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Can reading about symptoms cause symptoms?

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milly

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
103
Ok so I have been doing extensive research on schizophrenia/ bipolar. I was diagnosed as schizoaffective by one pdoc and schizophrenia by my current pdoc. I feel I am bringing on symptoms because I have been reading about them, at least that's the impression i got from my pdoc.

I spend lots of money on items I do not need,
pace from place to place
talk more
jump from subject to subject even though the subjects may be linked somehow its hard to explain.

I am extremely worried. I can't stop doing the research.
 
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Rose19602

Guest
Hi Milly,
I think we all read up on symptoms and then identify them in ourselves...I know I do.
I've had to stop looking at certain diagnoses, because they feed into my anxieties about what "might be".

It's probably more useful to think about what troubles you in terms of symptoms. Those are the things that you need to concentrate on and flag up to these two psychs with conflicting views, because those are the things that you perhaps want help with.

So what if you pace around, talk more, jump from subject to subject.....they are only important if they concern you and you are struggling with them. I bet they didn't bother you before you read that they were attributable to a certain diagnosis?

I agree though, the research can be compelling....you need to put it aside.
Difficult though when there is divided opinion about your diagnosis....it's confusing...but leave it to the experts, they're paid enough and are probably looking for a picture that is a sum of the parts that you are individually concentrating on! Let them make sense of it....you just try to get well!
x
 
|||ME|||

|||ME|||

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
2,151
While reading can't create new symptoms it can help you medicalise natural parts of life and create anxiety which can lead to new stresses and behaviours or "symptoms", as pdocs like to call living.

I try not to approach it from do I have this or that "mental illness". I try to think about who I am, what am I doing, what's my life like, how are things effecting each other, and what am I experiencing and how can I improve things in all these areas.

Getting a diagnosis means they've looked at you and matched up some experiences and feelings to a list some nobhead who hasn't a clue about anything made up to make it easier to justify giving people drugs. 10 different GPs and psychiatrists could give you ten separate "mental illnesses". Don't fall into getting caught up in the trap of thinking about yourself that way. Think about who you are, what's going on, and what could help.

Just start living kindly to yourself- healthy food, exercise, building friendships, reducing stress, pursuing enjoyable and constructive activities, things like meditation and yoga. Think of other things that could improve how you feel. The experience of life is real, but what "illness" you do and don't have is not quite the science you've been lead to believe. Think about you, what's going on, and what can help imo. By all means see the pdocs and get whatever support from them you find helpful, and leave the diagnostic chicanery to them. Just don't see yourself as an illness and bunch of symptoms. You're a person with a bunch of different experiences and behaviours and characteristics in a wide range and variety of circumstances.
 
|||ME|||

|||ME|||

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
2,151
I spend lots of money on items I do not need,
pace from place to place
talk more
jump from subject to subject even though the subjects may be linked somehow its hard to explain.
Just to illustrate the point, many people do all of these at different times, especially when they are worked up about something. Try to drop the reading up on illness and relax and focus on your life and experiences if you can :)
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
I think that |||ME||| sees this from a different and refreshing perspective.
If you can adopt his point of view and see through the label to what is affecting you, and what you can do something about, so much the better.

He makes some good points.
 
C

Callalily

Guest
I agree with what the others have said, I think that is one of the hardest things about having a mental illness. We are not allowed personalities any more, everything we do is linked to a mental illness, it is hard enough having others do this to us without doing it to ourselves :hug1:
 
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mellonheadgirl

Guest
Doctors, therapists and psychiatrists commonly experience this when they're in university. They're reading about all of these ailments and disorders and start "recognizing" every symptom of everything in themselves.

Talking fast or being jumpy aren't signs of mental illness alone.

I feel like you would definitely know if an illness was interfering with your day to day life. Relationships, work, social life.

If you feel that your life is controlled by mood swings and you and everyone around you is feeling the effects, that sounds like illness. Otherwise, probably not.
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

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Forum Guide
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Apr 9, 2011
Messages
33,206
Location
Magical fairy wonderland xxxx
I stay away from all medical websites now
is more physical things with me-but if I have a rash ,or a mark or headache ,an hour later after internet research im convinced I have cancer or some other serious condition
I do this with loved ones too
if my mum is ill I look up her symptoms and conclude wrongly she has a severe life threatening illness
I think for some people it can be part of their anxiety /fears
my biggest fear is my mum dying so I catastrophise when I read her symptoms or similar symptoms on the internet
my mum/cpn have strongly suggested I stay away from web md and nhs direct websites
xx
 
M

milly

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
103
Thank you all for your responses. It has gotten quite bad and now feel like I need help even if it is not an actual mental health symptom. I cannot seem to stop spending money and I spend hours upon hours looking for things to buy on the internet. I cannot seem to stop it doesn't matter if my psychiatrist tells me to stop. I CAN'T :( - I have spent close to £50 on mobile phone apps in less than 2 months. I even bought clothes, a music player (even though I bought three in the past six months), plane tickets, a watch and I can't remember the other things. Even my grandmother says that I didn't seem to have this problem before.
 
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Rose19602

Guest
Even my grandmother says that I didn't seem to have this problem before.
Before when? Before you read about it, or before the diagnoses?

You can't really develop a "symptom" just through having read about it, but you can recognise a tendency within your own behaviour.

I'm a little confused by the time frame here...

As for actually spending the money...is the internet the problem? or credit on cards that is more than you can afford? If so, maybe consider using the internet less or cutting up credit cards.

If you didn't have this problem before perhaps there is a reason for it now. I buy things when I need cheering up for example. Are you buying to make yourself feel better / can't resist a bargain / impulse control / perceived need ?

Have a think about it perhaps.
x
 
M

milly

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Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
103
Over a year ago I took antidepressants which caused a similar reaction. I spent £1000 on a domain name. It lasted four months after the AD was withdrawn but nothing was done about it, mostly because it was med induced. But my pdoc acknowledges I was manic. My grandmother only recently started noticing about my behavior. The amount of stuff that comes through the post lately! Yes the internet is the problem. I don't actually have a pin number for my card so I can't use it in the shops. I do think I am buying to feel better but it does really, really feel like it's getting out of control. I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I have only just lost my job. Found out this would happen a few weeks ago. Just today went to my cousins house and she was showing me home videos and then I had this sudden urge to get a camcorder. And I know if I get it I would not use it. But I have to have it now.
 
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Rose19602

Guest
Ah right, I understand now.
I think AD induced mania happens more than it is recognised. You say it lasted 4 months....
Like a withdrawl effect I'm assuming? Has it come back since then?
Sounds like it.
What does your Pdoc say about that?
Are they treating you for mania or waiting to see if it goes away?

Is it just the buying or are there other symptoms of mania?
If it's just the buying, it may be that you are buying things because you are unhappy. Lots of us do this...it provides a temporary high...before the low of realising that you're broke!
I'm sorry to her about the job loss too.
You are right, you need to get this one under control. You will be a great deal more unhappy if you are seriously in debt won't you?

Sounds like you need to reach out for some help to curb that behaviour.
xxx
 
M

milly

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
103
I am not sure if it has come back. I am not good at spotting the signs.
I got the impression that my pdoc thinks I am making it up, which is why I am asking this question, she didn't seem that worried about my spending.
I don't care anymore if it is mania or not I just need help to stop this now :(
I do not seem to have other symptoms at all. Apart from the pacing and shifting from subject to subject occasionally.
 
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