Delusional Parasitosis

Hi, I’m a 19 year old male and am finally accepting that my worries of having some parasitic infestation that is also contagious is likely just a delusion caused by tactile hallucinations. I have not been diagnosed with any mental illness, but now I’m thinking I should talk to a psychologist. I’m hoping this forum can tell me if this means I’m schizophrenic or at risk or if it can just be a delusion unrelated to a mental illness. I’ve had this delusion for the past nine or ten years, so it started when I was nine or ten, and it started with feeling itchy and having a crawling feeling mostly on my genitals. I was terrified I had crabs or some std or other weird disease and was to afraid to talk to anyone about it. Whenever I saw other people people itch or move there leg fast like it was caused by a itch I was freaked out that they got whatever I had but they were just afraid to talk about it like I was. When I got older I realized it couldn’t be crabs because they’re visible by the naked eye and I couldn’t see what was causing this crawling feeling, so I moved on to thinking I had scabies. This crawling feeling would make me so uncomfortable in class and keep me up at night and made me be afraid of sleeping in the same bed as other people and made me depressed because I was afraid to get close with girls I liked, and even when I did I was convinced they got what I had but just didn’t talk to me about it. There’s a lot more I could explain about my experience but I don’t want to make this too long. I ended up going to a couple doctors, and the first one I went to a couple years ago didn’t think I had scabies but prescribed me some cream anyway cause I said I was exposed. After that didn’t work I thought it must be something else or I just used the cream wrong. Finally I went to a doctor again and she explained to me it was very unlikely I had scabies but it might be a very mild case of athletes itch, once that didn’t work I finally started thinking this might be a psychological problem. Is there a medical condition that can cause my skin too feel itchy and feel like things are crawling on me? This idea has been so ingrained into my mind that it’s still hard to completely convince myself there isn’t the possibility that something external is causing it. But if it is just in my mind does that make me schizophrenic? Cause I have read and heard far worse stories of people who just can’t function because of the disease and it makes me feel bad for even thinking what I’m experiencing could be put in the same category. Is it possible to have a mild form of schizophrenia? Like I go to work and school and I apparently function well enough that people don’t think I’m crazy. But could schizophrenia explain other things like why I have such a hard time maintaining a normal sleep schedule and have become dependent on sleeping pills to get me to bed at a certain hour? Like if I don’t get enough sleep it feels hard to function and this happens often because I can’t fall asleep, so I usually sleep in excessively. And then often still feel tired throughout the day. This made high school very difficult, I’m pretty sure most of my teachers just thought I was lazy cause I missed so much school. Also weed and other drugs give me really bad anxiety, I experimented with ecstasy acid and shrooms when I was fifteen but stopped because I would have bad experiences with them. And after I was worried that they permanently changed or damaged my brain. Like I felt more emotionally flat and had a harder time thinking clearly, concentrating, and my memory. But I’m not really sure if I felt this way before the drugs. Could the drugs have worsened schizophrenic symptoms? My friends just told me it was part of being a teenager. I told a therapist about some of the symptoms of fatigue insomnia and feeling emotionally flat but he thought it was just a mild form of depression, which it could be but I never told him I thought I had contagious parasites. Also there were times when I thought I heard people say things about parasites or bed bugs, but now I’m worried that maybe my brain made me think they said that because I didn’t hear them clearly? Like an auditory hallucination? Anyway I still feel like I’m scatterbrained at times and that I get stressed out easily and I just don’t know if these symptoms mean I have a type of schizophrenia, or could develope it, or if it’s some thing else? Like I read that delusional parasitosis can occur without any other illness? Sorry that was way longer than I expected but I hope it accurately shows what I have been experiencing. I will be going to a psychologist as soon as I can but please I will greatly appreciate it if anyone can help me make sense of all of this. <3

Ive had similar ideas of bugs and diseases causing itches and feeling like something is crawling on my skin. I went to several doctors who gave me some creams and stuff that didnt help. I was at the same time experiencing an acute phase of psychosis for the first time though, with auditory hallucinations and delusions, which i didn’t tell anyone about. Finally, I went to a dermatologist who told me I had a case of hives or nettle-rash (I’m not sure about the proper english translation, this is what google translate tells me ;)). That is not so much a bug or physical disease but more of a stress-induced reaction. He gave me a cream and some pills that really worked well and I finally was able to sleep normally again. Mind you that sleep is very important for anyone and prolonged irregular sleep isn’t going to do good to anyone regardless of whether you have any disorder or not. No one here can diagnose you, but it might be worth a try asking a doctor or a dermatologist to check you for this hives or nettle-rash. In any case it is a good idea to go to a psychologist for your other issues like hearing people, and for your worries about schizophrenia. Take care.

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Hi @scarab. It sounds like there is something going on that a psychiatrist should be able to help you sort out.

Thank you! The thing is the itching doesn’t bother me as much anymore, I got some looser under wear and that seemed to help a lot. but even when I have gone to doctor it doesn’t really help with a diagnose because there isn’t really a physical rash except maybe some slight redness. I think the stress of thinking I had things crawling on me could have made it worse. Also did you have intense feelings of a crawling prickling sensation on the skin? now a days since I’ve gotten so used to the sensation it doesn’t seem to keep me up at night, but I just often have a hard time falling asleep. I guess I’ve just heard how meth addicts are said to feel like they have bugs on their skin but I’ve never done meth so it kind of worries me. Thank you for your response.