Paranoia, or just extreme anxiety/depression?
Hi - my psychiatrist recently told me that she thinks I may have some "psychosis" that goes beyond "simple" anxiety and/or depression. (She also mentioned something about my possibly having some "touch" of mania/bipolar - which really floors me. Me??? Manic???) Then she mentioned a class of drugs that include Risperdal, Navane, and Abilify (I believe these drugs are used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder) -and is "gently" getting me to consider trying Abilify. Naturally, I want to resist this "diagnosis" - because for all these years, I thought my "paranoid" thoughts were just a product of extreme anxiety and extreme depression. Besides, I've already endured the hard-to-live-with side effects of the "mere" antidepressants I've taken - what would I have to endure taking a drug from that class?
I mean, don't people afflicted with severe anxiety have certain thoughts that others construe as "paranoia"?
I think the main cause of my psych thinking I may have some psychosis comes from a couple of letters I felt compelled to write to my therapist describing my devastation and indignation at some of the things he has done and said to me - and defending myself against his possible negative views of me. It's kind-of a long story that I won't really get into...but I had picked up on some "subtle" and not-so-subtle clues that my therapist may think certain negative things about me. This made me really despondent. Here are some of the concepts I mentioned in the letters. Are these more or less typical of someone with severe social-anxiety and general anxiety accompanied by severe depression - or is it, as my psychiatrist seems to be thinking, something "more"? Does anyone else have these type of thoughts?
~Obsessively worrying that my psychiatrist thinks I'm fake and pretentious - based on some "subtle" things he has said and done.
~Obsessively worrying about the time when my therapist harshly used the word "arrogance" to describe my attitude about something - which seemed to be his way of saying that I was arrogant.
~Obsessively wondering about his true motive for saying that I was being more "real", and "more articulate" during a particular session - a session during which it seemed pretty obvious to me that I was being less composed and articulate. Was this his way of saying that I was being fake before, by trying to sound articulate and intelligent?
~Thinking that his negative assessment of me is possibly influenced by some prejudice he has.
~Thinking that his cold, extremely matter-of-fact manner when I expressed thoughts of wanting to kill myself indicated that he doesn't care if I off myself.
~Thinking that those two occassions when he kept me waiting in the waiting room for ridiculously long periods of time (something like 35 minutes the first time, then a full hour the 2nd time - and when he came out this 2nd time, it wasn't to get me, it was to get his patient who was scheduled after me. He "didn't know" I had arrived.) - was his way of "getting back" or "teaching me a lesson" for those two times when I cancelled on the day of our scheduled session (which you really aren't supposed to do). No, he wasn't running behind schedule (he told me he wasn't) - and practically every other time, he's been pretty much on time. These were two "freak coincidences" that happened pretty much right after I made those cancellations. So why wouldn't I think that these "coincidences" were done on purpose?
Do these type of thoughts ring a bell with you guys? Or do you think these thoughts are paranoid and psychotic to the point of requiring some anti-psychotic-type drug? (Supposedly my psych says that she would try me on a very small dose of this drug - maybe in acknowledgment of the fact that I don't have "full-blown" psychosis.)
But I'm thinking that a large part of severe anxiety and/or severe anxious-depression is "mental overactivity" which includes obsessive, ruminative, "paranoid" thoughts such as these. Doesn't it?
"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."
--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).