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I Keep Hallucinating

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Earlier this year I started to have tactile hallucinations as soon as i turned to go to bed, It felt like rats crawling on my bed. I have a slight phobia of rats and mice so i thought it was just that. I told my mental health doctor and they upped my seroquel to 1000mg from 200mg.

Since then these hallucinations are getting worse, now its not just bedtime I am constantly seeing a box but i cant see any details although there is some sort of device like an antenna protruding from the top. I also hear children crying and calling my name I try to ignore them but its getting worse and my friends are noticing “looks of terror” in my face.

I no longer drink alcohol but i occasionally smoke marijuana and very rarely take mdma (about 83mg once a year) I tell my doctor but its a different person every time and I freeze up and cant open myself to these people, hell i cant even talk to my long term girlfriend how are my supposed to talk to a complete stranger. Anyway they just write me a script (1000mg seroquel 200mg in the morning 800mg at night). I try to be regular about my sleep pattern always going to bexd at 11 but the meds make me sleep through my alarms or maybe its the fact im laying there for at least 8 hours in terror at what i feel is going all around me which has moved from small sensations on my body to a feeling of being in a busy train station being buffeted from every side.
I cant work, i hardly eat or wash these days im constantly tired and my moods are up and down on a near daily basis, and im no longer sure this is all in my head.

The symptoms that you described are concerning. You are taking medication but continue to experience significant symptoms that are disrupting your life. Part of the problem may be that you are not fully reporting your symptoms to your psychiatrist. If your psychiatrist is unaware of all your specific problems, the risk is that he or she will not treat the correct symptoms.

A related issue is that you are taking a high dose of medication which doesn’t seem to be helping. Again, this likely stems from the fact that your psychiatrist is unaware of what is truly going on.

It may also be that you are taking the wrong medication. Finding the right medication or the right combination of medications often involves a great deal of trial and error.

Since it is difficult for you to speak candidly to your psychiatrist, it might be helpful to make a list of your symptoms to take with you to your next psychiatry appointment. You may even want to take this letter to your next appointment. It clearly describes what you have been experiencing. It’s not unusual for patients to bring notes to their appointments. I would recommend it.

It would also be advantageous to consult a social worker or a case manager, in addition to your psychiatrist. They may be able to assist you with your psychiatry appointments in various ways including advocating on your behalf, speaking to your psychiatrist for you, or finding you a new psychiatrist if necessary, and so forth.

Finally, are there friends or family members who can assist you? For instance, perhaps they can attend your next psychiatry appointment with you and speak to the psychiatrist on your behalf. Utilize the support of others around you. I hope that you are able to receive the help that you desire. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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