First, let me tell you how much I admire the resilience, the solidarity and the humor that exudes from this forum. I have discovered among you so many truly wonderful people this is the place I turn to to relieve my anguish and despair.
Second, this is not an emergency in the strict sense (I don’t want you to worry too much because of the title). I have plenty of assistance in terms of family, docs, I’m in a safe place, no intention to harm myself and/or others etc.
Still, I’m more than distressed and you are perhaps the only ones who can understand me.
Here is the problem.
I’ve always been kind of a peculiar guy but my life went on rather normally, even wonderfully at moments. At some point five months ago I suddenly endured a very intense emotional trauma and I felt completely different since then. In the short term, I could not sleep for four nights - not even a minute, four nights in a row - and was calmed only through a pill of Seroquel.
Then I resumed my life more or less normally - except for doing much less and eliminating/preventing most stress - and I could kind of manage it but things still felt changed.
Some examples from small to bigger things: objects I focus on seem to stand out from the background unusually (I noticed it when I was showering and the hand shower looked like protruding intimidatingly). I basically have no focus: I cannot shift “in” and “out” of what I’m doing, all activities feel like flat, on the same plane. I do have a hard time feeling pleasure and emotions seem to have blunted at the very moment of the shock, and barely come back since then if at all.
As you might bet, I started trying making sense of all that was happening. Initially I hope it was some PSTD. Five months later with most of these symptoms having not changed the least, and as I experience them all the time or most the time, I’m basically persuaded I’m in SZ prodrome. As far as my relatives told me, we have no familiarity (their words) BUT my cousin (the daughter to my mum’s SIBLING) did start hearing voices in high school (!!! I’ve no idea if it’s sz and cannot inquire, but imagine my relatives telling me “we don’t have it in the family” and me making this counterexample…)
Of course I’ve seen doctors and psychiatrists. Most of them shrugged it off as anxiety and hypochondria. I’m currently diagnosed as PTSD and they have mentioned anxiety, depression, even obsessive thoughts (meaning that my fear of being SZ would be an obsession…). Still, they took me somewhat seriously as I have been prescribed Seroquel, Olanzapine, and Thorazine (I haven not taken the third).
But overall they insist I’m “normal” and even my psychologist (I started weekly therapy) basically interrupts me whenever I raise the topic of SZ and says it is my defense or excuse not to discuss deeper issues (…).
I would be very happy to believe them, but cognitively I feel impaired (I was extremely high-functioning before: speak about four languages, are a professional with a Ph.D etc.) and I guess this hides the problems I do have. But I struggle making sense of simple things such as forms and organizing even daily tasks. This was not the case before the accident AT ALL.
Again I hope I’m wrong, but my impression is that it is only rational to assume I’m developing SZ. Indeed I’m reading a lot on the topic (this forum included) and the more I do the more I find correspondences. In a page of Torrey’s Surviving Schizophrenia I actually found a great many real stories of people self-diagnosing in a way similar to myself (contrary to the urban legend “if you think you have it you don’t”). Having read a lot I’m of course aware that if really have SZ I might loose insight partially or totally any time soon. Another problem is that if it is a prodrome that I’m into, it can last anything from weeks to years (honestly my impression is that it won’t take long for problems to become more apparent but I’ve never been there, so who knows).
Of course I told my family, including my in-laws and my fiancée, and quite similarly to my psychologist and psychiatrist they change the topic whenever I hint to it (my girl actually shouts and gets frustrated, like “you’re not ill, don’t act as if”). I can only understand them, better, if I said what I feel for putting them in this situation I think I would be put on self-harm watch.
I know there is probably nothing that can be done in my situation. I have plenty of APs, am 15 minutes afoot from the hospital, are with relatives at the moment.
Still any words from you would be extremely valuable, even “stop bothering us! We do REALLY have the illness” would be significant and adds up to the psychs’ and my close relatives views.
The problem is, every single second there is more than something in my mind and experience, even perception, reminding me things are not normal anymore.
Best wishes and thanks to whom will be so kind to reply,