Earlier this year (mid February) I quit my job to start a business. I got so consumed with it that I stopped attending college, reasoning with myself that quitting both school and job would allow me to focus on my business. I went nonstop on my business for about a month before everything fell apart. I’m normally very quiet, but I was forcing myself to get out and socialize and spread the word about my business. About 3 weeks in, I started to feel like/realize that no one was really taking me seriously. Then everything got strange. It was like everyone I encountered knew to mess with me. I spent days just walking around town, trying to figure “something” out. I wasn’t eating. I never felt out of control, but it was obvious I was really being messed with and not just being paranoid. At one point I had pulled the last of my money and walked to the train station with the intention of just leaving. When I sat down at the benches, everyone else (probably 8-10 others) got up and moved away and kept repeating the word “branding”, earlier that day I had texted a friend that I was working on branding my business.
I finally went back to school, and sitting in a class of people I had never met before, the first day we got a 10 min break and the teacher left. Everyone starts talking and they keep getting louder and louder so I go to put my headphones on and everyone starts saying “yeah, put your headphones on” so I just stopped moving then everyone continued in conversation at a normal volume like nothing happened. This was not a hallucination. I started thinking that maybe I was a reincarnated prophet and it seemed like everything was a message or a clue. Right around Easter I really thought I needed to get to Israel to behold the 2nd coming of Christ, I was trying to solve the book of Revelations. I moved to a different state, and it all stopped for the most part. I still get the feeling I’m being watched whenever I stay in one place for too long. 6 months later the whole experience is still fresh and not sure how to proceed with getting help or what kind of help to seek. I just never want it to happen again. (age 26, from US)
I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time and I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but based on the information you shared here, it sounds like you had a psychotic episode. It could have been brought on by fatigue, sleep deprivation and lack of nutrition, but either way, it sounds like you lost touch with reality.
The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to take good care of yourself. That includes taking care of your physical health by getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, but it also means meeting with a mental health professional for an evaluation and ongoing support. There is a chance that it was a one time experience brought on by extreme circumstances. However, it could also be the first sign of a more serious issue. It is common for symptoms like this to appear for the first time when someone is in their mid twenties. Please see a psychiatrist or psychologist soon so you can be evaluated and treated. Thank you for your question.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Very Odd Episode
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). Very Odd Episode. Psych Central.
Retrieved on December 9, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/02/06/very-odd-episode/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Feb 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.