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Trouble Coping with a Change in Perception

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Before getting to the issue, please allow me to give you a brief description about myself :
My parents always told me that when i was young i was a “leader” that i’m the one that led the group of friends when we were playing or doing sports or any kind of activity.
I remember being a very happy child.
Also note that i had the tendency to steel things beginning at a very young age and kept doing so till i was 26.

Then as i grew a little older (maybe 13 14 15 or less ) i started to feel that my father caused us shame when we were out having dinner or in other situations because he asked about the price and stuff like that. And i Started hating him . I had a very rough childhood with my dad (I hated him and disgraced him because he was not like i imagined him to be, because he wasn’t able to provide us what my friend had).

My mom is a wonderful women but she use to hit me and my brothers when we were young because we had trouble learning (i don’t know if this is normal). One time my brothers and i had a fight and she went crazy she threw the whole closet on the floor and broke many stuff and told us to clean it. (I think she reacted this way because she was going through a divorce)

Around the age of 17 – 18 i started to feel inferior to people and felt like i had no personality , could not defend myself or my principles. I starting living for others , to please others and be like others , started believing they were better then me . I grew a huge jealousy toward my best friend because he was the one to start talking and have the attention . It wasn’t me anymore .
For example : If we were out(Me and my best friend) for dinner with 2 girls , he would tell stories i did that are funny and make me look good but some of them which i wasn’t very happy about ( And i always though he was saying the last part to make me look bad ) and i never had the courage to ask him not to bring up the subject anymore in front of someone because i was afraid of HOW he will THINK of me if i did .

So This is when i started to have social phobia and anxiety . My doctor prescribed me anti psychotics and anti depressants.at the end we settled on Risperdal (remember taking 4-3 mg) and cipralex(15mg) . We tried many different medication .He said i had OCD .

I started using drugs (ecstacy once or twice didn’t make me feel good, Cocaine which i got addicted to and Codeine also which i got addicted too)
During that time and when i started to feel inferior to people I lost all my friends and became lonely so the only thing i had was drugs .
Just Cocaine and Codeine ( In very large amount ) , went to the best rehab centers found it very difficult so i left after a week or 2 ( That happened twice.) At the end i asked my doctor if we could try Buprenorphine and it worked magic
Now i have been sober for 5 month , no urge to do drugs , i stopped taking the anti psychotics and antidepressant . Going to the gym , running , studying everything improved in my life not even drinking. I Believe and trust my gut this time that i won’t ever do drugs in my life again . I was on 4mg buprenorphine now on 2 (Started 2 days ago ).

What i had noticed was that the anti-psychotics that my doctor prescribed me had blocked my feelings and changed the way i feel , or react to stuff . I felt something was wrong , that i wasn’t the same person anymore and started using drugs because i wasn’t happy or to feel comfort .
When i started using buprenorphine i still had the tendency to take drugs , it’s when i stopped the antipsychotics that i felt alive again , i could feel things i didn’t feel before (because of the medications )like nature and time in day ( When you know it’s lunch and feel likes lunch time ) , or the feeling when you walk in home after a long day . I hope this makes sense .
And that’s when i completely stopped using drugs and didn’t have the urge to use them because i was happy with these feelings . SO yeah i blame it on the antipsychotics . I think he should have given them until my symptoms got better not a life time ( 9 years ) .

I’m sorry this is so long but I’ve been looking for an answer and no one seems to have ¬†Went to doctors and still going to doctors (Psychologist).
Now that my feelings are coming back , i am having problems accepting them.
1st : My mind is ALWAYS thinking until i my head hurts (About situation i had during the day, did i act right? did this happen or this happen? did he think that or that? did i look bad or not? and i try to scrutinize the situation i was in and come of with a 1000 different stories )

2sd : When i think. it’s like i’m looking at my thoughts from the outside rather then I’M thinking them .
Sometimes i think that that person thinks i look weird , and i really feel it , so i either lower my head or act like i’m shy and people notice that .

3rd : Let’s say i went to a sport training (Boxing for example) and i see there someone better then me ; what i think is or i think i feel is “HE is going to notice that i’m thinking that he is better then me ” .
I feel like i don’t want him to be better then me but actually i don’t care at all if he is or not .
So when i decide i want to learn from him and enjoy my time with these guys it feels weird again because now i feel this :
this guy wants to enjoy his time with us who does he thinks he is. (and deep inside i know people are not bad)

In my life i always accused people for doing things they didn’t do , for example if 2 of my friends ( when i had some lol) went out together without telling me , i directly assume that they don’t want me to be with them . So i call them and say why didn’t you call me , I always call you both when i go out with either one of you . and i get upset

I always wanted what was best for others but i always get dumped in the end . for example i introduced a friend to friends of mine because i liked my friends very much and wanted every one to meet them and have a time like i’m having, after a while he started going out with them without even calling me or telling me. Now he is friends with them and i’m not anymore .

Finally, what is happening is that now that my feeling are back, it feels strange. when i look at the mirror it feels different and i see myself in a different way, a good way. This urge of living again, doing activities with other people i have it back, but when i’m with people doing these activities it feels like before, when i had no problem at all, and that feeling scares me a lot (is it going to last? are they going to like me?)

The feeling of having my (i don’t know what you call it cognitive or perception) back an seeing things in a different ways is scaring me. (From Lebanon)

Trouble Coping with a Change in Perception

Answered by on -

A.

 Thank you for you detailed history and question. I admire the fact that you have been so resilient and continue to show such perseverance in finding answers. It seem these qualities have followed you in your journey and have served you well.

From your history — along with the style and content of your questions — it sounds like you may want to find a therapist specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). If your current therapist is trained in that, I would have a discussion about applying these tools to help with your thought process. If your therapist is not trained in these techniques, I would encourage you to stay with your therapist but to supplement the therapy by having a few sessions with a CBT therapist. There is also a terrific book, The Resilience Factor, that you will want to read.

Trouble Coping with a Change in Perception

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Trouble Coping with a Change in Perception. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/12/10/trouble-coping-with-a-change-in-perception/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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