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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I have psychotic illness, but don't like to go out

 justduhrer - Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:01 pm

hi there,
I was diagnosed with psychosis back in 2002. I've strongly believed that I was persecuted. I don't want to go in to that in details. but now those beliefs have changed and now i know I'm ill that's why I've felt that way. now, I don't believe in people following me or all that delutional belives that I've held. problem for me now is that I've stayed home for so long time, now I find difficult to go out. almost 98% of my time spent in staying in home, pacing back and forth, thinking and talking to myself. I'm 31 years old now. last time I talked to a friend was back in 2002. I badly want to go out and socialize with others. I have a guilty feeling of what I've done when I was younger ( when I was 10 years old ). my question is do i have other problems, such as social anxiety, or all of my inability to go out and socialize with people are the symptoms of my psychotic illness. I was diagnosed with delutional disorder. should i take additional medications to reduce my anxiety? I've never had a girl friend or any sexual relationship with any women ( to show the severity of my situation ). what should i do doctor? thanks.
 Debra Van Ness RN - Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:03 am

I could venture to guess on this one. A phobia called agoraphobia does exist. It is a fear of leaving your home that is so bad it causes panic attacks in some people. Medications do exist for treatment. You really need to explore this with your doctor. If you have not delusional thoughs of someone hurting you or watching you, it could be agoraphobia.
Meds would be one thing to explore. However, what if you took small steps in going out the door. For example make small goals each week. Attempt to take a very short walk up the street about a half block and back to the house. Then very slowly increase the goal weekly until you may be able to overcome some of the fears of leaving home. Maybe eventually you can work your goals up to going to a public place for a short amount of time such as a retail store. Also have you had any therapy? Just a thought. You likely have. But if not try to find a way to get some kind of therapy or counseling.
Best wishes,
Debra Van Ness RN
 justduhrer - Sat May 02, 2009 7:50 pm

Thank you for your thoughts on my problems.

I'll talk with my psychiatrist about agoraphobia. I'd like to give you some background info about the development of my illness over these past 8 years. I came to Canada at the age of 16 ( arrived here Dec, 1993 ), leaving a country with a intensive civil war. When I attended my high school classes in canada, I've felt nervous and anxious in going to school. I did go to play soccer and other sports activities in nearby playground in the evenings, but I'd never had large number of friends, only was able to make few friends, less than 5 close friends. I've never felt the urge to go out often or socialize with other students. I'd always sat in the back of the class and had difficulty in understanding material that were taught at classes. I'd finished high school in 1998 at the age of 20. after working for a year in a manufacturing plant, I decided to go to college and started attending college in 1999 at the age of 22. there too, I wasn't able to make friends, actually I had no friends in college and my social experience with other students were restricted to small talk with fellow students. after finishing one year at the college, I became so concerned about my appearance and dropped out at the third semester, but returned to third semester studies and was able to complete that semester and went on to fourth semester. Before starting the fourth semester in fall 2001, I'd worked as a delivery man, that's when i started feeling paranoid that government of my birth country is trying to harm me. those paranoid feeling started back in summer 2001, but anyways I went on to do my fourth semester for fall 2001. that was the time there 9/11 attacks took place. so paranoid, i stopped the fourth semester after attending few weeks, and went to the owner who provided the delivery job, believing he was working for my birth country's government. those beliefs were so strong, now looking back at it, I clearly see those experiences as result of my paranoid disorder. After dropping out in fall 2001 semester, I stayed home, believing they ( the government ) want me to stay home for few months. I stayed home for few months and strongly believed I followed their wishes. I didn't talk to my family about this, but I did told them about some of my thoughts, but they didn't take it seriously. so I entered my fourth semester ( winter 2002) at the college, passing only 2 courses out of 4 courses. Again my paranoid feelings got worse, and I stopped going to college, stayed home and stopped eating for 2 weeks, fearing my food was poisoned and they ( government people ) come to my home and placing tiny video cameras' to monitor me. my family members became so concerned about me and called mobile psychiatric unit who visited me and who told me to go see a psychiatrist. when I saw my psychiatrist, he diagnosed me with paranoid disorder and asked me to stay in the hospital mental ward for 3 weeks. i was asked to take fluanxol 1cc 2mg once every three weeks, risperdal 2mg pill a day and Trihex 2 pills a day. since that day, I've been taking those medications, but i'd continued to feel paranoid. sometimes my doctor wanted to increase the dosage levels bit more, but i refused, fearing side-effects can worsen my condition. since I left mental hospital, I started pacing back and forth, lost in my own thoughts about government trying to harm me. after struggling with the illness, I came to conclusion, nobody's trying to harm me or persecuting me, it's just my mental illness that caused those feelings and thoughts. problem now is going out and functioning like other normal people. now whenever i go out I feel people look down on me and see me as " troubled guy ". problem now is not paranoid disorder, since I now completely believe I was very ill that was the cause of my feelings, thoughts and behaviors of the past. now I want to go out and make few friends. want to go visit my relatives. but always feel they may judge me negatively, often feel I'll behave in inappropriately. I've stayed home for so long I don't feel the urge to go out intensively. I feel relaxed when I stay home, going out means too much anxiety. here are my questions: do i still have paranoid disorder? are these current fears of social rejection result of my paranoid illness? should i stop taking medications for paranoid illness and take other appropriate medications to treat current problems? please reply to me with your suggestions. thanks. take care. bye now.

 Avery - Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:21 pm

Hi there, I can really relate to your post as I have felt paranoid before and have spent months pacing around talking to myself as I recovered from my manic episodes.

Fluanxol can lead to "akathisia" which is basically figiting and non verbal pacing.

hope this helps,

 waffenamp - Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:44 pm

I understand what your going through. I have experienced symptoms similar to yours. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 3 years ago. I also have problems with hearing voices and talking to myself in my head with different voices. I also think people are trying to kill me or talking about me when I go out in public. I have tried several things to help me with my thoughts. Excluding all of the drugs my doctor prescribes me which I don't like the side effects of. I have tried changing my diet to alot of vegtables, brown rice, oat meal, protein in small amounts through the day. Also some supplements you might want to try is a b vitamin complex, vitamin c pill, and fish oil 5 grams a day. I have found this helps me somwhat more than not taking anything. I hope you have good luck with your condition, as I am still trying to figure out what helps me best I hope some of this info will help you.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:19 pm

Hello, justduhrer and everyone,

First, I apologize that this response is so late. Your concerns are so serious, that I want to provide some information in case it would be helpful to you and/or others. Your fear or severe dislike of leaving your home is perhaps related to agoraphobia, but much more likely it's part of your constellation of symptoms in your psychological condition. Paranoia can be part of several different diagnoses, including schizophrenia, personality disorder, severe anxiety, or severe reactive conditions. Your history certainly reflects serious psychological trauma, and may have been a trigger for your current situation. The people who have responded to your question have covered some of the potential diagnoses. It could be important for you to receive treatment through the public mental health agency in your area, particularly if there is an Assertive Community Treatment Program. Such treatment can be in addition to your private treatment. Sometimes more than one psychiatric hospitalization can be needed before serious symptoms stabilize. I sincerely hope that all of you have found stability and a functional status that you are satisfied with. Good luck to all of you.

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