I have a persistent odor. It doesn’t go away, no matter how much I clean. I can’t smell it myself, but the signs I see from other people are unmistakable. Of course, it could be that I’m giving off a vibe that puts people off or makes them react in a way that’s similar to that. But I’m almost 99% convinced that I have a smell that I just can’t get rid of and has a physical cause that has eluded every doctor I’ve seen.
I’ve opened up to most doctors I go to, and none of them will acknowledge that I have a body odor. They either see that I’m having an emotional reaction and won’t deal with the issue as perhaps they think there’s something wrong with my hygiene. Or maybe they think they’re doing me a favor by denying it. The thing is, I don’t care if these doctors think I smell or not. I just want a solution.
I know if this topic gets any replies I’m going to get people taking this from a mental health standpoint, that’s totally reasonable given that I’m posting it to a forum dedicated to mental health. I’ve had similar results posting to sites where the focus was on physical health or even body odor. People will tend to see things a certain way depending on the lens they’re using.
I just don’t care. I want a solution to this problem, even if it’s in my head, I want to stop being embarrassed going out and feeling like a steaming pile of garbage around other people. I feel like the last twenty or so years have been a long suicide by running out the clock on my best years, hoping for something to kick into place or fix this problem. I know I have to take some responsibility for how I am doing, but don’t doctors have the obligation to be forthright with me when I come to them with a problem? The diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia/personality disorder/psychotic disorder is devastating enough when you actually have it. But medicating somebody and driving them off the deep end by denying something that is clearly a problem? That’s diabolically greedy.
I’m going to ask this in the hopes it helps. It is just a question and I hope it doesn’t upset you. I admit I’m a pdoc/medication/listening to professionals junkie. I do it because I’m so scared of going back to the way I was and that seeps into everything I do and say. So understand that, even if you disagree with me (and that is totally okay and this isn’t coming from a judgmental place) I’m asking because I can sympathize in my little way and I want to help.
Do you believe that the mind can interpret data incorrectly? Like can a person see something with their eyes that isn’t actually there due to a fault in the wiring of the brain?
I appreciate your question and I wouldn’t be bringing this up if I wasn’t ready to accept hearing anything from people.
It’s hard to accept that my learned interpretations could be wrong, but that’s possible. It’s just hard to override all of the input I’ve received that was almost 100% clear to me that it meant I had a smell.
The thing is, sometimes I fail to shower or whatever and end up smelling myself. In those cases I know I smell, and the weird thing is that sometimes people don’t react the way I usually interpret as meaning that I have an odor. It’s so confusing.
I don’t believe I actually hear things that aren’t voiced by somebody though, I don’t believe I’ve ever hallucinated. I hear coughing, sneezing all sorts of things that set me on edge. I don’t really ask people though or confront them anymore. I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to being in this sorta state of confusion.
I know there are many here who do hear and see things that aren’t there, but I don’t think I’m one of them. My psychosis if it is psychosis, is almost entirely in altered perception of things that I see or hear. I can acknowledge that I often jump to the fixed belief when I hear certain things or perhaps interpret things with a certain bias.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve fooled myself this thoroughly. If it was this easy, I’m either very dumb or why aren’t there more people who fool themselves similarly?
Don’t call yourself dumb. I’ve read one post from you and I know you are far from dumb.
I think my mom often doesn’t tell me when she is upset at me because she is afraid it will cause me too much stress. I have trouble with being stressed out. She does try to avoid certain types of confrontation and we’ve even talked about it and she’s admitted she doesn’t like arguing. So it is quite possible she sometimes actually does it. Not nearly as much as I think she does but sometimes. It’s funny but I feel almost relieved when she gets miffed at me. Yay! she’s yelling at me.
So there is no way I can know for sure if she is lying at all times. It is not impossible she does it sometimes or even frequently. But I have to trust her because I trust her as a person and I really have no choice. I trust her as a person because I know she loves me and she isn’t the type of person who manipulates people. (BTW writing this is making me feel like such a mama’s boy. And I’m not…I don’t think. I don’t mind living with her but if I had my druthers I’d live on my own. It’s not like we own matching sweaters lol!) And I do give into the impulse and ask her straight out if she is mad at me fairly frequently. I’m human. But at some point I have to trust. At some point I have to say ‘I accept that I am paranoid and that she is worthy of listening to’
If people who you love and people who you trust are telling you that you don’t have an odor, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to put your faith in them enough to consider if it is a mental disorder. Ask yourself what they gain from lying to you.
Accepting that is the first step. I can’t promise you it will magically fix everything. But it will help you find a way to deal with your life.
It’s okay to favor your mother. I’m one of the biggest mama’s boy’s in the world. But then I have a super hero for a mom (She had to work and be a single-mother and I admire her so much for all she’s done for us.).
I have a similar issue with my brother who is a bit of a liar and somebody who similarly avoids conflict (Which is strange because he’s really bad at that and often drums up drama without meaning to.). I have issues with him at times but we always return to zero because you don’t choose your family. Which is hard because a lot of my psychotic beliefs have centered on his wanting to sic other people on me and the rest of my family. It’s a very strange relationship which is made stranger by my paranoia.
I think like you said, acceptance is key to dealing with much of these beliefs. Even if I never am able to doubt my fixed belief, I have to find a way of accepting it, true or not. And maybe build some kind of way of dealing with other people.
Thank you for talking to me and letting me be a momma’s boy lol. My mom raised me basically by herself, takes care of me now despite the fact she shouldn’t have to, and I’m generally rather fond of her. I saw my father occasionally growing up but all he really did was make me feel like I was living life wrong.
The day before, my therapist made me watch ‘A Beautiful Mind.’ He sometimes gives me homework It was difficult because it made me relive the worst moments of my life. I was thinking I don’t want to watch this. I know what it feels like to have people strap you down. I know what it feels like for everyone but you to be crazy and for no one to understand. I was a little mad at him for making me watch it to be honest. But then he started asking me questions about the film.
John Nash, the person it is based on, had Sz and was a brilliant mathematician. He even won the Nobel prize for work he did after he started having symptoms (but before people knew it). (You probably already know this. He is like Sz Superman lol) He reclaimed a life for himself. And he did it by having the will to accept he was sick. That is strength.
No one knows what you go through. No one knows how strong you have to be to live your life having this thing in your head no one else acknowledges.
Do you overcome Sz or just survive it? I don’t know. I do know that I have moments in my life where I’m talking to someone or reading or playing a video game and they are nice moments.
I don’t quite get what you think this odor is if it isn’t hygiene.
I think that you should trust people when they say there’s no odor. Every doctor could not be lying to you. If you can just accept this simple fact.
If you walk into a doctors office tomorrow and tell him you think you have an odor and it has been affecting you for years and causing you great distress and you think every doctor is lying to you, this doctor will not lie to you . I guarantee it. And heck, just walk up to a family member or friend and ask them if they smell anything odd about you. I could go on like this for 5 pages telling you a million different ways to prove you’re wrong. Why would every person you ask lie to you? It doesn’t sound plausible or realistic. If a doctor sees how much this is distressing you he would not lie to you.
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