed and enjoy dying my hair different colors. You know what else I did? Donate a kidney to a complete stranger because they needed to find someone with o type blood. Im sure you wouldn’t refuse my kidney if you needed it if you noticed I had tattoos or green hair.
I know all about HAARP
Thank u 🙂
I personally have been doing zen. But I don’t know how it can help. I don’t seem to suffer these types of insanitys. Question though, what can I do to help myself, pull myself out of my head/daydreams or whatever?
I know zen keeps me focused on what’s infront of my nose.
For several years (since 2006 perhaps) iv’e seen “people” in my room they have all been friendly and haven’t stuck around for more then 5 seconds however I have had 2 which completely freaked me out and had a bad vibe to them. Anyway, recently aka about 3 days ago I have heard a voice. The first time I heard it, it was a women and she said one word but twice. No idea what that word is so don’t ask. I have also just heard a women again. However, I am trying to think about this like a normal person and perhaps my grandma is talking, well shouting in her sleep but she’s never done this before that I’m aware of and I strongly believe in sprits so I’m really not sure but then again, I also think I maybe going crazy. Any thoughts?
michael smith says
I just happened upon this, I am old and can’t do much any more.
I believe in spirits, I am an unashamed Christian. The Bible say’s God us Spirit. Jesus came in the flesh, but the Trinity is Spirit,but for the caveat that Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father in a glorified body, with His Spirit. He created man with a spirit, soul and body. Animals have a soul, but no spirit. The Angels and demon both good and evil are spirits. If you have never been saved,ie. received Christ as your Lord and Savior, I would seek out a real Christian and be Born again, and explain to them what you have been experiencing.
I hope this may help you Clare.
I honestly only agree with a few short facts on YOUR diagnosis and intake on this disorder. You should always make certain that your therory pertaines to medical facts and not only your therory.
Hi Dr Miller , I’m happy to have discovered your page .
I have been suffering from pest infestation .
Since June 2020
I have photos to prove
I have been bitten from several of these pests .
I have photos to prove & drs documents.
12/28/16 had prolapse colon surgery & a foot of my colon taken out , & anis sewed smaller so poop doesn’t fall out since 12/29/16 I haven’t been able to have a normal bowel movement due to anis Re sewed smaller or tubing in too small to go through naturally
Fed up with Dr. telling me to give it time
Found a second sergeant at Usc Keck 9/19/17 emergency prolapse surgery was done but problem of having normal bowel movement was not corrected even though I addressed severe problem asked to please fix also but he did not .
10/17 went back complaining of stomach pain, cause I could not poop ,he gave me enema, immediately received of stomach pain .
Fed up with that dr after many tests, trying to figure out problem .
Fed up in 2019
In sept 2020 approved new colon dr
At UCLA . Meanwhile
I’ve been having infestation of insects in apartment end of oct 2021 was bit by drain flie in artery of left ankle stung like venom. Legs swelled like elephants wasn’t able to walk till after thanksgiving , then it happened again I was bit about 28 days later . So my appointments were rescheduled constantly for UCLA Colorectial dr because of dealing with flie bites / swelling and severe allergic reactions .
I then had caught crusted scabies from clothes/ bedding getting infected was diagnosed from an Er visit . Then was bit by bedbugs was confirmed by dermatologist . Meanwhile I was seeing parasites coming out in stool , they started dividing and redividing . I had stool test but came out negitive I think cause I put in freezer , now I’ve done a second test waiting for results in last 2 weeks been to Er
I was under so much stress I tried meth a few times to deal with stress & pain , my blod test showed positive now the drs keep saying I was hallucinating when I wasn’t they said that cause of blood test I’m sure . I did not hallucinate bug bites , this is upsetting to me . Making me look bad .I did receive med clindamycin for a toe infection I went to another Er room a week later from pain from antibiotic clindamycin burning my stomach, they took blood and urine test then I guess it showed meth in my system but they didn’t tell me . They did not do any further testing for pain in stomach , I showed dr my parasites in photos , they discharged me . In discharge papers they talk about hallucinating when I was not I had picture to prove . How can they get away with this when I have pictures to prove bugs and parasites ?? My primary believes me
That was indeed very helpful in clearing up some things. I googled psychosis and followed the link here and got all the answers i needed.
The thing is i also used to be a tolune (in forms of glue and adhesive) adict quite recently and i have been having some sort of psychotic trauma or maybe some of the mentioned symptoms in your article such as two people arguing in my mind, some people telling me what to do and also some speech impairments such as stammering. I’m in my early 20’s and i live aboard. My parents also noticed my weird behaviour but i haven’t told them anything yet.
I’m not a medical student so i dont know anything regarding this things. So doctor, can you please help me by telling me what to do ?
I’m sorry to hear about your experience – I hesitate to give any medical advice because I haven’t met you in person, but the symptoms you’re describing sound consistent with psychosis and could be related to the glue/adhesive abuse, or could be underlying and just starting to emerge recently. Can you get yourself to see a doctor as soon as possible? Also if you think your parents would be supportive, let them know what is going on so they can help you see a professional – part of the symptoms can be that you have a hard time telling what is real and what is not, so if you have friends and family on your side it really helps. Good luck!
I was completely normal a year ago. Some idiot did all kinds of crazy stuff that just made no sense at all, pushed me around a bit. Had a gun. Threatened my family. Stalked me for a little while. Those things I know for sure. However, I was on drugs and those things scared me and I ended up in a drug induced psychosis. I used drugs a couple more times and what happened in these times, I could have sworn that it was real. That someone was going to kill me. I researched and researched about this guys affiliation and what they do to people and since I don’t know exactly what he was trying to do that night, my mind seems to be filling in the blanks. It’s getting easier, but I still can’t go anywhere alone. I don’t trust anyone anymore. I can partly think rationally, but I have a tremendous fear that everything I think is and was real. I couldn’t think rationally at all a couple months ago. There was nothing you could tell me to make me believe they weren’t going to kill me. Is this something that is ever going to go completely away?
I have similar experiences like I’m investigating deep into something and become quite invested in the belief of my delusion but you eventually just know your thoughts aren’t entirely real but for me it’s still okay that the possibility exists if that makes sense. Much like many people who believe in conspiracy theories etc etc
Don’t ask me how you learn to just rationalise like that but you do trust me 🙂 I think it best to learn most things your own way. I’d say everytime I do drugs there’s maybe a 25% chance I’ll have a delusional thought (don’t confuse that with 25% of everytime I’ve done drugs) and intensity is mostly characterised by amount and duration of consumption, even if your partying with friends or whatever those few hours of sleep rather then staying up all morning are really beneficial imo contrary to when I used to believe that sleep was for the weak hahahaha
I have never written down or recorded my delusions simply because I think it probably wouldn’t help for the most part I’d get stuck in a loop just reading them then remembering then being put back to that state, you’ll be amazed at the amount of things you let go of you’ll forget for the best! However I am forever contemplating written a book,game,story whatever loosely based around my experiences and things I’ve learnt during those times funny enough one of the symptoms in this article says that your writing the worlds best next seller or whatever it said but I mean hay a cool concept is a cool concept
Being in an abusive relationship with someone who’s psychologically abusive and has made threats is enough to make anyone paranoid. It sounds to me like you were in a very toxic relationship with someone who was capable of doing some very bad things. If he had a gun and made threats to you what you think happened might have happened in reality. Maybe it’s not the drugs that have you questioning whether the incident really happend as much as it is you’re mind trying to make sense of it all from the trauma. I’m not a Dr. but in my opinion it sounds like you could possibly have Complex PTSD and the trauma of being abused, threatened, and stalked has you constantly in fear. Sometimes it can make you distrustful of everyone because you fear what they may be capable of. With C-PTSD it can be treated. I’d try to find a good therapist you feel comfortable with to try and work through what you went through. It can be life changing. I wish you the very best and that you find healing.
Thank you says
Is there any link between childhood trauma and skizoassociativedissorder. Bc I constantly hear things, when I feel nervous I can’t tell myself its not real. Constant mood fluctuating and I only believe my predertmined thoughts about a topic.
Hey there, first I must say I love your blog. I find it quite useful yet fun to read. Though I feel I must ask you one question regarding this post… I want to ask – a) are you to some degree a “spiritual” person ? – that is a hard thing to define I would say, but let’s say you believe in something “more” or whatever, that things have purpose, there is fate etc. , cuz it seems you sort of do (calling the bolg – zenpsychiatry etc.) I wonder and must ask you- how do you know, it’s a bullshit/psychosis that some ppl have some weird believes e.g. the devil thing or so ( could be possessed …I mean are you sure, there is no such thing?) or other stuff. I mean surely some ppl are truly delusional quite obviously, but you seem to have it all too figured out, while there is a lot of unknown in the world, is there are some “forces” directing your/our lives in a “right” direction, couldn’t (maybe shouldn’t , cuz of the balance and duality) there be forces directing someone in a “wrong” direction? or just, how can you know someone hearing a voice doesn’t really hear one? Just so you know I am really very skeptical myself and I thing most ppl would be just making things up, but I wouldnt be sure I could say it in 100% of the cases. I just wanted to know your opinion on paranormal. thx
Hi Sandra, I would consider myself a spiritual person, but in the sense that I like to think about bigger questions and meaning and purpose, not because I believe in paranormal activity. That being said many people do believe in this type of thing, and I have no problem with this and respect their right to have their beliefs.
I would say this is different that psychosis. When someone has a psychotic disorder, by definition their beliefs are impairing and distressing them. The patient I treated who thought the devil was plotting against her was very sick and very troubled by those thoughts.
Danielle Cordrey says
My fiancé has a hx of bi-polar dx and has been using meth. He records me (audio) on a daily basis and has been for 7-8 months now and recently left me because he constantly says he hears me talking to other guys and sneaking them in the house! I swear on everything that none of this is happening! What can I do ? I love him with all my heart! But he hurts me almost daily with this and always moves his things back into his ex wife’s house.
Hi Elana:) I been trying to get answers for 8months now.. And I want to Thank U for what u Do..
I am 28, was in a 8yr relationship, married 4yrs w a baby boy.. I had no idea my hasband was using crystal meth.. In Dec 2012 he started acting up, acusing me of cheating w my sisters husband, saying He Knows I been sleeping with his friends, and he even said our baby boy told him he had Two daddies which made him ask me If our son was his.. I was heartbroken/upset didn’t undestand I just wanted him Out..
He did leave starting this 2013 year- my sister told me he was on that stuff And I was soo Blind to see..
I been reading on google trying to understand what I did wrong Or if I’m the one going crazy..
It’s him!! Not me.. I didn’t Do anything wrong but love him.. He is sycotic I guess.. The first two months he left he didn’t look for baby we had no contact Then He started showing up 2months later.. Why?! Because He Took a DNA test because he doubted our baby.. And still in shock this happened to me..
It has been really hard But now I understand what’s happening.. I just have to learn to accept what happen and know I did nothing wrong.. I have to stay strong for my baby..
Thank U soo much for what U do.. U helped me soo much.. I was going crazy.. All I hear from family is just ignore him But they don’t know What it is to have been In Love Then its all Over.. He now tells me how much he hates me & regrets marrying me And til now 8months later he still believes that all I ever did was CHeat all these year with so many people and in front of our baby!!! I tried it all but I can’t do this anymore… He has court on Sept 4th & he’s been “clean”.. But still same person that hates me..:(
Hi Esmerelda, thank you for your comment, and I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through with your husband. Yes, crystal meth can definitely cause psychosis, especially paranoia.
Hi dr I have a friendd that does Crystal meth as well. And idk for sure but I think he going crazy. But at the same time what he is saying kinda Makes sense. He said ppl are intentionally twitching banging slowing down right beside him in there car and etc to make him think there after him another words they know he is a meth user so there trying to trigger him into flipping out and they are going to make it seem like they don’t have any idea what hes talking about. Now I’ve personally witnessed similar acts by ppl to trip someone out but he is saying the whole city is and just the other day he said he went to the mall and everyone was doing it as well. I don’t see how that many people could do that. He made it seem like they had a big group meeting to intentionally mess with him if they see him….could they really be messing with him that much?? Do you think there is any truth to it?? I personally witnessed two little kids follow a meth user to a bathroom and start wispering and knocking and right before he came out they left to make it seem like he was delusional…that is the only reason I find it possible he might be onto something. What do you think?
There would be a very good reason to “trip” a person out. To make that individual appear discredited. If that individual knew something that they were not supposed to know about a type of criminal activity. The criminals would have a very good reason to follow that person and make them appear to be completely insane.
Happy I seen this as this is kind of my delusion, nowadays even if I’m having my delusion I’m rationalising instantly it’s not real it’s hard to explain kinda like split personality active at same time in a sense idk just spitballing here but for whatever reason unknown to me I have witnessed similar experiences, personally I admitted myself to Emergency idk why it’s far more stress free to get antipsychotics from a doctor but I was full psychotic for at least 24hrs at this point few hallucinations here or there and the delusions, the ER is literally hell especially in Melbourne hospitals always loud long wait people being prioritised over you because you know how to keep your shit together even though your dying inside hahahaha it’s hard to sit around and almost certainly in that situation my symptoms rapid increase in intensity over the spar of 2 hours always and only at the hospitals emergency rooms, I often had the belief we are all connected which immsure is true in a way but I always assumed some sort of network or AI gift we had in us for the soul purpose of helping us and those of us who are sick whether it be physical or mental have a closer bond , I could here a baby crying as it got closer and closer to me he/she would scream louder and louder it was becoming unbearable, the lady (whose first language was of an Asian heritage) sat next to me as the baby was screaming obviously sick or in pain for sometime and reasons unknown to me I was as still as a stone the whole my head lifted up and slowly my eyes began looking for then ceiling as the closer I got to looking st the next floor November I began seeing red and blue flashes only on the top side of my vision the closer I got to the ceiling the baby screamed and cried louder and it just kept growing as did my hallucinations of the emergency lights flashing, as I reached the ceiling the lady moved the baby to the other side of the room the second she rose from her seat I looked forward again at reception my hallucinations quickly reduced to no hallucinations and the child was still crying but far more calm then 5 seconds ago. Remember I was psychotic there isn’t meant to be anything to learn from that experience but te I am often reminded of the same very concept through various other experiences. It just makes you wonder doesn’t it haha I hate not knowing the answers to things.
P.S I used to be able to stare at paintings or pictures and make them become alive like a gif On loop when I was a kid haven’t done it since then when I was still in the cot
I’m going through the same thing he may still be using drugs and they really believe all their lies.
Yes he still belives all his lies, he says he has videos & that God has comfirmed it all to him.. All Lies! Nothing I say helps- he just says He Knows its all real.. Its been 1yr now and no change.. He says he’s been clean but I doubt it.. He lost it & I hope one day this goes away & he realizes he lost it all..
As a neurobiology psfoesror at my university pointed out to a friend concerned about marijuana and psychosis links (not me, I was more of a useless liberal arts type), marijuana use has increased 30 fold since 1960. If there was any causal link between marijuana and schizophrenia, then the schizophrenic percentage of the population should have increased almost as much, or at least increase at all. It hasn’t.
Hi! Any change on those made up lies.. ? It’s been 2 years on this side,, no change.. delusional disorder is bad.. those crazy thoughts are all the same, hears & continues to believe people are hiding..
I was randomly reading as in most nights, your comment stuck out.
Dont you think it would be wise to get yourself far as possible from that guy?
If hes gets delusional enough? Hes gonna kill you.
Im not a doctor or anything but i find many intelligent females and times do the most illogical things with unsound reasoning, anecdotal.
Get you and the baby away, counsel him over the phone if u feel guilty. Your not crazy, but spending alot of time with a crazy person can make you feel that way.
You have fully characterized my dreams, Dr. Miller.
Fortunately not ((yet?)!) my waking life.
Each day their connection is better known.
Ha! Our dream life is a bit psychotic, isn’t it?
My problem is a bit complicated. Last year around this time, I started to lose focus in studies and after two weeks I went ‘crazy’. The psychiatrist diagnosed me with drug induced psychosis except the thing is I am completely convinced that I didn’t do drugs. I am a smoker but that’s it. I don’t smoke weed or drink alcohol or anything like that. The issue with 21st century is that everyone self diagnoses themselves and doing just that I studied a report that said that even tobacco can cause psychosis. The doctors gave me Haloperidol and Procyclidine for treatment. Next thing you know, I was cured of what ailed me in about six months. All was well till now. My parents had taken me out of college for a year and now that I am rejoining it, I feel like the psychosis is coming back again. Is it just anxiety or is it for real?
If you were psychotic you will not know. I dont care what doctors believe they are wrong.
The point you are concerned with pychosis proves to me you are not psychotic.
You are over worked and stressed. Forget your goals refocus on your health. Dont think of accomplishments and dream. Just take a good break from it all for as long as it takes. If you cant afford it, work out a way to minimise cost or earn cash just enough then take a break. Doesnt matter how long, just long enough to learn to enjoy life again not worry about it.
You need to do some serious research. It’s a myth that a neurodivergent person can’t know they’re ND. It’s called insight and many people who deal with delusions and psychosis (like myself) have it to varying degrees.
I have psychotic symptoms and believe I am becoming psychotic. My doctors have always told me I have a lot of insight, because I can have delusions but use Socratic questioning on myself to know intellectually that my delusions aren’t real. I also know how to behave by using intellect, even when I’m quasi-psychotic. It is absolutely horrific to live like this.
You remind me of my ex gf .
In fact , now that read all of this , I realize that I’ve dated plenty of psycho chicks .
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sarah jones says
Hi, I am a mental health nurse in training and although I practice in the UK and I get the feeling that this is written in the US, I really enjoyed it. Thank you!
Hsnnah Brockell says
My name is Hannah Brockell. I’am 14 and I live in McGehee,AR. I love your articles, mostly because I want to be a phycologists. I’am hereditary to paranoid skitzaphrinia, or how ever you spell it. I keep seeing symptoms in myself and my family. I’am scared I’m going crazy!! I also have special abilities! I’am what you might perfer to as a “medium”. I can see spirits and holy ghosts, which makes me feel even more crazy! My mother and brother are also “mediums”. I’am at an age wherethe spirits like to “toy” with me! They get in my head and tell me things. When I was young, I stayed with my dad. His house was a very bad house. A lot of people were killed in that house! The spirits in the house, including a little girl about 6 years old, would show me things and scare me! They would show me how they died! They would ask me to do things and I would get scared and wouldn’t go see my dad anymore! Finally my mom showed me how to get them to leave me alone by saying “in the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave”, and they would leave me alone! I just really Need someone to talk to to make sure I’m not going crazy!
Relax, you are not alone. You know what? Everybody is crazy on some level. Some are just good at hiding it and some are not. The first diagnosis of being sane is that a person accepts the possibility of being crazy. A crazy person never accepts that he is mad. Now about those entities that disturb you, first question you need to ask yourself is that did you or did you not do drugs or alcohol? If you did, then please don’t do them again till you’re older (if you want to do them at all that is). If you keep yourself clean at all times and do what your mom told you to do ,then you’ll be fine. Any more problems regarding this feel free to contact.
p.s. Don’t go telling it to everybody that you have “special abilities” because not all people will be sympathetic. Some may even freak out and throw you in a psych ward.
This is not realistic. I wont be nice because unlike popular belief society will be cruel to you in one way or form. You have been warned.
You are 1 naive? 2 in seek of attention? Or 3 actually require help?
Im leaning on 3.
Your social environment is not fostering a healthy mental environment. You need to speak to at least a counsellor.
I dont believe your images are real, and i will probably have the majority of schooled individuals on my side, the odds of ppl who might conisider your stories will not be ones with a higher educated background. Dont believe? Do a quick survey of who you know and what they have achieved?
I want to be harsh to you, because what you described is not normal and the sooner you address it you will have a btter chance of of attaining a better life.
Jesus words do not encourage that form of superpower you encline to possess.
You are 14, i hope you are strong enough to seek assistance even if against your parents religious customs.
Theres much at stake, its you im concerned for, your only 14.
I got sicker and sicker because I prayed constantly and thought I could heal myself by doing this. I’m 34 now and the reason I’m so sick is because I didn’t get the help I needed when it started happening at 15 years old. Get the help you need so you can live a full life.
I think i am in the early stages of psychosis. I have an implanted heart monitor due to cardiac problems. I worry that the monitor also transmits information in my head. I know i am not important enough for anyone to care about what is in my head, but sometimes i feel like i should cut the monitor out. I am afraid to tell my psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, cardiologist, or family doctor because i fear losing my kids or being hospitalized. I am also being treated for depression, ptsd, tourette disorder, various cardiac problems. Can you tell me how to handle this on my own ?
Hi Kathy, please tell your doctor asap and get to a psychiatrist! It’s not something you can handle on your own. It is possible that you would be hospitalized, but the fact that you sought help would not make you lose your children. There are many people with mental illness who have it under control and are excellent parents. But if you try to treat yourself on your own – it won’t work and you will be in a much worse place!
Kathy Jordan says
Thank youfor your help and encouragement. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow and will try to tell her.
My name is Lacey I’m 16 um to be honest I don’t know what I’m doing. My mom hasn’t been sleeping she got sick and then today she called the cops because she saw someone in the house then she told me that it was my dad with a woman and she started say that it was him the cops didn’t find anything she has been praying she hasn’t sleep in 5 days and I’m worried for my mom she tells me that there cameras and that why she is whispering and stuff I’m scared because my mom is in her 40’s. I took my siblings to my room but then she told me to come back my father is working . He doesn’t come back until 7 am and she tells that I called the cops to get her and that I’m recording what she is saying. I’m worried for her. She thinks I’m going to call the cops on her I’m honestly worried
Your mum needs help lacey. Her actions are early signs of odd behaviour which usually follow on to something worst
As a young person i feel for you, and you sound very strong and bright to write with your story.
Your mum will need you, the roles are reversed in a situation like this. Your mum has been strong for you raising you and surviving in this world. It is not easy for a single person to survive with young children.
When a person breaks down due to mental illness there is something there that they have accustomed to in the past, that makes them to fight it, even not knowing it? Like denial, or shrugging it off.
Im a strong believe of addressing the problem early on to cease it escalating.
Your roles will be reversed you will have to look over your mother and logically with sound reason and advice seek help in the best possible manner.
For you to write yhe comment above suggests to me, your problems are real and it would be wise to seek adults eg school leaders, doctors? Or who ever who could bring appropriate assistance for you and your mum.
Ashley Sansone says
Hi I am 21. A friend of mine thinks she may be psychotic or influenced in her life negatively because of something terrible she has done. She thinks she is being punished in life like having things she is given taken away from her because of this thing she has done and can no longer have emotion. For example she got two jobs in a matter of a week but she feels she doesn’t have the same work ethic in order to uphold these jobs so she will not perform the way she used to be Able before and that she will be fired for poor performance. Is she psychotic and shall she seek help?
Victoria Schultz says
I am 13, going to be fourteen in a little more than a week. I’m being treated for severe anxiety and moderate depression. People constantly tell me they think I’m OCD and that I’m bipolar because of the way I live my life. I do not believe I am any of those things. I do know I’m a germaphobic and I constantly do things in sets of two and I over clean everything… Some times I’m happy and giddy and an hour latef something small will tick me off and I’m the worst person to be around. Lately I’ve felt people watching me, following me, talking about me, and recording me. My grandma says no one is, but I’m serious someone is out for me. I’m NOT crazy but everyone insists that I’m odd and do things in illogical order. Can someone tell me that I’m not crazy so I have proof that the people who tell me to do things are real?
Victoria you not crazy i know because im going through the same thing as you and im also 14 and im haveing the same problems as you but im also have trouble understanding it all also but im sure its cause by the anxiety and mental stress disorder or in other word lots of stress anxiety and depression
I am 29 years old and dealt with hearing voices off and on for the past 7 or 8 years. I had my first psychotic episodes after using drugs. I was addicted to meth in my late teens and early 20s. I then got clean and turned my life completely around. I took medication for many years but then decided I wanted to get off them to have a baby. One of the meds I was prescribed was Adderall, once stopping the Adderall all my symptoms quickly dissapated and I quit my mood stabilizer, anxiety med and antipsychotic and felt better than I had ever felt, no dellusions or voices at al. I went on to have a beautiful healthy 9 lb baby. But since giving birth and things starred to come back. I don’t understand why this is happening I’ve not used anything or taken any medications. My daughter is now 3 months old and I work full time and function at a high level but spend my time in the bathroom at work whispering to my voices and most my car rides alone are spent having some sort of psychotic rant to the dashboard. It’s humiliating to me, even though most people have no idea I’m suffering with this. My husband deals with my occasional “episode” but I fear as my child gets older she will notice my odd behavior. I also don’t want to miss out on precious moments with her by being swept away in some fantasy. I tried to take one of my old a antipsychotics recently while plagued by voices and barely made it to work the next day due to exhaustion. Do I go back on Meds and possibly be voice free but gain weight and function poorly or continue to suffer with the insanity but get everything accomplished I need to each day as a working mother? Both options are not ideal.
I have been experiencing some strange things lately and I have some questions. I’m 34, female, with a history of major depression and anxiety diagnosed when I was around 22.
I’ve had some traumatic experiences in the past three years, and I’m concerned that the stress is triggering some severe mental illness. Specifically, I’ve been experiencing visual hallucinations and intense paranoia and delusions, which has never happened to me before. This combined with some other day to day difficulties is making me concerned about schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.
I guess my main question is this: is a delusion still a delusion if you know it’s a delusion? If I never actually lose touch with reality, could it be considered psychosis? My delusions are strong enough that I believe them, and the visual hallucinations are undeniable, frightening, and real, but I’m always able to understand that they’re not REALLY real, if that makes sense.
Thanks for reading… Any insight you could offer would be great.
Well I am not a Dr. But as an ex meth addict and someone who continues to suffer the effects from meth induced pychosis. I can tell you his dilutions are common they are not real. When he tells you of these stories they may seem believable only because he believes them. So he is not lying he believes this to be true so it could possibly seem convincing.
Hi, I know this post handled psychosis, but I don’t know where else to ask for help. I know I’m not crazy, because I can idetiffy what is reality and what is not. But since I was very little (I don’t realy know how to explain it), a movie continuesly played in my head. Its not a movie I watched, its a movie I made myself from my own imagination. I’ve created the caractars and I myself played the leadrole. When that movie was done, I make up another one. Sometimes we have weird powers, other times we are just normal people. I have a very vivid imagination, and I write very interesting stories. Usually I could just put the movie on pause when I must talk or do something else, but I have gotten used to it so much I can’t live without it. I can’t even study for school examinations (I’m 14). Usually my concentration was so good, somebody must tap me before I notice them. Lately I have problems sleeping, for a week I don’t sleep well, than I sleep normally again, etc. I suffer of deppression, which level of deppression I have I don’t know. I can control it sometimes, but mostly not. It effects my eating a lot, like I ate three times as much as my father (he is a very active farmer) and brother for more than a week and it still happens. Before eating to much, I ate to little. One week, when my mother and father was destracted with getting our house and new farm ready, I ate only an egg and an apple for the whole week (but that wasmore connected to my selfesteem issues). I am a huge introvert, altough I talk like a LOT when I’m with my best friends, which is only three.This year is the second year I have been doing homescholing and we moved this year, so now I don’t have any. I go through intervals, like for days I don’t talk to anybody, than later everybody wishes I would just shut up. I hate being with strange people, even although I know their names and personality. I than stress so much I can’t talk to them, so I only smile and nodd. Recently I can’t handle the pressure anymore and stopped doing sport and any other activity wich includes social contact, which is serious because my whole life is laing ahead of me with lot of people in it. The reason I’m so shy (I never told ANYONE this before), is that I’m to the death to afraid I will dissapoint them. I’m a jack of all trades, I can do almost everything except sing but get bored easily. I admit I have seriously self esteem issues but I am working on it. The movie playing in my head was usually to help me escape, but now that is all I want to do. Yesterday it was all I did while laying in my bed. Its like I made up my own world and I can’t stop, but I know its not reality, although I have made some slips, like I was thinking of buying a better camera with the money I spared, than I imagined myself taking pictures with it. All the usual other characters was there (like Linda, Cliff etc.) it wasn’t like normal daydreaming. Than I called it my camera more than once in my parent’s conversations. Recently I hve become obsessive with germs, although not a lot (I think it is because I can’t handle hospitals. I’m really ‘touchy’ about veins, I once passed out in class when I still was in school just because my teacher showed us how to find out if someone’s heart is still beating and I have fainted more than once while I was visiting the docter). But the real point is the movie thing. I can’t stop although I have tried many strategies. I know it is not craziness, but I can’t figure out where else to ask for help. My mother didn’tunderstand when I tried to tell her about it and thought I was bragging,even although I hated bragging as much as I hate receiving a price or draw attention to myself. Can somebody please offer advice? ( Sorry if my english has a lot of errors, I’m not english speaking).
Hi there, I just saw your comment and I’m sorry that you are struggling. I hesitate to offer specific advice because I haven’t met you in person, and you definitely need to see a psychiatrist and therapist in person to discuss these issues, but I will add that some of what you describe is more consistent with anxiety than psychosis. Sometimes people with obsessive compulsive disorder have intrusive strange thoughts that they know are strange and bother them, rather than someone who has a psychotic problem and may believe their thoughts. Know that you are not alone and I have spoken to many other patients who describe what you are describing. Look up obsessive compulsive disorder and see if that resonates with you, and try to get a referral to see a psychiatrist in person. I hope this helps!
Thank you, very much! I have related to most of the symptons of obsessive compulsive disorder, and I have better control over it now, though not so much but baby steps, so thank you. But there is another problem I would like your opinion on. These days, quite recently really, I have this fear of being around people. Usually I was very shy, like I would start shivering from nervousness (just my hands). But now I don’t want to go out or be seen in the public, my whole body starts shivering and I’ll get dizzy and see black spots in my eyes. I am afraid of people like most people are afraid of snakes or crocodiles, I can’t even speak with my aunt. Again, thank you for previous advice!
Secret, it sounds a lot like my recent history of coming off down a cocktail of crap drugs that were so unhealthy and expensive and were killing me slowly and drugging me to death. Since the age of 7 I’d been diagnosed with combo of Tourette Syndrome, ADD, OCD, possibly anxiety, etc. I have a very creative and jackass of all trades mind as well. I’m not terribly organized but I have great focus and get things done really well now. but now it’s as though my tourettes is almost gone and the OCD has returned slightly and now I’m super hyper, talkative and anxious/stressed. I’ve never struggled with drug abuse other than very occasional weed usage after college and it never caused me to fail a piss test. But it’s as though everyone thinks I’m nuttier than a spring hare, and no wonder. I have to talk to myself constantly (I don’t hear voices, but I have to do so to try to figure things out and keep my ADD in check, like biofeedback or what have you), I dropped so much weight so quickly after tapering off risperidone last year that people said they were worried, but they didn’t believe me when I told them…they ran right to my RN of a mother and asked again and again whether I was using hard drugs or had cancer… I damn near quit tobacco usage and alcohol and I cannot meet my goals if I cannot make enough money quickly enough to get my own vehicle in my name so I can take the first vacation on my own in over 10-12 years that didn’t involve someone in my family dying or having to ride with my mom’s mouth in the car all that way…I’ve always worried too much over other’s feelings and I’m very kindhearted and empathic or I always was and I’ve had a good strong family life but now I feel as though I’ve been wronged so much in the past by these drugs the docs had me on….Haldol, Orap, Risperidone, Tegretol, Prozac….the last three I’d been on all at once for several years until I quit the prozac myself…I don’t think that these drugs were ever designed for super long term use in average anxiety ridden people or movement disorder types…it angers me and it shows and now that I’m so thin and my personality is slightly different others fear me and I don’t like that…but how can I function like this if I cannot meet my goals? I’ve been setting them for years and now I still cannot meet them…no money to set aside for long when the economy is sh*t and it is killing me inside knowing that I’m working toward a better future for myself but my phone has been recently hacked, my so called friends no longer trust me or want to be around me, and I feel like I’m being talked about behind my back and I admit that it is possible that I’m crazy but isn’t that a good litmus test to indicate I’m not? It angers me that my doctor would have done this…just stop seeing me once I couldn’t afford to pay out of network and I’d asked her to transfer me to another doc…this lady must be nuts herself…she sounded drugged out of her mind half the time while writing my prescriptions…mindlessly calm sounding…and I know that this could have just been her voice or whatever but why would this be considered ok? I’ve never suffered from psychosis, panic attacks or anything like this before and certainly not this level of my mind going in circles, hyperactivity, mood swings etc…I don’t know how to possibly meet my goals and it irks me so badly…I just keep telling myself that not everybody hates me and I know they don’t it’s just odd how things keep happening again and again…repeatedly, for no apparent reason…am I the only person who sees how wrong and backward this is? Risperidone withdrawals in some patients have been known to cause serious long lasting or lifelong side effects…also others of these drugs build neural pathways and destroy proper lymph, hepatic and metabolic function…and nobody seems willing to listen…they just assume I’ve been using drugs or that I’m nuts…the only illicit drug I’ve ever used was weed or hash…and definitely not going to now that I’m taking trade school classes…my mind races and due to the nature of both of my jobs and my night class schedules I end up on my feet doing ridiculous amounts of labor that doesn’t even match the job description half the time and where the morning job doesn’t even offer any form of PPE other than vinyl gloves for cleaning the bathrooms…no dust masks, huge amounts of dust…once I realized that I’d taken too much responsibility on myself too quickly and for the wrong people (my family, who clearly don’t care to just tell others the truth, who always try to people please and act like I’m an embarassment….since childhood they’ve been that way….it’s their belief system)…I don’t know what to do to fix this other than drink myself to sleep every night (beer seems to help), do deep breathing all the time (don’t have time) eat more and try to use herbs like valerian or skullcap…I know one thing…you couldn’t pay me enough to take another doctor’s advice on pills ever again in my lifetime unless it’s something that doesn’t need to be taken every single day…and only if it doesn’t make me zombified, fat and sleepy. Which is the whole reason I’ve adapted this way. I had to or I’d have never gotten anywhere for anyone and never been able to help my own folks and not feel like a burden. that’s why folks no longer trust doctors in an era where literally everyone around here fears nutty people and fears retribution for average human behavior and everything is EMR (medical records) based and the state can come and just disappear you for literally any reason any time… i have a lot of empathy for broken people now more than I ever had…and almost none for those who claim to care while prodding my temper nonstop (and yes, they do…like it’s some kind of test). I don’t know why this is even necessary for me to look this up because I know what I know and why I know it and it’s because i’ve already researched the hell out of these things…please advise. Thx.
Hi i am 34 yrs old and iget afraid of hearing singing songs and sound instrument and i run away from there what should i do
It made me feel bad when the beginning of the article started off by saying psychosis is crazy and that and along with the jokes in the article felt insensitive to people with mental illness. Like myself. When all I wanted to do was learn and i already dont like feeling the stigma of having a mental illness. So this article makes it worse. So please make this article more sensitve.
Hi Joseph, I’m very sorry this article came across as insensitive — that definitely wasn’t my intention. I wrote this article many years ago when I was early in my psychiatry training, and my perspective now would be less focused on facts and more focused on the patient’s experience. Please don’t let anyone, including me, let you feel bad for struggling with mental illness or anything else. Take care and I wish you the best!
Can amphetamine psychosis cause a wife to believe she hasn’t been in love with her husband for two years? I ask this because my wife has been using for about 8 months and suddenly out of nowhere believes she is not in love with me, and hasn’t been for two years. However two years ago she begged me to come back to her after a breakup, and less than a week before saying this she was professing to others as to how much she loved me. She now accuses me of being defensive any time I answer a question. Would her getting clean help?
Sommer Cleveland says
Hello. I am positive I have some form of psychosis. I see and hear things that sometimes even make me break down crying in public. I always find someway to hide it but it’s getting worse. I have no idea how to tell my parents. The main moods that I experience are Anger and Extreme Depression. I lock myself in my room because i’m afriad of hurting my family or bursting into sudden tears. The things i see are very frightening. Getting into car crashes, breaking all my bones, turning into a monster. I SEE and FEEL it and i even hear it, theres a tingle or a numb feeling when it happens. I always have terrible headaches and uncontrollable shivering when it happens. Please help me. Im going to be 14 in a couple weeks.
Sommer Cleveland says
I’m truly scared. I really don’t want to hurt myself or have any hallucinations on my birthday.
Can amphetamine psychosis cause a wife to believe she hasn’t been in love with her husband for two years? I ask this because my wife has been using for about 8 months and suddenly out of nowhere believes she is not in love with me, and hasn’t been for two years. However two years ago she begged me to come back to her after a breakup, and less than a week before saying this she was professing to others as to how much she loved me. She now accuses me of being defensive any time I answer a question. Would her getting clean help?
Please help my wife is hearing voices at night she is happy 1 min and the next she is acting crazy she thinks I am cheating on her land ant night she gets up saying where is she I’ll say what are you talking about she will say I can here her john I here tall talking . She has started to use a lot of drugs and not telling me about it. Staying up very late and leaving in the middle of the night
I know you can’t diagnose over the computer and I am seeing a psychiatrist but they are saying I have major depressive disorder with psychotic features. I used to be depressed because of a chronic illness but that resolved in 2010. I have not been depressed since then and I function normally, although I’m a little sloppy. The last year I have been on Wellbutrin for smoking cessation. It helped me feel more energetic, which I needed. I take a blood pressure medicine that makes me tired. Out of the blue I started seeing things that aren’t there. Not every day, nothing scary, often when waking up. I feel good, I function. I work from home, I help my husband run a business, I don’t enjoy working with the public but I go to events and work usually at least once a week. I think I am fine and not depressed. The reason this concerns me so much is that these hallucinations (visual only) I am afraid could be something wrong in my brain but I feel like no one is listening. I’ve asked my husband and kids and they say I am acting normal, not psychotic or like I have a mental disorder.The medicine makes me calm but actually has increased my hallucinations. I don’t mind the medicine but I would hate to find out I had another disorder and the medicine was bad for it. I looked it up and there can be other causes, such as tumors or parasites or something. My grandfather died of a brain tumor in ’77. Please tell me what I can say to get doctors to listen to me and do further testing. Thanks!
I WAS TAKING A DIET PILL ONE DAY I GOT ALOT OF HEARTBURN SO I TOOK ALOT OF TUMS THAT DAY I SAW THINGS AND PEOPLE THAT WERE NOT REAL IT FREAKED ME OUT SO I GOOGLE THE DIET PILL AND I FOUND OUT THAT IF YOU TAKE THEM WITH CALCIUM IT CAUSED HULUSINATION THISHAPPENED TO ME ONES THE DAY I TOOK THE DIET PILL WITH THE TOMS WISH IS CALCIUM I FORGOT THE NAME OF THE DIET PILL BUT IT WAS WITH PRESCRIPTION MABY ALOT OF YOU ARE MIXING MEDS AND THATS THE PROBLEM PS SORRY ABOUT THE CAP MY LAPTOP IS BROKEN GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU
Strange as it may seem undergoing a radical paradigm shift in terms of the ‘sense of self’ could completely undermine our notions about psychotic pathology and outcomes. While there are no controlled trials out there, I am pretty certain that adopting a ‘selfless’ construct could really undermine the basic mechanisms that lead to psychopathology!
Nobody believes me when I say I believe I’m psychotic. I believe I am extremely close to becoming psychotic but I am able to look normal on the outside because I’ve learned to act in a certain way over the past 19 years I’ve been living with this. Lately I’ve felt extremely detached from my body — as if my arms and legs do not belong to me. I am extremely irritable and can feel okay one minute then snap the next — and begin shaking and believe people around me can tell how I am feeling — but everyone keeps telling me I’m acting fine and don’t appear as if anything is wrong. Sometimes it feels difficult to find simple words and I call people by the wrong names all the time. I feel very confused and dizzy. I do not feel real at all. I have a lot of trauma from my past and I’ve been in and out of mental hospitals over a dozen times, seen multiple therapists over the past 10+ years, tried tons of medications. I don’t know what to do anymore. I wish people took me seriously when I told them how bad this is. Because I can give the appearance of being “normal” it seems like everyone thinks I am!
I can relate a great deal. In fact, I am here reading this tonight because I am having a particularly bad night. No one seems to take me seriously when I suggest I need real, intensive help because I am so good at putting up a good front when in reality, I feel a lot of what you described. What stands out to me most is the confused and dizzy feeling. I have not encountered anyone else that feels that way.
Even when i want help, I’m too scared and ashamed to explain everything i experience. Its very frustrating. Often, My body does not feel like my own, I feel I am not real or the world is not real or both. I am moody the same way, fine and then suddenly irrationally annoyed or angered by something. I have arguments in my head with people and I can’t seem to stop it. My counselor asks me to track when these things happen but I usually lose a lot of my self awareness and situational awareness. I feel like at any moment, I’m going to cease to exist. Other times I am sure there is something out there that is going to get me but I can’t discuss that experience because it makes it so much worse.
And at this moment, the question I have is, how is anxiety related to psychosis? Because I do have panic attacks, such as tonight, but taking my emergency medication helps a lot to suppress the majority of the symptoms I described above. Not totally effective, but enough that I can talk myself through it until I feel safe again. Every panic attack I’d not like this though. Some are just normal run-of-the-mill panic attacks.
Thoughts anyone? Thanks in advance
Dr. Radcliffe says
Bipolar. You have every symptom. It’s not easily diagnosed.
Hi dr, when i was in my early 20’s i had a terrible fear of the devil, so much so that i couldnt get up to the toilet in case he appeared. At the time i knew it was irrational but the thoughts where still there. Over the years, now and then i have had similar fears of the dark but usually been worried a person that i know thats died may appear, as i said i know its irrational at the time but the thoughts and fear are still there.
I am currently seeing a psychiatrist for possible bi polar disorder. I havent told anyone about these fears. Is what ive experienced possibly psychosis? I just thought it was a phobia of the supernatural (i was raised roman catholic) should i tell my pdoc? Thankyou
hi, my name is Juliana, I’m 25 years old… I’m a transgender woman, moved from South America to the united states to live withe the man I love, i work on cam sites sometimes, i have to get sexual to get my money and as i remember i never did go to cam to have fun it was only about make money… i fell in love with him and my effort to make him feel special was giving myself sometime with only he and I… after a while he started accusing me of watching people, he gets mad all the time we talked about it because my answer every time we talk about it, its I ONLY WATCH MEN WHO PAY FOR. He accuses me of cheating, lying and deceiving him, he says that is obvious i was watching people, the most ugly moment was months ago after i recorded myself doing some make up for Halloween, i was smiling in the video laughing at my face as it was turning after the make up, i went to the bathroom which is in front of the camera to put my wig on and fix it in front of the mirror. he accused me of having a moment with an stranger in that moment, till today i just remember hurting myself every time we fight, like cutting myself, punching me with an steel bat right in my head, drinking bleach, doing the right things and not deceiving or doing such things he accuses me, maybe i don’t have access to my memory or am i simply crazy. there is any way to know if I’m psychotic or in a mental illness? and what i should do?
Christ Berrian says
Two weeks ago my son had a very bad trip and bad experience with LSD (20yrs old). Since then he has been delusional and paranoid. He is on a substance abuse ward seeking treatment and they have started giving him anti psychotics. Will he “come back” from this?
After reading all these posts for help, I know I’m solid upstairs. I think getting up early in the mornings, eating healthy exercising and reminding yourself everyone is gonna have fvcked up thoughts in there heads from time to time is key to keep rolling. This society is what forms our thought process to a large degree. I bet even the good docter has psychotic thoughts here and there, if she doesn’t she’s not from earth. Hang in and keep your heads up and remain sobar from ALL kind altering substances. Rip to the minds that couldn’t help themselves.
I can’t believe that people actually want to be crazy. They google so much info, it convinces them they are, like it is something to be happy for. I was accidentally give some of my medical records that told me the truth to my diagnosis. I was looking for some information to help me deal with this. I was in therapy but the person i was seeing is no longer there. I was on a lot of meds that made me really sick. I was looking for hope. I was lied to by my old doc, who said i was bipolar, but she actually had me diagnosed as schizophrenic. The is is no fun life. I wouldnt wish it on my worse enemy. I just dont understand why a doc would lie to a patient like that. It dont help. Makes us feel even more alone and no one to trust.
I won’t speak my mind because then I’d never shut up. I’ve had a voice in my head for as long as i can remember. I suffered with depression when i was young. Felt worthless and inferior. Through my teens and early 20’s i experimented with cannabis ecstasy and cocaine. The depression progressed into paranoid delusions. On a number of occasions i had to get away from where ever i was because the voice just wouldn’t shut up. I once left my home with just trousers on at 1 am because i was convinced my house mates wanted to harm me. It never crossed my mind i might have psychosis. I stopped all the drugs thinking this Would stop the delusions which for the most part it did. But the voice is always there putting me down Speculating on how everyone hates me and are only pretending to like me. Being of the drugs and focusing my mind on anything i could has kept me fighting against it mostly by suppressing all thoughts. Sadly no1 can stay busy all the time and the depression became self hatred. Around others i could act happy, put on a smile. Fein an interest. In private i just wanted to die. I wanted the stillness of death.
I think I’ve become selfish. I’m sick of hearing other people’s problem. I’m sick of being cut of mid sentence because some1 else has something they think is more important to say. I hate myself for feeling this way. I feel like I’m a horrible person pretending to be nice. I hate the sound of my own voice. Even I’m not interested in what I’m saying half the time. Why do i Even try.
I’m convinced the voice In my head is me.
I can’t imagine life with out it. The Thought of having psychosis for this long just doesn’t seem plausible.
I’m taking antipsychotics and antidepressants.
I hope to be fixed.
Maybe I’m just a manipulative Bastard who only ever cared about himself.
Hi, I’m thirteen years old, never in my life have I done drugs or alcohol, but I constantly feel like I’m being followed or watched, and I sometimes see or hear things that aren’t there, I have told my parents but they say I’m just paranoid, I think it’s much more. What do you think?
I was 16 im now 30…my mom scared me away from the idea of getting help.she said “well if you are seeing and hearing things there just gonna lock you up forever”, the last thing i needed was another reason to feel paranoid. So i diddent tell anyone for a long time but did to my brother eventually because my decline had become obvious and i wasent caring for him like i used to(mom left i was 12 and my dad is mentally inadequate to be a father so hell yes stress was a factor). i was shure they could hear my thoughts especially my dad i thout he was a high rank and i was his test subject. I thought what they were using to listin in was broken and thats why i could here their thoughts/voices.Like i was a project or test subject. I was afraid to think things because theyd here it. I saw ppl in windows waching me that my brother couldent see and i screwed them shut with at least 10 screws in each window. People following me so i started to carry a pocket knife and was always looking over my shoulder . I couldent be naked even in my own room for fear of being watched or recorded( before cell phone cameras.)
I even Carved “he will” into my arm as a reminder not to trust anyone.
And oh those horrible voices!!! i actually should have been committed but im happy i wasent! Within 2 .5 years the worst was over and life got pretty good. Im exreamly reziliant And as my boyfriend said”its never gone but you shure kiked its ass” and ” you’ve got an amazing perspective ”
some ruels i made myself:
I just cant be that interesting to be wached 24/7!
I talk about someone as if they are in the room (so i dont feel bad even if they hear its somehow by mistake)
For your life and the lives of others you must tell people if your thinking of planning anything dangerous
To recalibreate yourself.
Life loves to kick the shi/ out of me But i just smile and say “someone must have it worse than me.”
I hope this helps!
Hi I’m 17 years old now and I am starting to believe that I’m mentally unstable, in other words retarded. I know it sounds rediculous, but please just here me out. It didn’t all start until I was 11. Before that I had major head trauma. My head has been hit extremely bad several of times. I learned to live and except that I was just me and if you don’t like me then it’s your problem. Although, recently within about half a year my symptoms have been getting worse and worse. In the past give or take 3 weeks I’ve felt like my head is in a cloud and am very nervous and shy. I have become very antisocial. It’s gotten to the point where my emotions are off the charts. I’m either really depressed or easily agrivated. I have severe memory problems. I lose track of time and always believe someone is just using me for what I have that they can steal. Just the other day I realized that my own Mom might have taken my pills and 1,000 dollars that I had saved and stashed in my drawer. I know I’m rambling but I would just like to end this off as a serious question.
Am I psychotic or mentally challenged and how do I get help? Is there any cure for this insanity?? Can anyone relate?
Believe my wife has Delusional Disorder, or perhaps Schizophrenia. We have a son who is 11. We adopted him later in life so I am 53 and my wife is 57. After 33 years of what I perceived as a wonderful marriage she just left and filed for divorce. Completely unexpected and heart wrenching. A month before, her behavior became more and more bizarre. Below are just a few things I have observed, heard, and discovered recently in her blog where she describes these things with great confidence and belief:
I had a bad single vehicle accident and my wife told me that someone had tampered with the vehicle in an effort “kill her” and prevent her from completing the mission that God had sent her on. She said they knew that she normally shops at that time on Saturdays and we’re trying to kill her. The mission was to write a book revealing and taking revenge on all of the people and organizations that hurt her.
One day she heard a noise or sensed that someone was hiding in our house under our son’s bed and told me to check. Well there could not be anyone unless they were very tiny as the bed frame is just inches from the floor.
Sometimes I would find her sleeping in the living room with all windows open and bundled up sitting in a chair. She claimed she slept like that because the house was making her sick.
She confided in me that when entering a room where a group of people were assembled, that she had the ability to immediately read everyone’s mind, what they were thinking, and their motives or intentions the moment she walks into a room.
At night she would take our dog in another room and barricade the door with all sorts of objects.
She had me hang a handmade quilt wall covering backwards on the wall. I did not understand the significance of hanging the wall covering backwards until I read her blog as her blog states that she thinks that police have been videotaping her and our son in our home.
She started to putting a lot of kids Band-Aids and catalog clippings all over the walls to plug any pinholes in the walls that she could find. I later found tissues she had stuffed in every hole on the underside of the kitchen cabinetry.
She was very suspicious of our upstairs neighbors and convinced that someone upstairs was watching her or otherwise out to get her.
She said doctors have performed unauthorized, unethical psychological manipulation experiments on her.
She states that as a child, nine of her family members had raped her and that she reported it to her uncle, who was a police officer and that he failed to help her.
She claims that a Christian Academy we sent our son to stole his entire life and that they “attacked him from the inside out”. She wrote that she stands today with God to protect our son from the evil he can’t see.
She claims that police officers were following her at grocery stores. She described that “they” were watching her, that she can read what they are thinking, that she can feel the presence of the people watching her, that people were entering our home while she was gone because she could “feel them” in the house, and that people were watching us have sex.
She described what “they” are doing to her and our son’s life is similar to being a bug under a microscope, and that police officers from around the country have watched video of her and I having sex.
She believed that people in the parks where she walked with our son were all police officers that were observing her.
She wrote that the police across the nation have unprecedented access to her and our son and that there exist 87,600 hours of video of their lives based upon the police videoing her and my son for a period of 10 years.
She was certain that there were cameras somewhere in the home, and that “they” were living upstairs in the attic, and that “they” decided to destroy our son’s life.
Tobias Leroy says
Very interesting subject , thankyou for putting up. “Ok. Sex is fine. Sex is good. Sex is GREAT Okay, okay, we need men for sex… Do we need so many” by Sybil Adelman.
Your post gives me botch relief and grief. Over a year ago, I went through a number of mental breakdowns, all from very real problems (new job, domestic violence, toddler children, college) that drove me to the point of madness.
At my lowest, I was deathly afraid of people around me, thinking they might hurt me, even family (my biggest fear of them all was my abusive ex,) went to the ER with chest pain (later diagnosed with things like stress, chest wall pain, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation–not schizophrenia, I was terrified of that one!) over the course of 3-4 weeks, and finally ended all that mess with stopping zoloft cold turkey because of my symptoms of extreme stuffy nose, insomnia, racing thoughts, bad bad anxiety, feeling super cold (I kept insisting on how I could NEVER sleep on it and was instead told to increase it to 100mg, only after a couple xanax doses at the ER.)
Once I made it past the lowest of lowest (feeling like I was close to dying, or that my mother had died and I was seeing her ghost-she was/is alive, just being out of touch with reality) I quickly turned optimistic, euphoric almost at the thought of having “cheated” death.
In this next phase, about another 3 to 4 weeks, I thought I was special, and had angels watching over me (“angels” in the form of actual people at random places,) and that my abusive ex would stay away because of it (he stayed away because of court, LOL.) It got to the point where I thought I had these “angels” ‘talking’ to me through music videos or ads on the bus, etc. I think my come-back to reality was being suspended from school because I was so overconfident that I felt I could do no wrong as if I was invincible-mind you by this time I was off zoloft for said 3-4 weeks, which worries me till now…was I “crazy” even off the meds? I never got back on zoloft again, and to this day I don’t take anything because I was quite euphoric while on them (6 months of 50mg to 100mg,) or just severely sleep-deprived.
Slowly but surely, I regained a better grasp on reality, and realized I still had to finish college and achieve my career goals, my boss was nice not to fire me or have me committed because of my bizarre behavior, and my mother and grandmother were the real angels who took care of my toddler children while I was off in faraway land dreaming of being on Oprah or having a singer write songs for me, hehe. My point being that it took me a whole year for me to now, in 2017, to realize I was having these beliefs [not sure if I should call them paranoia and delusions or just flat out psychosis] and now that I’m doing much better, I am very much at peace. It’s humbling.
Shit still happens, my crazy ex is still around, but keeps his distance, work has become second-nature, resuming college in the fall is sure a blessing, my daughters are thriving, soon to go to school, and I no longer feel like I have a little admirer on the other side of the screen looking at me. This is what sanity feels like, and I’m much grateful for medicine. Zoloft certainly helped me with the anxiety for which it was originally prescribed, but somehow whether it was it or just all the aforementioned crap that piled up or too high dosage, I “lost” it for a good couple months. I guess I just wonder if this stuff will happen again should life happen again, like all the stressors I had in 2015. I would like to think that therapy has helped me come up with and evolve my coping skills. I just don’t want to be at that place again. Thank you for your words.
p.s. I can’t do psych nursing…just yet. I’ll stick with the ER 😀 😀 😀
Thabks for the information. Im currently being treated for anxiety, psychosis and depression. I haven’t had a clear diagnosis yet, Ive previously been diagnosed (5 years ago) with GAD and depression and panic attacks. I didn’t realize what I thought were panic attacks were hallucinations until I talked with my now psychologist and psychiatrist. Im very fearful of a diagnosis of schizophrenia to be honest as Ive got another version of myself that Ive been talking to in my head since 2014 its me but not me I always attributed it to my creative nature as I am an artist, but now theres this demon man thing following me around and they constantly fight with eachother over my worth , actions , etc… Im very worried about telling my psychiatrist because It never seemed to be a problem until Atty (the guy) showed up and I can see him but i cant its like hes invisible but I can still see him and hes constantly jumping in my face and trying to distract me and since he popped up alot of my symptoms have worsened like bad hallucinations at night ( he puts spiders in my bed and constantly reaches for my hands and feet if they arent tucked in) Im very worried Im going to have a psychotic break and im also scared to tell my husband about my two “friends” Id appreciate any advice or encougement please. I also just suffered an attempted sexual asualt from a family member who has been harrassing me for 16 years since highschool, and i have had hallucinations on and off for 6 years its very troubling now im getting this slow mo thing where i feel everything is moving faster than i am and i cant keep up. ugh
Vince Holley says
My mother has had all the signs of schizophrenia for the last 30 plus years but never appeared to be of harm to herself or others. I tried to get her to voluntarily get help and refused to speak to the doctor once I got her to the office and she realized why she was there. She is turning 80 now and still thinks all the same things as 30 years ago. Hearing voices, the mafia is watching her, a doctor planted a listening device in her body. What really can I do to help???
um hi this is my first post. i am in middle school, and i have always been an otaku (anime/ manga lover). since 2015, though, there was this new video game selling on the 3ds. maybe you’ve heard of it? yo-kai watch? yeah. THAT game. for those of you that don’t know it, it’s about this kid who can see japanese ghosts called yo-kai using a special watch. for those of you that do know it, good. my problem is, i think it’s starting to change me. i am christian/mormon whichever one it is, and i don’t believe in ghosts. not entirely, anyway. but lately… i feel like i’m starting to go crazy. i’m starting to talk to myself. not like just thinking out loud, but actually having conversations with myself. like… i’m actually talking to someone. like some random person, or thing, is actually listening to me. and sometimes the other side of me responds. i KNOW it’s not a yo-kai, but i feel like SOMETHING is listening to me. it also has made me like the concept of “ghosts.” but here’s my other problem. i’ve been… hearing things. sometimes voices, sometimes just totally random things. and last summer, i had a really weird experience with voices. see, my family was on a cruise ship (we’re not rich though). the only kid show they had on the tv was cartoon network. and as some might know, cartoon network shows adult cartoons late at night. so at 12:00 i was laying in bed, still awake, when i heard it. i heard a tv somewhere playing “teen titans go.” but it wasn’t on late at night. i lifted my head off my pillow to see if the tv was on, but it wasn’t. and as soon as i lifted my head up, the voices stopped. but when i put it back down again, i heard them again. see, i really love yo-kai watch. but it’s starting to make me think i’m going insane. it may just be my ADD, but i feel like there’s more to the story. but there isn’t! i’m afraid of talking to my parents because i tried to tell about the voices. they said i was exaggerating! also, my mom doesn’t know i’m writing this. i also have been hallucinating a bit. but it’s more like it happens at night, the sleepy hallucinations kind. but sometimes i see it during the day. i see little black things out of the corner of my eye a lot. sorry if this was a very long comment, but i don’t know what to do! i’m going crazy! i don’t want to give up yo-kai watch! help!
Hi. I have a question. I’m pretty sure I habe depression. I’ve most likely had it for years, but I’m afraid to get diagnksed because it will make getting a job harder. Now, in all my years of having episodes where I’ve thought about killing myself, its always been just me. But, here recently, there has been someone else. I call her Lilly. Shes a voice in my head telling me quick ways to end it all. So, as a question, does this mean I might have psychosis, or is this normal? And if its not normal, what do I do?
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God Terry says
Hey.ive.seen the devel twiceseen and have pithchers of denoms in our house and if you seen them you would run to the closet and.hideihave seen and can document all by testimony from friends I will send a picture text if you respond I don’t look at mail very often so my response might be lingering I haveseen so many miricles the cathedral holy can not denie me saint hood ?
God, please let me die. I am so tired of hearing “experts” tell me how to get better. Not interested. Tried them all. Zaps, meds, etc… My depression and anxiety are the result of my actions, and every day is a living hell. Please provide some reality to the fact that some people insist on suicide as the only way out, having tried (but obviously not hard enough – sarcasm), to get better. For everyone else, please continue to try everything there is to try, before considering giving up.
listen People ‘are’ their subconscious.
unfortunatly we live in a world , that science determine how we should think , whats real and whats not lol smh. we are spiritual being and people that denies this are whom are call delusional in my world. to think we are not indeed spirits first having a human experience is beyond me and all are connected in some shape or form.
science, and spirituality should work side by side to solve many so call mental illness.
i had a friend that was “‘psychotic ” use to see ancestral spirit around him- now living normal never had pharma drugs. he still have mild recalls. but he has master it so well that he knows. how to just handle it. and how to decipher the message
Thank you for this Blog, I have gone through all the comments, and i too have someone i love going through some of the similar stuff being described, especially about the part, about God, Jesus, and having special ability. now i am not doubting none of that, the person talks about 3D, 4D, 5D, world which i know about, the person had some bad misfortune sort of like they had the evil eye on them,( friends, family etc can put an evil eye on you just with the hate towards you )
i believe the love one do smoke weed and drink alchol,( an issue)
the person was involved in 2 car crash that could have been fatal and have the person believe they died . and brought alive. ( i believe her, the way those car look she survive only by divine grace for the collective )
i care so much about her, love her so much because she is one of the strongest human soul ive ever met. now the only problem is that person issue is the lies she believe thats true, they cannot be proven, only believe because of dreams and small tibits that she conclude is facts. ( thats a ACT of MAnipULation from an outside source, i can feel it) that don’t have a clue of whats going on and don’t have logical Discernment and her strong imagination, and will creating those- =The trick is, learning that your subconscious is very controllable and that once you do, you’re brain will be synchronized as one unit and you’ll be much more productive
i from a different school of thoughts, belief back ground, more spiritual , i do believe its a kundalini and spiritual awakening, culture indoctrination belief, she need to contact a shaman, medium that is experience to help her master the trick and confusion of the mind. i don’t believe pharma drug can’t help her . ( she always had a vivid imagination thats her gift/ clairvoyance) i know for a fact she will get better, she will be healed. she truly being initiate into the spirt world but she needs guidance, i cant go more in details but this is hard to type. all i can do is pray and send her love and light energy that she keeps grounded, i will always be there for her, even when she don’t want to talk to me. and accuse me falsly . but she is full of love, she needs to master her gift.
to all people out there suffering, you are love, theres people like me that believe in all your experience, theres a whole other world out there, travel, see shaman if you can, start with challenging the voice, and what you seeing and experience, you are safe, pharma only suppress ( could help)
but definitly stay grounded. research these sense
Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Claircognizant, Cclairalience, Clairgustance, Clairtangency. you are the healer of the world. but you have to control your gift. work hard. i love you all.
i want to start a support group soon. just the time aint right, the universe still teaching me and me and the person im talking about will be the testimony and a great help. will speak again.
sometimes i think about going back to school , to get my license in psychology but , i want to keep my spirituality in the mix and work with a personal medium and shaman.
i know a great medium but my person refuse because she has lost some trust for me.because of our past rela/ and adultery and influence i wasn’t aware of, now i am .
helping hand says
i want the owner to read this
please read also