This is my first time posting here, so please bare with me. Around a year ago, I developed panic disorder. It started with a panic attack that included the heart racing, dizziness, feeling faint and feeling just plain horrible like I was going to die right there. I didn't believe I was experiencing a panic attack, but several EKGs later, and after running from MD to MD, I realized my problem was less physical and more emotional and with the fight or flight response. I developed agoraphobia, and began to become afraid to be anywhere by myself for fear of fainting or dying and not having anyone to help me.

I am now in a better place with dealing with the fear of fainting. Instead, I have another problem. I am wondering if it sounds like I am developing psychosis or a related problem. I have had such extreme depersonalization. I feel like I am not really here in reality. Don't get me wrong, I know things are real, and I know what to say to people and so forth to appear relatively normal. It is just that on the inside, my perception of the world has changed. I don't recognize myself. I remember stuff about myself, but I feel so foreign to myself as does life. This is really all scary to admit because I fear it could be the begnning of psychosis. For those who have experience with this kind of thing, please let me know. I am so frightened about this. I am also afraid to wake up one morning and not know who I am, or who anyone in my life is. It hasn't happened. I also feel like my brain is so foggy. I can't think straight and my senses feel out of control particularly my hearing. Everything sounds loud.

I also have a fear of losing control and doing something crazy in public. I am afraid to have a psychotic break and feel like I can't stop it from happening. Again, I have never lost control of myself or had a psychotic break.

The other thing that is frightening to me is that I have periods where I become very obsessed with thinking about existence. I wonder what created us, or who and why we are all here. I also start thinking if there could be life on other planets, and I get scared about the enormity of the universe and what it all means. I have had friends who have told me that they have had the same questions, but never get scared about them. For me, it isn't the questions, but the fact that my brain stays in a stuck position thinking about this.

I also feel like my body is foreign sometimes. I feel like it feels weird and heavy to move my body around, and it feels even weird to have a body.

In addition to this, I have an incredibly hard time focusing sometimes. I have a hard time focusing on conversation. I want to follow, but have to ask what often, and this makes people annoyed. It is like I can't always process what they are saying to me, but maybe my brain is too full.

I get scary random thoughts in my head sometimes. Based on what I have written, does it sound like I am on my way to developing psychosis? I am really afraid.


2818 days ago

you mentioned you've been diagnosed with panic disorder. Did the doctor give you medication or put you in therapy because panic disorder, responds very well the therapy. I'm not a doctor, but I feel everything you're described is related to your anxiety. I would speculate you might have GAD -general anxiety disorder - this can make you overly worried about yourself and other things. Even the sense of spacing and depersonalization, can be attributed to the panic. Not being able to focus is another sign since you're always stressed.

I don't think you're developing schizophrenia - I think your fears are creating all these worries. Your worries are reinforcing the panic and controlling you. Please ask your doctor to put you in therapy that specializes in panic disorder. When you get this under control, you'll start to feel more calm and focused.

2818 days ago
It is good to not limit your thoughts. The Universe Is Big and Infinate. Please do wonder about why we are here. Yes, our modern world is a Loud Place, actully it is to loud.

Try going out in nature where you can find a quiet place. Observe all life forms like the birds and lizards, they are part of the the Universe just like you! They have a Spirit just like you. As you experience this, you are going to become more aware of your body and its physical limitations.

There is no need to be scared, Experience the Joy of what you are disscovering!

As you Grow your identity and concept of Self changes, has the world changed or is it you that has changed?

2797 days ago
I know exactly what you are experiencing! I experienced all of those things two years ago. I am 27 now and still get a little overwhelmed with things. I used to be care free, didn't really think about the future much, thought mostly about the infinite world when I was on psychedelics with my friends and really just had a good time. Within the course of three months, 4 of the most traumatic things of my life happened and I developed GAD. I had the intrusive thoughts, the depersonalization, feeling incredibly small in this incredibly HUGE world, and really just being jumpy and feeling weird alllllllllllll the time! I had panic attacks during the day, at night and even while I was sleeping! I remember even waking up to panic attacks! I was prescribed proexitine and took it for all of two days. I decided medicine just wasn't the way for me. It made me feel weirder!!! I remember trying to watch an episode of metalocalypse after I took a pill....I mean...I seriously thought my body was going to explode. That show is awesome and twisted but when I was on the meds it was too much!

So, I took my recovery into my own hands. I did things like you are doing now, researching as much about anxiety as much as I possibly could and talking to as many people as I could find who were willing to talk back. The craziest thing about it is...Anxiety is there to protect us but when, in the case of GAD, our brains reset themselves to operate at a higher degree of anxiety... things can really seem awful. I have had all the "am i going crazy" thoughts in the book! In fact, now I am a psych. major just because I have spent so much time researching this stuff that I figured I would put it to good use.

Think about your anxiety as a tool to help you look inside yourself and take the time to do it. The road hasn't been an easy one for me and its definitely not over. I still have to calm myself down and tell myself not to worry. It happens. Every human has negative and bizarre thoughts but most people don't recognize them or give them any further thought. When you have anxiety, those thoughts seem almost real. There is guilt, disgust and fear associated with all of them. But, they are intrusive and nothing else. I like to think of them as a person. This person is 5 times bigger than you and he is coming your way. What is the best way to avoid getting hurt by this guy? Moving out of the way... letting him through! If you try and stop him, he will walk all over you. So, that's what i try to do with the intrusive thoughts. Instead of trying to stop them and telling them "no," which actually makes them worse(i'm sure you know),... I just recognize them, tell them yes, move out of their way and say thank you as they leave. It is a process that must be figured out by you!

I also saw a therapist. I went to four sessions and when he told me that I wasn't schizophrenic...i believed him and went about my self discovery on my own. I have certainly had fears about going into psychosis...in fact I had one earlier today when I was studying up on Schizophrenia. I think the challenge is really figuring out how to step aside and be an observer of your thoughts. Recognize that your consciousness is like the film on a movie reel...where each frame is a different thought. You see this film and basically pick out which thoughts you want to elaborate on and which thoughts you want to just keep on going. Also, I think it is possible to learn how to use your anxiety as your partner rather than opponent. To accept it and invite it rather than deny it and run from it. Life is weird...there is no doubt about it! Accept the uncertainty...embrace it!!! With certainty there are restrictions and boundaries....which uncertainty there is a road of infinite possibility!!! I hope this post helps..I am no doctor and all of this is based on my own experience...but...I do know what you are going through and I know that there is a wonderful life that is waiting to be experienced by you. Take care!