Psychic or Psychotic?

psychoticOne thing I’ve touched upon here on my blog is my battle with depression, but what I’ve never talked about is the psychotic aspect of my depression diagnosis. The main reason is that until recently I’ve always denied I see and hear things, which changed during my last inpatient stay.

Anyone who’s been screened for an inpatient stay or gone to a therapist is most likely familiar with that simple question; do you see or hear things that aren’t there? I’ve always answered no to this question, not because I’m trying to hide things from those attempting to help me, but rather because I’ve always believed the things I see or hear are there.

Psychic_Or_Psychotic__by_Hallucination_WalkerFor as long as I can remember I have always seen ghosts, not only seen them but have been able to talk with them, hear them, and been able to interact with them. Hence why this blog post is name “Psychic or Psychotic”. I believe in ghosts, spirits, and otherworldly things, so in my mind they exist and are not hallucinations, but of course everyone doesn’t hold this view. Those trained in the sciences, like the psychiatrist during my last inpatient stay, are trained to believe things that can be empirically verified…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

One night after taking my nighttime medications, I went to my bedroom to attempt to get some sleep although I didn’t have much hope that would happen. I was sleeping only two to three hours a night during my last inpatient stay. I wrote in my journal until 1am, at which time I gave in and tried to get some sleep. Up until this time that night nothing unusual had happened so I was unprepared for what happened next.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce I turned out the light, the wall at the head of my bed started to change colours! I freaked out and turned my bedroom light back on, but the wall was back to its normal color and was no longer changing colors. It was at this point I saw a rabbit run across the room, past my feet, and out the bedroom door (which I habitually left open since the techs would have to open it every 12 minutes when they did rounds). I jumped on the other bed in my room as the rabbit scurried down the hallway. Jumping off the bed, flipping off the light, jumping on to my bed, pulling the covers over my head, and freaking out of my mind (ya, being out of my mind is a frequent experience these days).

When I peeked out from under my covers, I saw the wall was once again changing colors and on the far wall a parade of shapes and figures were dancing about the wall as if it was some kind of TV. I curled into a ball and sat rocking back and forth on my bed watching the walls do weird things. I also kept repeating, “that’s not the color of the wall” to no one in particular. I stayed like that until the morning sun peeked into my room. The techs during the night noted my condition and must have made note of it since the doctor knew about the incident before I brought it up.

mouthshutWhen I met with the doctor the next morning I told him that was one hell of trip last night. I attributed the hallucinations to changes to my medications that started the same night as the hallucinations of the walls changing colors. This started a discussion with the doctor about ghosts, spirits, and otherworldly things that go bump in the night (and day too).

“Have you seen or heard things that aren’t there?” asked the doctor.
“Depends. Do you believe in ghosts?” I asked in response to his question.
“Well, I’m trained in the sciences and taught to believe things that can be empirically proven. I don’t discount that some people believe in them, but I don’t personally have enough information to make an informed decision on the matter. Why?”
“Do you believe in God? He can’t be proven to exist empirically, but what about faith?”
“I’m not going to get into a religious debate with you. Why are you asking all these questions this morning?”
“Hypothetically speaking, what would you say of someone who believes in ghosts and sees them regularly?” I could already see how this discussion was going to go and feared I was going to be labeled psychotic because of it.
“Hypothetically speaking, based on my training, I would have to say the hypothetical person in question is psychotic. Why? Are you seeing things?”
Eyes downcast, staring at a speck of lint on the floor, and wishing I was invisible at this point, “yes”.

depressionThe doctor started writing things on my chart (funny, here it is 2013 and the hospital is still using paper charts), circling things, and checking off some boxes. When he was done with all of that he wrote something at the top of the page, something I was able to read even with it being upside down; Major depressive disorder, recurrent; severe with psychotic features. Great, just great, my major depressive disorder just got upgraded to include psychotic features. I should have just kept my mouth shut.

Over the next couple of days my hallucinations became more frequent and far more detailed than any hallucinations I had ever had to this point. They’ve continued becoming far more detailed since getting out of the hospital, and I can now see them, talk with them, feel them, and even smell them.

As things stand, my hallucinations have gotten to the point I can no longer differentiate them from reality. Let’s just say, not knowing if someone you’re talking with is real or not is a very discomforting experience

One person’s psychic is another’s psychotic…

Peace, love, and contentment,

Izzy

PS Check back tomorrow when I take a close look at hallucination, their types, and complexities.

6 Comments

  1. Sometimes doctors are too quick to put a label on symptoms. For example, did he mention that it might possibly be the new medication that was causing you to hallucinate? Or ask about your connection to the spirit world…when and how long? There is no money to be made in discussing the paranormal; only in writing out prescriptions. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I find yours very interesting to read.

    • Thank you, I’ glad you find my blog interesting. The doctor did change my medications to see if that would eliminate the hallucinations…it didn’t. He wasn’t really too interested in my connection to the spirit world or my spirituality. There were other hallucinations that tended to show not all of my hallucinations are ghosts.
      One morning there was a stream going through my room. I could smell the water, heard the babbling brook, could see the pebbly bottom of the stream, saw fish swimming in the stream, and even touched the water with my toe. To my knowledge, streams don’t have ghost associated with them.

      Oh well, I’m no longer sure of reality anymore…who’s to say what is and isn’t real anyway :p

    • Most of them are okay, like my dad grandfather stopping by for a chat, and my favorite dog stopping by for a visit.

      Others haven’t been so nice though. The real problem is I can no longer tell the hallucination apart from real life. Having a conversation with a hallucination while in public can be disturbing to say the least. Since my hallucinations are complex and I can see, feel, hear, and smell them they are scarily real. The only sense I’ve not had is taste but then I’ve never had a desire to taste any of them :p

      Also having them while trying to get to sleep is a problem because of my PTSD. I’m already afraid to go to sleep as it is, so seeing something moving around my room causes my to not be able to sleep even more.

      Oh well, at the doctors today to get my meds adjusted…

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