This post contains discussion of experiencing hallucinations, or sensations, which are not “really there”, as well as in very general and brief terms touching on self-destructive ideas. I put this as a warning because I am not sure whether this may be disturbing, distressing or triggering to anyone. I have discussed this very little before. Please consider not reading further if it may not be helpful to you. Thank you.
I have a question on which I would be very grateful to hear any thoughts or answers.
My understanding is that in borderline personality disorder, heightened states of emotion for a prolonged period of time can cause transient psychosis and that people who have Borderline may experience hallucinations.
A few other people I’ve met who have Borderline have shared that they experience things which I think might be termed hallucinations, for example, hearing voices, sensing presences, seeing people or things, sensations of touch, and so on. These seem to be with varying degrees of – I cannot find an adequate term – solidity? For example, ranging from the sensation of a presence with you or a sound, to clearly and specifically seeing another person in the room.
I’m frightened by hallucination experiences I have. I know I am more likely to have them when I am in a state of high emotion. Until recently, I was more likely to have them when alone. Most commonly (I think) they are auditory – hearing someone calling my name (most commonly my mother’s voice), hearing something happening or being said again which happened a long time ago (this is closely bound to my experiencing flashbacks as part of my PTSD), hearing a voice which I am aware is in my head but which appears to come from outside of me telling me to do self-destructive things or telling me how stupid, disgusting, ridiculous, greedy etc I am, or hearing non-distinct voices but knowing that it is accompanied by a sense of pain / anger / urgency in some way. Sometimes I am aware that what I am hearing is in my head (like the voice telling me to do things to myself), but increasingly, sometimes I am certain it was in the world outside (like my mother calling me). More recently, the hallucinations are visual as well, for example, inanimate objects seeming to move or shine. I am always aware immediately afterwards that this cannot be real. Or they can be sensory – this tends to be bound up with the flashbacks again, for example, during a flashback believing that the people present when the traumatic thing happened, the people I feared, or just a non-specific sense of terror that is much more an external sensation than emotion should normally be.
These things are all intensifying. I am scared. I fear am I developing psychotic symptoms? I know my mother’s illnesses started to worsen when she was just a little older than me. Is the same thing happening to me? I would like to know, does anyone else with PTSD or personality disorder experience this kind of thing? Or even, if you are not diagnosed with a personality disorder or PTSD, have you ever experienced anything similar? How do you deal with it? At the moment I have an awareness on some level that these things I’m experiencing aren’t real. How do I make sure that I do not lose that?
I know that these are hard questions and personal questions and I understand you may not feel comfortable to answer. Anything you would like to share, I would be very very grateful for. I really do not want to distress anyone or trigger anyone in any way and if discussion of this kind of thing is not helpful for you I do not want to draw you in.
With thanks for image to: http://freewallpaperdekstop008.blogspot.co.uk/