It is always difficult to give a diagnosis without having the benefit of meeting an individual face-to-face. Having said that, you have provided many details and while I will not be able to give you a diagnosis I can offer you a fairly thorough response. Below I will respond to aspects of your letter using bullet points.
- Sleep problems: “Hag’s syndrome” is an alternative name for sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis refers to the inability to voluntarily move either at the onset of sleep or upon awakening. Sleep paralysis is associated with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes an individual to be extremely tired and to take uncontrollable naps known as sleep attacks. Symptoms of narcolepsy include dreamlike, vivid hallucinations that can occur between sleep stages. This is of particular interest since it may match your unusual experiences. The hallucinations associated with narcolepsy oftentimes involve seeing things, hearing things and they may affect other senses as well. If you’ve never been evaluated for narcolepsy then I would strongly recommend it. Your doctor may refer you for a sleep study. I cannot know for certain whether you have narcolepsy but some of your symptoms matched the description of the disorder. That is why it’s important for you to see a doctor.
- BDSM relationship: There are many individuals who are involved in BDSM relationships. Your role in the relationship is as a slave. Apparently, your “Master” has other “slaves” as well. Although many might view BDSM relationships as harmful, research has not shown that to be true. Not all theorists agree but many people engage in this lifestyle as a form of added eroticism in their sex lives. My concern is that you are engaged in a BDSM relationship not of your free will. Why do I suspect this? Because you wrote that you are “very stressed, having to deal with sub lifestyler… I don’t understand why someone would give up their life in the service of another in a relationship I am not fond of directly affecting my dreams.” It seems as if you are being forced, in some capacity, to engage in a relationship that you are not enjoying. If that is the case then you need to consider ending it. It is unhealthy for an individual to remain in a relationship that they do not want to be in.
- Homeschooling and being unsocial: You speculated that homeschooling may be the reason why you feel uncomfortable in social situations. That may be the case. I think it’s a reasonable conclusion. One positive note is that even though you are frightened of certain social situations you are able to make friends and to interact with people. I find this very encouraging.
- Growing up with a mother with schizophrenia: This can be very difficult. Despite what may have been a difficult upbringing for you, overall, you seem psychologically healthy. I know this is a concern of yours. I believe you may be psychologically stable for the following reasons (some of which you described as “symptoms you don’t have”): you don’t have delusions, you have good insight, you are educated and intelligent, your thoughts are organized and clear, you seem to be able to determine what is real and what is not, and you force yourself to think logically. The latter characteristic is very important (perhaps the most important) because without logic and reason one risks losing touch with reality. In many ways, schizophrenia is the ultimate loss of reality.
Other characteristics that seem to indicate that you are psychologically stable include your resiliency, finishing high school and returning to college after being homeless, your ability to hold a stable job and to develop relationships. Individuals with schizophrenia often have difficulty with social and occupational functioning, areas that you have succeeded in.
- Relationship with your mother: You also seem to have a very good relationship with your mother. You described her as an “intuitive talker” which I take to mean that she knows you well and she can make you feel better. You’re very fortunate to have that relationship with her. She is lucky as well to have a compassionate and loving daughter who has helped to care for her. She most likely also cherishes the relationship she has with you.
Your main question, as I understand it, essentially is: Are you mentally ill? I cannot give you a definitive yes or no answer. I am concerned with the fact that you are experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations coupled with the fact that there is a history of schizophrenia in your family. However, the auditory and visual hallucinations may be associated with an undiagnosed sleep disorder; that needs to be ruled out. I believe that you need to have a thorough physical examination and you should do this as soon as possible. I hope that I answered your question adequately. Thanks for writing. I wish you well. Please consider writing back and letting me know how you are doing. Also, if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to write.