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I Can't Do This - Hallucinations with PTSD

Discussion in 'General' started by Asher, Aug 14, 2006.

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  1. Asher

    Asher New Member

    I have recently have been diagnosed with PTSD and schizoprenia.
    One of my freinds died this past October, and recently, I've been hearing her, seeing her, everwhere I go. Up to about a week ago, it was just her, but now i've been seeing others, people I don't know. They put me on medication, when the PTSD first started, along with the hallucinations. I didn't see April for a while, and I missed her. More than when she actually died. To have her ripped away from me again, was traumatic. They took me off the medication because it had nasty side affects on me. I've been seeing her again, but it's getting worse. I can talk to her, and she talks back to me. She's been telling me to kill myself, and telling me that I'm worthless and that no one except her loves me. I know these things aren't true.. but when it's actually happening it's so hard to believe. I can't lose her again, which is why I cant be on medication that stops it. I love her. I dont know what to do.
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  3. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP


    I don't know what to say. I understand your love for her. You have gotten used to seeing her every day and can see why you miss her. But what bothers me is what she is saying to you. Please, don't do what she says. Do not join her, she is not there telling you that. She is separate than the friend that you knew when she was alive. Very different. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you keep us posted.

    Stay tuned, Asher, someone with more experience will respond to your post..

    PS...Welcome aboard. We are glad you are here...
  4. Asher

    Asher New Member

    I know. I know that now, but when it's actually happening, It's like I'm in this other world. And she is so real to me, even when I know she's not. I guess it's the fact that you believe what you want to. And its clear that I want her to be here. Thank you..
  5. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    Did you develope PTSD as a result of your friends death?

    Or were those two totally seperate incidents...?

    What a scary vision to have to deal with,
    and the fight with medications is not easy,
    our poor bodies can only take so much

    take care of yourself
  6. Asher

    Asher New Member

    Yes, it was because of her death. Thank you for replying.
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Asher... welcome to the forum, and glad your here.

    I have no idea about the visions, and to be quite honest, after seeing such independant research on Allison Dubois and interviews with her, I think there is certainly more to death than just dieing itself. Lets face facts... the world doesn't make such a prominent TV show after a reknown ability to see the dead for nothing.

    Are you seeing the dead? I have no idea. You sound as though your head is screwed on pretty well, because your telling yourself these things aren't real. Only you know what is, and isn't real. What I will say is this; would your friend have told you to kill yourself when alive? If not, then why would they start now when dead? Dieing doesn't mean they are no longer your friend, does it? Now... if April was such a great friend, then I think we both know that she wouldn't be appearing and telling you to kill yourself. If she was going to appear, she would only be talking with you, about the same things as she did before death. Yes?

    I am interested though to know if your seeking regular counselling? The reason I say that, is not because I think your nuts either, but because I would be more curious about what your involvement was within her death. Where you involved intentionally or unintentionally? Did you witness her death? Did you see her after she had died? And the list goes on. The reason I ask these type of questions, is to find whether or not you have guilt from her death, which is directly associated to trauma. I am not saying you are guilty of something. What I am saying, is that guilt stems trauma, ie. if you where driving a car with April as passenger, and you had an accident, and that accident caused Aprils death, then you have guilt associated to your trauma. Incidents like that are not just residual guilt, but a very prominent part of your trauma, which needs to be dealt with ASAP.

    This leads me to your visions of her. Whether real or not, if you have a great deal of guilt associated to the trauma of April dieing, then you could be seeing April as part of a memory or flashback, and yes, we can alter our memories how ever we like at the time, which is why so many issues arise with PTSD and memory recollection, to find the truth of what is, and is not factual, occured and was a sustainable part of our trauma.

    Basically, I don't think your losing your mind Asher, I think you are having these visions because of the association to her death that you have, hence why you have PTSD from her death. No physician would diagnose PTSD because a friend died and you felt bad over it, because that is common with every death. PTSD had to be diagnosed because you had some significant role within the death, ie. driving a car within an accident, witnessed her death and couldn't stop it, etc.
  8. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Asher, a few more points.

    Please correct me if wrong, but are you saying, that when medicated you don't have the hallucinations, and when not medicated you do have the hallucinations? If you don't hallucinate when medicated, then take the medication again IMHO, because if your diagnosed with schizoprenia (an illness I know little to nothing about), then wouldn't schizoprenia from what I know, actually be causing these hallucinations?

    Also, are you seeing a shrink about your illnesses? Have you had an EEG or CT scan, to rule out brain lesions? As a wise man said to me, "the physical must always be ruled out before a psychological reason can be considered."

    What medication was prescribed? At what dose and for how long? Was there depression, and if so was this treated?
  9. Asher

    Asher New Member

    Thank you. Yes, I am in regular therapy, twice a week. She doesn't know that they're telling me to kill myself. I would tell her, but I know that it would result in her telling my parents that I'm suicidal (which I'm not) and then that would result in another hospitalization.
    You could say i whitnessed her death. April was in a coma for about a week after she overdosed. I had gone to the hospital that morning to see her. I walked into her room, and sat down with her for a while. She flatlined. A bunch of nurses and doctors came flying in, and tried to revive her, but it was no use. They all came out and asked me if I knew her parents phone number. When they got there, the doctors let us have an hour with her lifeless body. Sorry, I didn't mean to get sappy. Anyway, I was entirely blaming myself for her death, because I wasn't there when she needed me. Three days before her overdose, she had told me about her being suicidal. I made her come stay at my house, just to be safe. I let her go home on the third day. It was the biggest mistake of my life. She killed herself almost directly after she got come. It's just, she seemed so happy, and she seemed like she was actually getting better. I thought she was okay. Anyway, getting sappy again.

    And the reason I dont want to take the medication, is because I like seeing her. I like being able to talk to her again. I know I shoudn't, and I know it's stupid, I just.. I miss her so much, and being able to talk to her again is amazing.
    The medicaions that are prescribed are Vallium, Geodon, and several Neuroleptics.
    There was depression, and yes, I'm on medication for that as well.

    Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it.
  10. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    That is good to hear that you are in regular counselling. What is not good to hear though, is that your holding parts back from your counsellor. There is a way to tell the truth, and a way not too. You need to tell your counsellor everything, because when you hold anything back, then they don't get a full understanding off how to help you. They move in one direction, but your holding back, is causing little in the recovery process, because their not working with all the information.

    If you told your therapist that you are seeing visions of April, and she is telling you to kill yourself, then that would alarm her immediately. If you told your counsellor that you are having hallucinations of April, and that during those hallucinations she is talking with you, but part of that is that she is telling me to commit suicide, you will get a more relaxed approach to a serious issue. Your counsellors immediate reply will be in regard to the suicide obviously, at which point you need to tell the truth, and talk from your heart. You need to outline that whilst you are hearing these things from her, you have no intentions of commiting suicide, nor allowing that voice to convince you otherwise. You need to tell her the issue, but also back it up by what you feel. If the voices are beginning to get to you, and make you think about commiting suicide, then you need to be honest about it, as then hospitalization is a reasonable outcome to try and help you by monitoring you within a controlled environment, to lessen the chances of the voices succeeding with you, and so they can work harder on you faster, instead of just counselling twice a week.

    Nobody generally likes hospitals, but lets be honest, we need them to protect ourselves from ourselves at times, we need them when seriously ill, they have a purpose. If a doctor believes your not going to kill yourself, and you have suicidal thoughts under control, they are not going to lock you up. Hell, I had them for three years and never got hospitalized, because I was honest about the entire reality of the situation, ie. everytime I got in a car, I would have to convince myself to keep driving, and not drive myself in front of traffic or into a solid object, because even though these thoughts were in my head, they remained just thoughts, and I had no intentions of letting them win, nor carry them out. This is what doctors need to know, the whole truth, nothing missed, so they can ascertain the full picture of your mental health and strengths, to determine what is in your best interest. Doctors aren't in the business of just locking people up unless those people demonstrate particular criteria to them to warrant such an action. Be honest with your counsellor.

    Asher, I don't think your fully processing what you have written above, because if your where, you would be seeing what you wrote from all angles. "I was entirely blaming myself for her death", and here is one part of the bigger issue. You are blaming yourself for something you could not control. Take note of, "you could not control", because it was out of your hands. She had already made up her mind, hence why she presented herself as happy and fine about life again. You are not to know the ins and outs of suicide, and the issues surrounding what makes it more prominent.

    You made your friend come and stay at your house to watch her when she told you about the suicide, and that is what friends do. You did what you could Asher, but April had already made up her mind. Look at it like this, when a person is hospitalized for attempting suicide, and they have made up their mind they are going to kill themselves, even being within a controlled environment with everything taken away from them that staff could possibly think they could use to commit suicide (and from experience of other patients commiting suicide), people still find a way, and the hospital staff still find them hanging themselves, or something else, something that gets them to their end aim, death. How can this happen, in a purpose environment that is made to safe house suicidal people? Because they have already made up their minds, thats how.

    Asher, its not your fault.

    I think once you divulge this with your therapist, and talk with them honestly about how this makes you feel, maybe you might think about going back to a small amount of medication, not to avoid your friend, but to realize that you must get on with your own life now, as she has passed, and you must move forward and not dwell upon the past any longer, because it is not doing you any good. Again, if April was such a good friend, then she would understand you doing this, so you can control yourself in the future without medications, live a healthier life once again.
  11. Asher

    Asher New Member

    I told my therapist about what's been going on yesterday. I don't understand. The very first session I was told that she would only tell my parents under two conditions. 1. If I was expressing the need to hurt myself or 2. If someone else was expressing the need to hurt me. I don't understand. The people that I'm seeing and hearing aren't me. Yes, they may be a reflection of my imagination, and I do create them, but they are not created by the logical part of me, the dominant part. Thankfully, they are not going to hospitalize me for now, but it could be a dominant option in the near future.
    I realize that me blaming myself for what she did is wrong, but it's hard to not blame someone. It's almost as though I have to have someone to beat up about this, and since I can't find anyone else, I use myself. I guess I needed to be angry at someone, and I picked the first person I could find. Myself. I know it's not my fault, now. I just had a hard time with that before.
    I think part of recovery is realizing that these visions aren't real. It's not April talking to me. I know this now, because right now, I'm not having an episode, but when she is here, it's hard to think logically, because I look at her, and I talk to her, and things are okay. Finally, things seem easier. Even if she is being abusive and stupid, there's still part of me that is glad she's here. I don't know. Things will get sorted out, soon.
    One more thing... I think you're amazing. Really, I mean that. You're very wise and helpfull, and I don't think you give yourself enough credit for it.
    Thanks again
  12. nml

    nml Active Member

    My oldest brother is schizophrenic. He also has hallucentations as a result of his medication. I know for myself, if a friend is not healthy for me to be around, I detach myself from that person. And I assume your friend April was not like this in her lifetime. Perhaps this is a way you can bury her before the hallucinations ruin your fond memories of your friend. For me, when I am remembering the past and hearing inside others voices telling me I am good for nothing (put that nicely), i just tell the voice to shut up. Or any other memory I may have...an uhelathy relationship where I care for the person. The most loveable thing to do for a person is to be true to yourself first.
  13. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Asher, that is great you have told your counsellor about the reality of the situation. Good news. Now, for things you missed during some questions, or I don't fully understand at present:
    1. Have you had an EEG or CT scan, to rule out brain lesions?
    2. What medication was prescribed (the neuroleptics and anti-depressants)?
    3. At what dose and for how long (all)?
    4. Do these voices come from inside your head or outside your head?
    5. What does your day to day diet consist meal wise and type of meals?
    6. How do you honestly get along with your parents?
    I know you commented on the following medications, but dosage and the actual full list would be helpful to help you further, being:
    • Vallium, Geodon, and several Neuroleptics.
    Knowing the above in more detail can actually help me to help you.
    The voice isn't expressing the need to hurt you Asher, as a counsellor would logically think, the voice is expressing a need for YOU to hurt yourself. So, your not expressing to hurt yourself, or another third party expressing to hurt you, ie. a real person threatning you. You are just fine.

    This is normal for most trauma, your not unique, so there is no need for you to punish yourself any further.

    In conjunction with the above questions, how do you perceive yourself with all of the following:
    • Do you make efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma?
    • Do you make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment?
    • Do you have recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions?
    • Do you consider a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation?
    • Do you make efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma?
    • Do you have an inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma?
    • Do you have a markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities?
    • Do you identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self?
    • Do you have difficulty concentrating?
    • Do you feel as though you are hypervigilent?
    • Do you have an exaggerated startle response to events?
    • Do you feel as though you suffer transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms?
    • Do you have flashback episodes?
    • Do you feel an intense psychological distress (mental) at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event?
    • Do you suffer any physiological reactivity (Pysical) on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event?
    • Do you have an impulse to spending, sex, Substance Abuse, reckless driving or binge eating that you feel are self destructive?
    • Do you suffer recurrent distressing dreams of the event?
    • Do you act or feel as if the traumatic event were recurring?
    • Do you have recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior?
    • Do you feel detached or estranged from others?
    • Do you have a restricted range of affect with having loving feelings towards others?
    • Do you suffer an affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood, for example: intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days?
    • Do you have chronic feelings of emptiness?
    • Do you feel as though you future will be cut short, ie. do not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span?
    • Do you have inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger, for example frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights?
    • Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?
    • Do you get irritability or outbursts of anger?
    • Do you feel as though you have transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociation?
    I am curious to your responses of the above, to see whether or not your therapist or doctor has picked everything in regard to you, because of you failing to be completely forward with them, and holding pieces of information back, especially during diagnosis.
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