Problems with Girlfriend

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I dont know what to tell you really but saw your articles and needed to speak to you.

I have been WEIRD since I was a kid.

Never had a friend always been alone, only just got a woman at 50 an only then cos she is probably BPD. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with paranoid personality disorder and being schizotypal. I am still not sure any of that is correct.

I definitely have paranoid tendencies and have never trusted anyone. That can be easily explained by bullying from a brother when young I feel and the hate from my mother and weakness of my father.

The problem I have is that when I am in new situations such as on holiday I see people that I think I know and I am convinced I know them and they know me yet my girlfriend tells me its impossible. This seems to be happening with increasing regularity along with olfactory sensations of death and decay.

I have seen psychiatrists and they just seem to despair of me…………………. I have always had suicidal feelings since I was a child but I take seroxat 40mg and that seems to keep me stable but I so desperately want to be free of tablets I dont know what to do.

A. One area of concern is your olfactory hallucinations, also known clinically as phantosmia. Phantosmia is a relatively uncommon symptom. According to Dr. Jeffrey Swanson of the Mayo Clinic, it is often associated with medical conditions such as head trauma, upper respiratory infections, temporal lobe seizures, epilepsy, sinusitis, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, migraines or strokes. Because phantosmia may be indicative of a physical condition, it is important to be evaluated by a physician. If you have not done so already, inform your treating psychiatrist about your olfactory symptoms. Your psychiatrist may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

It is difficult for me to comment about the situations (involving your girlfriend) in which you are convinced that you know someone and your girlfriend says that you don’t. I would need much more information about why she would say that you are incorrect when you are so convinced that you are. Either you are correct or she is correct. There is no in between.

Generally, comprehensive psychiatric treatments often involve both medication and psychosocial treatment but many utilize only one form of treatment with success. Since your goal is to eventually stop taking your psychiatric medication, I would recommend consulting a therapist. A therapist can assist you in developing psychosocial treatment responses to your symptoms. It would be unwise to simply stop your medication without having a plan to treat your symptoms. I hope that my answer helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Problems with Girlfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/20/problems-with-girlfriend/