Psychosis… trying to process that word…

I saw a psychiatrist at the personality disorder service yesterday. I’d asked if I could have a medication review and talk to someone about my fears about my hallucinations (because of the focus of MBT therapy we don’t really talk about them at length in group or regular 1:1 sessions).

I was scared why are the hallucinations getting worse and why it seemed to be getting harder to know they aren’t real. They used to be voices inside my head. Now they’re often outside and at the time they’re totally real. Only after can I work out they couldn’t have been. And I’m seeing things too.

My mother had hallucinations and I’m just a year younger than she was when she gave birth to me and after that things got really bad for her. So I was scared is the same thing happening to me at the same age?

The psychiatrist was really nice,  understood me, understood my terror, understood the frightening experiences of my childhood and she took more interest in this background than I’d expected. Which was important because it allowed me to tell her about unusual, possibly hallucinatory (is that a word?!) visual experiences as a child and the very strong imaginary world I created to escape into, away from the bizarre experiences day to day caused by my mother’s weird beliefs and behaviour. I told her about feeling I dissociate into different personalities and worlds.

Then we talked about psychosis and schizophrenia. The psychiatrist used the words psychosis and psychotic symptoms for what I was describing. I asked if she thought I had Psychosis as another illness separate from my Borderline PD. She said it is hard to separate because having unusual external experiences is part of Borderline and I could be at a more extreme end of that, worsened by stress and perhaps as therapy is opening things up. Also she thinks I had a sort of ‘propensity’ towards it as a child – I can’t remember the word she used – and this interacted with my mother’s schizophrenic behavior and the abuse to make things worse.

I knew I have hallucinations. I was scared of Psychosis. One of the drugs I take is actually anti psychotic though I didn’t realise that.

It’s still scary that the word psychosis and psychotic symptoms is used for what I have. Partly, I think this is because I fear I’m going to lose all knowledge these things aren’t real and lose contact with the world and become as my mother did. Partly, it’s saying for sure I’m experiencing things that aren’t real. And I’ve so many fears about what’s real and what’s not real. Partly I don’t know yet.

I’m holding on to what the psychiatrist said, that if you keep taking the medication you do not tend to lose the knowledge that the hallucinations aren’t real. They might even go away.

So she’s writing to my GP for changes in my medication and higher dose of the anti psychotic meds.

I don’t know what to think right now. There seems a lot to get my head round again.

Ginny xx

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