Random Thoughts Cause Concern

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve been diagnosed with purely O OCD last month but I don’t know if my thoughts are obsessions or already delusions. I don’t know if I’m losing my grip on reality but just a good few hours ago, a random thought popped into my head: “What if everyone were cats or aliens and I’m just imagining them as people?” It never stops to bother me now and even though I know it’s completely ridiculous, I just can’t help but worry that I might start to believe it and see people that way. It’s like my belief systems are being challenged cause I don’t have a set religion as of yet. (i.e.: my OCD’s caused by some entity) and I don’t know what to do. I’ve always had faith in science and now it’s hit me that there’s probably some supernatural forces at work in my mind even though that sounds a bit absurd. I’ve found solace and comfort in the company of people when I have OCD panic attacks so maybe my brain did this for me to become more miserable. I just don’t know what to believe anymore. I’ve been on two meds and they helped me feel like myself again for two weeks but then it’s back to this situation as soon as I dabbled with the idea of something paranormal working against me. I just fear losing control and becoming clinically insane and non-functioning. :/ Do you think I’m slowly slipping into schizophrenia or insanity? Are these just obsessive thoughts or already delusions? I worry that I might convince myself into believing/doing these things and that horrifies me. Everytime I talk to someone now, a thought pops up in my head and says ‘Why am I talking to this alien?’ I know it’s too ridiculous but I don’t know what to do anymore. Please help ASAP! Note: I’m currently on Lexapro and Rivotril.

A. Individuals with a specific type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) commonly believe that they are developing a mental illness, often schizophrenia, because it’s considered to be the most severe and they fear it the most. They might become obsessed with the fact that they are going “insane” or developing psychosis. It is quite common. The thoughts that “pop into your head” are likely obsessions, a symptom of OCD. My sense of the situation is that your symptoms are most likely associated with OCD and not the development of psychosis but only an in-depth, psychiatric interview, with a mental health professional, could provide a diagnosis.

The fact that you have been diagnosed with OCD, and are being treated for OCD (rather than schizophrenia) increases the likelihood that your symptoms are not indicative of psychosis.

It is a concern that you are taking two psychiatric medications, yet continue to experience significant symptoms. It may mean that your medication needs adjusting. Report your symptoms to your prescribing physician who can then adjust your medications accordingly.

If you are not currently in psychotherapy, you should consider it. OCD is a complex disorder which often requires both medication and psychotherapy. One without the other is generally not recommended. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Random Thoughts Cause Concern. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/01/21/random-thoughts-cause-concern/

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