Is this OCD, depression, or Psychosis?
A brief history of the situation is this:
Years ago I went through a serious bout of depression. I had fits of rage and crying and purposely avoided friends and places I enjoyed. A doctor put me on Lexapro, and antidepressant. I got better. years later, I have a new problem. I thought it was the same old depression with a new twist. but it's not.
My last psychiatrist tried treating me for a problem I had. he diagnosed it as depression and said that I also had OCD. This was because I had a depressed mood and frequently battled thoughts of anxiety.
This doctor tried me on a few different medications. Either they had no effect or they had terrible effects. They made me more depressed, anxious, and at one point suicidal. They were all small doses, but they showed their effects within days. The drugs that had these disastrous effects were Imipramine and Lexapro.
I'm seeing a new doctor now. This one says the root problem is NOT depression or OCD. He says it's psychosis. His reasons for his diagnosis are this:
The obsessive negative thoughts are a manifestation of the paranoia attribute of psychosis. These thoughts include worrying about getting diseases, worrying about dying tomorrow from something, worrying about aging or getting alzheimers, worrying about thinning on top, worrying about getting diabetes, worrying that I might be schizophrenic, worrying that I got braindamage from the smell of a dry-erase marker, the list goes on and on. Some of these are too irrational to list. Some days they're tollerable, other days they make me anxious, even cry, or prevent me from doing my work.
Another symptom that I had described to both doctors was the fact that nearly every task that I start, or even think about starting, causes me stress and anguish as if it were some daunting job having to clean up after a hurricane. This is true for nearly everything I do including things I enjoy doing. Hanging out with friends, just watching a movie alone, or painting which I love to do will sometimes feel this way and compell me to avoid these things.
The first doctor said that this anxiety over starting things was possibly ADD. He tried me on ritalin for that with equally disastrous results. Then he tried me on neuropheedback treatment. It improved my memory, that I am sure of. The second Doctor said that symptom was also due to psychosis because it shows there are two thoughts fighting eachother simultaneously with each of these actions I take. Things do seem much easier for me when decissions are made for me.
The new doctor's solution was to put me on Seroquel, an antipsychotic. Part of me feels willing to try and hopeful that this might be the long sought-after solution to everything, but I am also terrified of meds now after what happened with the last two. It feels like "well, gator wrestling didn't work. let's try shark jumping instead." just reading the list of possible side effect of seroquel makes me scared.
Why don't I halucinate then if I have psychosis? The doctor feels strongly that it is psychosis, but I don't experience halucinations. I also do know that I have OCD because as a kid I would ritualistically trace cracks in the ground and felt annoyed if I couldn't.
I told my doctor I didn't want to try another medication unless he felt damn sure that it would work when all the other backfired majorly. He still felt confident that I should go through with it. I'm still recovering my sanity from the last medication I tried, so I'm not eager to comply.
The big question ow is this: am I finnally getting new answers that I have been seeking all along, or am I only finding new questions and getting more lost?
Is there anyone out there in this lonely world who has experienced anything related to this and can give me some dirrection?
Can neurofeedback help with psychosis as well?
I greatly appreciate any experience you can empart
- majnun99Lv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
I have worked in mental health medical records since 1987. I have seen psychiatrists change a diagnosis at the drop of a hat Sometimes diagnoses are changed and the medication stays the same. I have heard psychiatrists admit that mental illness diagnoses are very subjective.
I only have a bachelor's degree and I have had psychiatrists change a diagnosis when I let them know the insurance won't bill. Once I told a doctor the program wouldn't reimburse for OCD and he changed the patients diagnosis to Disorgranized Schizophrenia, just like that. I once asked a doctor why she put "Major Depression" as a patient's diagnosis, but in another part of the record it indicated the same patient had "Bipolar Disorder." When I asked her which was the correct diagnosis, she told me "it doesn't make any difference."
My impression is that the diagnosis is really only for purposes of billing the insurance company. Whether it's OCD, psychosis or whatever isn't really all that important. What really matters is if the treatment helps or not.
Your question details are very long and I don't have the patience to read the entire thing. But when you say some medication "didn't help"; how long did you take it? Did you take it as prescribed by your doctor? No medication is going to help if you don't give it a chance. Generally, you would need to take it for at least a month to be able to tell if it's really helping.
I don't think there is really any point in dwelling on "do I have this, or do I have that." I don't mean to be crass, but how do you know for certain you aren't just looking for attention?
I have been diagnosed with Major Depression, Dysthymic Disorder, and Panic Attacks. Sometimes I have symptoms that seem like Bipolar Disorder or OCD. When I was very young, I had symptoms that seemed to be a lot like ADHD or mild Autism.
I asked my doctor one time if I might have ADHD, and she said even if I did, she would give me the same medication anyway because it appeared to be working pretty well.Source(s): Worked in mental health since 1987, treated for depression and anxiety since 1983.
- 9 years ago
It sounds to me like you have some Anxiety Disorders as opposed to OCD or psychosis. I also had severe depression and I realized that as I was getting better with that I started to have more and more anxiety attacks, although I did not know what they were at the time. I went to a doctor and I was told that I have social anxiety disorder. If I were you, I would try to learn more about OCD, psychosis and anxiety disorders and see if you feel like they describe you. Then see a specialist in that field.
- Ambi valentLv 79 years ago
What a horrible time you've been having. I'm so sorry to hear about this and about the difficulties you are having with the psychiatric profession. Unfortunately, what you describe is all too common.
There is a belief among psychiatrists, who are medically trained, that psychological suffering can be 'diagnosed' in the same way that some physical suffering can be. But whereas there are lab tests to show someone has TB or measles, and X-rays to demonstrate arthritis, there's nothing like that for psychological suffering. And there's a good reason for that. You either DO have TB or you don't. You either DO have arthritis, or you don't. Psychological suffering isn't like that.
Imagine it like this. When I was a child, my mother had a large button box. In it were all the spare buttons and she'd go through it to find a match for a missing button. One of my favourite games was to sort the buttons. One time I'd sort them by colour - all the red buttons here, the blue buttons there, green, white, cream, black, brown etc. Another time, I'd sort them by shape - square, round, domed, etc. And yet another time, by size. But actually, no one button was the same as any other button, and would find itself in piles with buttons it had never met before in a different classification system.
Psychological suffering is just as individual, if not more so. Because medical people are used to classifying things in order to decide how to treat them (a mechanistic A leads to treatment B, X leads to treatment Y), they do the same when the problems are in how you feel. The pharmaceutical companies like this, too, because they can market their drugs as being 'for' a particular named 'condition'. But this has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.
Add to this that fact that all pharmaceuticals are toxins. That's the whole point - they introduce a poison into your body and sometimes it has an effect we want. It's much the same as taking alcohol or cannabis - both are poisons but some people rather like some the effects they give and are willing to tolerate the other effects which are less pleasant. And just as some people respond to alcohol by getting happy, and others respond by getting nasty, and just as some people have one beer and are drunk and others have ten and seem sober, so it is with pharmaceutical drugs.
So - no diagnosis is going to be 'accurate'. Each diagnosis gives you a little glimpse of the complex whole you and your individual form of suffering. And no drug can be guaranteed to give the individual you a wanted effect. What I can promise you, however, is that NO drug is going to 'cure' you - it may alleviate symptoms but it isn't curing you the way that particular antibiotics can cure TB, for example.
Psychosis is a less well-defined term than you might imagine, too. But definitely hallucinations are not necessarily a part of psychosis. However, the term is only meaningful if it is referring to a real loss of contact with reality. The key thing in psychosis is delusions, and it might be that the doctor is trying to see your paranoia as being so out of touch with reality that you can't manage normal life. Given how you've expressed yourself here, that seems highly unlikely.
The only thing that I think is likely - not certain, one really can't be - to effect long-term change for you, so that you feel better in yourself, your anxiety is reduced to the point where it doesn't interfere with your everyday life, etc, is to get good, individual, psychotherapy. Not CBT or any other quick-fix standardised 'treatment', because once again that would fail to see you as you are and go to the root of the issues. Real, proper, psychotherapy from a properly trained and experienced psychotherapist. Not a counsellor who has done a little training in counselling on top of something else. I fear that from what I've learned, this profession (my own) is less well defined in the USA, but I really am certain it would be the most helpful thing for you.Source(s): UK psychotherapist, who works hard to understand the INDIVIDUAL suffering of each of her clients and works appropriately with their individuality. Re-inventing therapy for each client......
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- nobodyLv 49 years ago
Many psychotics don't hallucinate. Some people with a delusional disorder have just delusions. The description sounds much like delusions.
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