Schizophrenia.com

I need help getting help

Hi everyone! I’m new here. Allow me to give a bit of background on myself that’s relevant to the forum. If you want to skip it (as it’s quite long) feel free to jump to my question at the end.

Until a falling out with a friend opened my eyes at 15, I never thought of myself as delusional. 15 I think was the time where I first became aware that something was just off about me. My life had always been strange, but I’d never put much thought into it. When I was very young, from 3 to around 9, I experienced frequent and vivid hallucinations. I recall sitting in my bed and listening to two men talking in my fan as they “fixed” it. I watched my paintings move and talk with each other. If I thought about a particular song I could audibly hear it. In addition, when I stared at my toys they began to swell as if they were breathing, so I thought they were alive and was always very protective over them. None of this ever scared me, it was magical.

However, according to my mom I was a very scared child. I had a great deal of trouble falling asleep at night and always slept with the lights on. It started out that I couldn’t sleep because I experienced HORRIFIC nightmares. Really gruesome stuff. (Ex. When I was 5 I had a nightmare where myself, my mom and best friend at the time were chased by fleshless dogs, that then devoured them alive as they screamed at me to help them), but eventually my fears turned into a general night time paranoia. I was constantly afraid monsters were coming after me to kill me, so I would sleep in different places in the house to throw them off. I also had an issue with seeing faces in things. I made my mom take a painting of flowers out of my room because I saw grotesque and deformed faces in it.

Anyhow my hallucinations would go away for a long time after I hit 9. What didn’t go away was my delusions. From age 5-12 I wholeheartedly believed I was a werewolf, a delusion which I now know I created to protect myself from all the monsters I was afraid of as a child. I created this in depth world and persona. It was very complex. From 12-15 I would go through a wide range of different delusions, from believing two angels controlled my luck on different days, to believing I was the next Jesus to believing I was God. I was deeply depressed and withdrawn during middle school, so perhaps they were a way to cope.

The older I got, the more paranoid and frightening my delusions became. At 15 I was suffering from one where I believed the devil was going to kidnap me and bring me to Hell because I was the next Jesus and he would rape me and force me to have a God-Devil child that would become the anti Christ. As I involved a friend in this delusion, and subsequently lost her as a friend, it opened my eyes to my issues.

For a while I did my best to fight off delusions, but I would get so confused over what was real. At 15 I had still not lost my night time paranoia that I had had since childhood. I just never felt alone in my room, no matter where I lived. (I moved a lot) Finally I had issues with a demon/demons, that began to harass and torment me mentally, physically and sexually. It got to the point where I was being raped and heavily abused by the demons, who would force thoughts in my head and telepathically scream profanities at me. However in middle school I had found God, and thus had him help me with all of my issues. This split up my host of characters who I am still confused over the reality of. There are my “helpers” who give me advice in life, have been with me through everything and are incredibly kind and understanding (God, Jesus, various angels, spirits, etc.) and then there are the antagonists, who drive me further into madness every day (the devil, demons, etc.)

To wrap it up, present day I am really not doing so well. I noticed a while back that anxiety GREATLY affects my psychotic symptoms. When I am not anxious they can be very mild. I don’t get frightened at night, and I still interact with all the characters but not so intensely. I am able to fight off delusions. When under stress (as I am now) it is nightmarish. I don’t know what is real. The demons didn’t let me sleep last night. Lately I haven’t been able to sleep because I’m terrified that my reflection is going to climb out of my mirror and kill me if I look away. Thanks to all the sexual abuse from the demons I am now absolutely terrified of men and even being near a guy causes me anxiety. Whenever I walk the streets I am deeply paranoid and afraid that I’m going to get hurt, or something awful is going to happen to me. I’m filled with rage at my inability to do anything about my situation, incredible confusion at everything that’s happening to me, I feel like I’ve been hallucinating more lately (I don’t have auditory hallucinations, just visual and they aren’t as intense as they were when I was young. I see colored lights emanating off of everything, and sometimes just floating around when I zone out. I see the floors swirl and the walls melt and objects swell. Like a big drug trip without the drugs. Lately I’ve started seeing awful things in the corner of my vision that vanish when I look at them. And whenever I close my eyes I see gruesome faces in the black.) Recently got over a delusion that I was a warrior being trained to fight in the apocalypse.

So yeah. Not doing so hot. But I don’t know what to do about it. I really badly want help. But I don’t know how to go about getting it. Even if I do find a psychiatrist, I feel like my issues are unbelievably convoluted and overly complex. It’s a mess that I honestly don’t think really anyone is capable of handling, because it’s not just one thing it’s a MILLION things wrong with me. I wouldn’t even know where to begin when telling a therapist things. I’ve only gotten help before for my anxiety and panic attack issues, and it was helpful, but those are such normal problems. I really don’t want to be put on medication. I feel like that’s what a psychiatrist would do. I don’t want to be judged for all of this either, because I realize it’s crazy. I just want to be able to have someone to talk about this with and speculate over why I go through what I do. I don’t want drugs shoved on me that are going to zombify me and a stigmatizing label.

How do I get help? Where should I start? Where did you guys start? Advice is much appreciated. I’m really messed up here.

Hi Anna, Welcome.

I hope that you will find in this community the very place where you can begin to talk about what you’ve been through. Your post was a lot to take in and process, I’m still processing but unsure of how best to respond at the moment so I’m simply for now welcoming you.

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Thank you. I realize it’s quite a lot, haha. Hence the root of my issue with getting help for it.

Coming to this forum was a big step for me because I’ve been in denial about being ill for nearly all my life.

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Hi Anna,

Welcome to our forums. I think you’ll find you get a lot of support and help here.

I recommend you check the following links. If I were you I’d try to get to an early psychosis treatment center for an evaluation - they are usually free and will get you on the road to good treatment that can really help.

If there is not a center in your city - call the closest one and ask if they can recommend something closer to you (tell them your symptoms). Let us know how it goes:

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links
http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm
http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA
http://www.schizophrenia.com/psychcenters.htm

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area
http://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php

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Thank you! One of the centers is actually only 40 minutes away from my university, so I might actually check it out/contact them! It’s so weird, I never really saw going in for help as a viable thing before when it came to this. I’m still really nervous about it and need to think it over though.

hello anna and welcome. so sorry ur suffering so much right now but there is hope. not all medications turn u into a zombie and it usually depends on the doseage. different meds work for different people. ur first port of call is a psychiatrist. if u can’t talk about it then print off what uv written here and ask them to read it. that will start the ball rolling. no one can force meds on u but there are many different ones u can try. personally i prefer the injectables as they are long release and less sedating. it can’t hurt to try a few. there are many success stories on here as u will have read, of people who have had their symptoms greatly reduced by taking medication. what is the alternitive? basically that you stay as you are and i know you don’t want that so give the meds a try. you have nothing to lose but your hallucinations, both visual and tactile. go for it hunni and let us know how you get on. xxx

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Hi Anna,

Its important to get treatment as soon as possible, if you do need it. The sooner you get help, the better the recovery (like most medical problems). It can make a big difference. Months do matter. I encourage you to call them tomorrow and tell them your symptoms and arrange an appointment.

Here is some more information:

http://schizophrenia.com/?p=406

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Welcome Anna!
You will find this forum very helpful also. Cme back and tell us how you are doing!
Good luck! OO

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I’ll try to send out an email tomorrow. I hate talking on the phone and I’m incredibly awkward over it, haha. You do have a point though. I really can’t keep carrying on like this. Thanks again!

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I never thought of them as “tactile hallucinations” before…I only became aware of the phenomenon recently as well. Thanks for your input!

Hi Anna,

How did the email to the early psychosis center go? Did you get a response?

While it might seem like that you have too many issues for them to deal with - they deal with lots of people with early psychosis (like you) every day - so they know what they are doing.

Email them today if you haven’t. Its important to move quickly on this.

Welcome Anna. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help sometimes.

I did email them today, actually. I am incredibly nervous. I hope all goes well! I can’t believe I’m actually going through with this.

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No matter the outcome of your appointment, you will get help with your anxiety and hallucinations. Be strong. It’s hard to talk about your problems but it has to be done.

I always have a facade that everything is okay until I crash completely. I have to learn to ask forhelp in time.

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I’m really sorry for all your trouble. It is good you are taking care of it yourself and not letting it reach the point where others have to take care of it for you.

It might help to write down some of these things and take a note card with you. I do that sometimes because I have trouble talking to my psychiatrist. It gives you a jumping off point.

I’m not going to lie the medications can suck. But once you find the right combination/dosage it is worth it. I’d rather be sleepy and fat than suffer the hallucinations.

And if you need extra support or someone to talk to who understands remember we are always here.

Anna, I don’t want to sound like I am telling you what to do, but they’ve come out with a new generation of anti-psych med’s that are much milder than the old generation. They have side effects, but they don’t turn you into a zombie. You would need to work with a doctor, and it takes a bit of trial and error to get the right med. and the right dose, but they just might help you a lot. What kind of doctor you get is just the luck of the draw. Hopefully you can find one compatible.

I do the same thing. It’s how I’ve been getting through life lately. In those good moments I have I tell myself I’m fine, I don’t really need help, I’m sure other people have it a lot worse. But when it’s bad, it’s very bad and I hate myself for not having gone to someone. So I know this is best for me. But man I was shaking just writing the email.

How brave of you to ask for help, Anna

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Hi Anna, nice to have you over here. You are great for asking for help yourself, also great for being able to contain all these “demons” for all this time. You might be suffering from a series of things, only a psychiatrist will be able to tell you what exactly is going on. Unfortunately, I am not in your country and am not able to give you more specific advice, but I see SZAdmin has already given you the starters.

I am just writing this to welcome you to the forum, don’t worry, there is nothing as complex as to not be manageable with help and willpower. You have the willpower, all you need to do is exactly what you are doing- asking for help. Today’s medications are able to help you have a fulfilling life with little to no symptoms, so the future can turn out bright for you.

I admire the clearness with which you understand and expose your delusions, if anything what is to follow is a lot of relief for you, as soon as you will explain these to a psychiatrist. Your diagnosys will probably take time to be correctly made, you may suffer from several illnesses at the same time, but being honest with your caregivers will help them find the correct “cocktail” for you so that the hallucinations and delusions go away.

I am rooting for you, please let us know how it goes.

Welcome again to the forum, I am sure you will be a great addition to this community. I look forward to your posts, Anna.

Take care,

Zupa

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Update on the process; I emailed the man in charge of the program in NJ, the one near my college, and his response was to go to my university counseling center and to get an evaluation.

  1. I’ve already been to my college counseling center and it was useless. The grad student they set me up with was very nice and good to talk to, but all the techniques for treatment were utterly useless. It involved things like breathing, flexing, checking my senses etc. to manage my anxiety. Which were all bandaid solutions. I’d feel calm while doing them and as soon as they were over I’d go back to being stressed because it’s not as though they made my stressors go away. Useless. Not an effective treatment for myself.

  2. I feel so upset he just told me to go get myself evaluated. I reached out to him in the first place so I could get evaluated!! And now he’s telling me to go look someplace else?? I’m confused and frustrated because the email basically sounded like he was saying “congrats on admitting you need help, now go look for it somewhere else.”

Ugh. I was hoping he was going to offer to set me up with an appointment or something to get tested. Now what.