Uncomfortable Symptoms

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

The first time I remember the voice inside my head was right before my great grandma died. I heard someone say that my great grandma might die soon. The voice said, “I hope she dies” and I kept thinking no I don’t mean that but it kept saying that same thing. After the funeral my grandma was saying something about not being able to bring her back now. I prayed to God that she would come back and then the voice said, “Alright, she’s coming back and she’ll tell everyone that you killed her.” I was terrified every single night afterward. I kept thinking she was coming and I wanted to go dig up the grave to see if the body was still there. Every time I use the shower and wash my hair the voice tells me that someone is standing behind the curtain. I always have to look even if I get shampoo in my eyes. When I was younger it scared me so bad that I didn’t use shampoo for months and kept the shower curtain open for so long that water caused the floor to rot. If we have oranges and I eat some of them it tells me that when all those oranges are gone my grandma will die. There was one time I imagined a picture of Jesus and it scared me. The voice told me that I’m the Antichrist. I thought I was going to hell no matter what. For years I thought of ways that Christianity could be false until I stopped believing in it. I still wanted an afterlife so I kept trying to think of ways that there could still be an afterlife. Sometimes I feel like someone is aiming at me with a sniper rifle through my window. Sometimes I think my food might be poisoned. I can’t have my computer chair facing my bed because the voice tells me that an old woman will be sitting there staring at me in the morning. I often have trouble understanding facial expressions. The voice says things like, “don’t stare at those little girls”, “they’re watching you”, “they know what you’re thinking.” When I’m alone and it’s quiet or if I’m around strangers it feels like a living nightmare. I haven’t told my Therapist about this yet because I’m just really scared. I can’t keep a job either I always quit.

A. It’s imperative to report these symptoms to your therapist. Don’t be frightened to do so. You are doing yourself a disservice by withholding this information from your therapist. I understand your fears but your therapist can’t help you if he or she is unaware of these problems.

Hopefully this letter convinces you to tell your therapist about your symptoms. If so, he or she may recommend that you see a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will evaluate whether or not medication is necessary. Medication could reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Sometimes individuals only need to take medication for a short time or remain on a low dose of medication. How long an individual needs to take medication depends on his or her symptoms and their level of intensity.

I cannot determine if you have schizophrenia based solely on a short letter but these symptoms are obviously interfering with your life. As you described, they make your life a “living nightmare.” My recommendation is to immediately report these symptoms and utilize the help that is available to you. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). Uncomfortable Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/28/uncomfortable-symptoms/