Things That Go Bump In The Night

I was started on Thorazine at the beginning of December last year.  It completely stopped all hallucinations.  But it didn’t stop the paranoia.  That just got worse.It started out with my semi-annual fear that people wanted to crash into my car while I was driving, or that people were following me while I drove.  That delusion always goes away though after a month or two.  It was replaced by paranoia at night.  As usual though, my paranoia about people wanting to harm me when I’m in public stays constant.

Over the past couple months, I’ve been very fearful at night.  Sometimes it starts when I take Sheriff to potty for the last time, which is at 10pm.  I’ll have my flashlight with me and I’ll be swinging it around everywhere, checking the driveway, the front yard, the backyard, back to the driveway…making sure no one is sneaking up on me or trying to shoot me.  Sometimes a car will go by on the street or an animal will rustle the leaves in the woods and that is enough to make me afraid.

Someone is watching me.  Someone is going to shoot me.  Someone is going to cut my throat.

I’ll rush inside with Sheriff as soon as he finishes his business and lock my apartment up tight.  Usually I’ll get on the computer a bit before I go to bed, trying to distract myself from all the irrational thoughts in my head.  Also, I wait for my medicine to kick in and make me drowsy so I can sleep.  You’d think 300mgs of Thorazine would knock one out pretty quick.  Not me.  It barely makes me tired.  The key is Trazadone.  That will get me drowsy about 2 hours after I take it.  Not sedated drowsy, just enough that I can stop my brain and get to sleep…almost the way a neurotypical person could.

Often, the paranoia doesn’t stop when I come inside.  Instead, it intensifies.  When I heard voices, listening to music could drown them out.  With the paranoia, the bass in the music can start to sound like footsteps in the stairwell.  The music tricks my brain into thinking that I’m hearing someone breaking in.  So…no music at night when I am paranoid.  Instead I just go to bed.  But while I lay there, my brain cango wild.

There are demons coming in the window.  There are aliens watching you.  There is a monster in your bed.

I turn so my back is to the window.  Even with the blinds shut, I’m afraid some flash of other-worldly light will shine through.  I’ll shut my eyes so that I can’t see any shadows on the walls or eyes peering at me through the darkness.  I haven’t hallucinated any of these things, but I fear that I will.  Or I fear that it will be real.  I’ll be laying in bed with my arm thrown out across the bedspread and think that this proves there is not a monster laying next to me.  But then, if a monster does get in my bed, I will feel it on my arm.   I pull my arm under the sheets and hug it tight.  I feel like a child, afraid of things that go bump in the night.

Different members of my treatment team take different approaches to my reporting of this paranoia.  My therapist wants to help me cope with it so that I’m not so afraid or delusional.  Other people want to know, “Why?”  Why do I experience this intense paranoia at night?  Why doesn’t the medicine help?  Why can’t I think more rationally?  They seem to forget that I have schizophrenia or think that something else must be the cause.   Have I had a life threatening experience?  No.  Anything traumatic happen that would fuel these fears?  No.  I’ve never had anyone sneak up on me in the dark at night.  I’ve never been physically assaulted or injured by another person.  Obviously, no monsters, demons, or aliens have ever actually spent time in my room.  Have I hallucinated these things happening before?  Yes.

In my opinion, its all just symptoms of schizophrenia.  I like my therapist’s approach towards learning to cope and manage the paranoia.  While that can be extremely difficult when you are laying in bed convinced you are about to get murdered…it is possible.  I’m slowly learning how to do it.  The key is managing it so that I can stay in reality and recognize that what I am experiencing is just a symptom of my illness.  Monsters are not actually going to climb into bed with me.

If Thorazine can’t help me, then I must do its job.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
3 Responses
  1. Bonnie says:

    Hello, I have been following your blog for about a year now and am slightly worried you have not have updated in a long while. I really hope you and Sherif are doing ok. I really enjoy reading your posts and how you live your life with mental illness.

    • Katherine says:

      Hi. A new post is coming, I’ve just had a lot of changes recently and I’m struggling to turn them into a coherent article. But it will happen…and Sheriff and I are doing well.

  2. carsacarp says:

    hi,what things does your therapist say or have you do that helps?

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>