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Offline zofluff

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« on: 05/06/2008 12:57:20 »
Hi

I'm new to this site so i don't know if anyone can help - but i hope so.

where to start??  about 4 years ago life got too much and i was constantly feeling low, i was having uncontrollable behavioral patterns such as feeling fine one minute then the next second i flipped to feeling angry and upset over the slightest thing.  i would cry uncontrollably for days and have trouble breathing, i was having frequent panic attacks and palpitations daily and i eventually found some courage to go to my GP.
my GP sent me to a local Mental Health Trust who at first seemed OK as it was good to be able to talk to someone but then after a few months i grew to resent and fear the place.  i had regular hourly sessions with the duty team but i became more anxious each session as there was no continuity - i never saw the same person and felt i was having to constantly start from the beginning over and over again and getting nowhere as there was never any feedback or help suggestions.
i eventually got referred to a consultant psychiatrist who prescribed medication - paroxitine (if i remember right) i went up to the highest dose but i felt worse and had physical shakes every day.  my medication was then changed to fluoxitine and again i was put up to 60mg which did help ease my shakes but didn't change the way i was feeling or my moods.  At this point i was feeling very low very depressed very anxious and very upset that the place i had been sent to for help had done nothing to 'actually' help me.  i had an outburst of anger panic and tears all in one go where i was in a really bad state - in front of the psychiatrist, i told her that all i wanted was some help and i wanted to know after 2 years of waiting when i was going to receive some? to which she replied in her black and white tone that people there were trained to deal with seriously mentally ill people and there was nothing they could do to help me!  she made me feel like i was a lier even though the week before she had changed my medication to venlafaxine 175mg and referred me to a psychologists waiting list.  Her saying that completely wiped out the very little self worth i had left and i decided i was never going back there.  i felt like maybe they all thought i was wasting their time and i was inconveniencing them.  that was a year and a half ago and i have been struggling desperately to get through each day since.  The only good thing i feel came from all those sessions was it gave me time to think of only me and talk about only me, with that i discovered i had been suffering in silence since early teens and i felt that it all started in childhood - which made a lot of sense at a time where nothing made sense.

The thing is (and getting back to my initial question) for the past 6 months the voices in my head have been getting worse.  for a while now i have had voices sometimes my own and sometimes a male voice.  i just did my best to ignore it best i could but on really bad days i couldn't leave the house or face being around people especially those closest to me.  The male voice used to be quite a strong demanding tone telling me that I'm worthless and to end my life - somehow i found strength and i argued this as i believed my children needed me and i needed them, he has also told me to run away many many times leaving my husband and children behind as they would be better off without me - i have again argued this and not done it but a few times i have almost done it.  over time i feel these arguments must have helped as the male voice is still there but he is not so strong in tone but he is more frequently there telling me i am being followed, i am being watched, that I'm going to get attacked ect.  i feel he has compromised on the ending life as instead he tells me to hurt myself - which upsets me and i cannot always control, in the last 6 months i have drawn blood from my arm twice and cut the word help into my arm 2 weeks ago which now looks like a scar and i suspect will be with me for a long while.  this is done not in order to end life, the word my head uses frequently is 'pain transference'.  i thought voices in the head were normal until i recently found out that your own voice in your head is normal but a voice of the opposite sex is not - which has raised the scitzophreic quesion.

i don't know anything about scitzophreia but when mentioned I've always thought it was a condition where 1 person has 2 or more personalities people controlling their life?
The condition 'scitzophenia' has started worrying me today as i have consistently told my therapists and GP that i feel like i am 2 people and one of me is hiding behind a mask that i put on to get through each day while the other me is sitting inside empty lonely and crying in pain.  the mask enables me to leave the house to take my children to school and put on a fake smile to the other mums, the mask enables me to go food shopping without a panic attack, engage in short conversations, appear normal to society by doing the bare minimum of what is expected of me and worst of all appear normal to my family.  The me inside just wants help and until that help comes it just wants to be left alone, avoid people, not get up in the morning, not leave the house, not talk, not eat, not drink, not be alive at times - sometimes this overwhelms me and i don't leave the house or talk to people for days but knowing my kids need to have a normal life forces me to do things.  worst of all is i don't know which one is the real me?  i used to believe i was the one hiding away and when i got the right help i would be able to stop using the mask but thinking about it today has made me question that because the masked side seems to have more strength and courage the majority of the time?

Today i got my appointment through to see the psychologist for cognative therapy on Friday 13th.  I'm hoping this will be the help i have waited desperately so long for but i also feel terrified that if i tell him about the voice and my harming that ill be sent to a mental institution which i strongly believe will tip me over the edge to suicide as without my children i have no purpose to live.  i suppose i will just have to see how i feel when i see him??

I'm sorry to have babbled on so long and i hope there is someone still awake out there to reply, i would really appreciate advice on schizophrenia and on how to tell the psychologist without getting whisked off in a white coat, lol.

Many thanks x


 

Offline BenV

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/2008 13:48:24 »
Hi Zofluff,

First off, welcome to the site.  I think you're doing the right thing by seeking help.  It may be frustrating for a while, but you will find the right person who will know what to do to help you.  Don't worry about being sectioned, mental illness is now quite common, and certainly they don't always cart people away for hearing voices.  Tell your psychologist the truth, as otherwise s/he will not be able to help.

I'm in no way qualified to help you, or diagnose, but I can tell you that hearing voices is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia.  Schizophrenia is now quite well understood, and relatively common, so the stigma is reduced and a great many people live normal lives with managed schizophrenia.

It's a common misconception that schizophrenia means "split-personality", but the condition where 2 or more personalities inhabit one body is called multiple personality disorder.

Try and remember that no matter how difficult it seems at times, these things can be managed, and there are people around who can help and support you.  I wish you all the best.
 

Offline zofluff

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #2 on: 05/06/2008 16:11:13 »
Thank you for your reply BenV and thanks for the welcome.

I will tell the psychiatrist when i see him its just so scary because i really want to be open and honest because i know he needs to know to be able to help me but im also scared that by being open he may betray my trust and take what i say wrong. i need to know i can trust him which is the most important thing for me as i dont feel i can trust anyone.

thanks again
 

Offline RD

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #3 on: 05/06/2008 19:30:31 »
Hi Zofluff,
here is a link to the NHS guidelines on treating those who self-harm...
http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG016publicinfoenglish.pdf

I have heard of a "harm minimization" strategy where person holds ice in their hand instead of cutting themselves. This provides a similar painful sensation but without injury. This diversionary technique does not treat the psychological distress which is prompting you to self harm.

The insulting male voice you hear may be an abusive male in your past.
It may be helpful to discuss any abuse you may have experienced with health professionals.

Quote
Self punishment or self-hate may be involved. Some people who self-injure have a childhood history of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. They may erroneously blame themselves for having been abused, they may feel that they deserved it and are now punishing themselves because of self-hatred and low self-esteem.

Alternatives to avoid self-harm

If you hurt yourself in order to…Feel something when you feel numb inside, hold ice cubes in one hand and try to crush them, hold a package of frozen food, take a very cold shower, chew something with a very strong taste (like chili peppers, raw ginger root, or a grapefruit peel), wear an elastic rubber band around your wrist and snap it (in moderation to avoid bruising) when you feel like hurting yourself

If you inflict physical pain to…Calm yourself, try taking a bubble bath, doing deep breathing, writing in a journal, drawing, or doing some yoga

If you self-mutilate to…See blood, try drawing a red ink line where you would usually cut yourself, in combination with the other suggestions above
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm

« Last Edit: 05/06/2008 19:39:34 by RD »
 

Offline chris

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #4 on: 05/06/2008 22:55:00 »
Hello Zofluff,

The male voice you describe. Is it coming from inside your head, or outside? Do you think it's real, or something that your subconscious is producing?

Chris
 

Offline zofluff

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #5 on: 06/06/2008 10:05:16 »
hi

Its coming from inside my head and i dont know if its real but i know its always there?
 

Offline zofluff

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #6 on: 06/06/2008 11:05:54 »
Hi

This is where i get really confused with things as there was no abusive male in my life, my mom and dad divorced just after i was born and i have never seen my dad other than very old photographs.  the only male who i had in my life was my grandad and he was a very gentle quiet and kind and a funny man who brought laughter to my life.  as a teen i rebelled a lot but i dont know why? this caused a lot of arguments and tension with my mom and i feel a tremendous amount of guilt even though me and my mom are very close now but if the voice was something to do with that wouldnt it be female?  i barely recall my childhood only the very odd memory but i dont know if i have blocked things out as i have always hid my feelings in order to protect myself which i believe i have picked up from my mom. 

im so confused about who i am now? after much thought i believe from a young age i have always on the outside been someone who everybody likes and fitted in with many different types of people from all situations (my mask) i think i have always been afraid to be the real me possibly in fear of being disliked or rejected or outcast.  the problem is i have been using this mask unknowingly for so many years that when i do try to let some of the other me out people think that im having a bad day and its part of my illness - its not that this side of me is horrible or nasty in any way it is just less confident, bit colder and possibly selfish. people dont recognise the other me and cant relate to it so i end up hiding back behind the mask in front of people so that they feel secure around me.  i have always put other people before myself and i have always been more considerate of everyone elses needs (even strangers) before my own and i feel like i can never be anything else now.

i dont expect any of this to make sense to you as it doesnt to me but being human i have to find reason even when in some cases there is none.
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #7 on: 06/06/2008 16:26:50 »
Quote
my mom and dad divorced just after i was born and i have never seen my dad

Perhaps you believe that your father rejected you and wrongly believe that you deserve this rejection, and although you may have never heard his actual voice, the male voice you hear could effectively be his saying how you imagine he feels about you.

Quote
i barely recall my childhood only the very odd memory but i dont know if i have blocked things out

From what you have said either your mother did not have any partners after your father while you lived with her, or that she did have other partners and you are repressing memories of their existence.  If the former is true you may have been unfairly blamed for preventing her from having other partners. If the latter is true then this may be the source of your abusive male voice.

How you were treated during your formative years may be the source of your current problems. As you are in contact with your mother family therapy may be worth considering, although it could alter your relationship with her.
http://www.aft.org.uk/home/familytherapy.asp

 

Offline chris

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #8 on: 07/06/2008 10:55:47 »
Is the voice real, in the sense that someone else could hear it for instance, or is it your own mind creating the voice so that only you can hear it?
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #9 on: 08/06/2008 04:02:14 »
Chris, how would the 2 forms of voice be distinguished subjectively? Is one supposed to be a kind of "thought" voice while the other is perceived as actual sound?
 

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Have i got schizophrenia?? Please help
« Reply #9 on: 08/06/2008 04:02:14 »

 

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