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Help! Do I have a Disorder Or Not?!


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Hi Everyone!

Appologies for the length of my post but I am suffering terribly and assistance.

My story begins when I was 19 when i entered college. At that point my father changed, He started getting very violent with me and instead of being his favorite child I became a totally neglected son and he started to treat my brother royally for no reason. This affected my self esteem severly and when I joined college I did not even have the guts to even speak up in class. I developed a body dismorphic disorder(I think by focusing my dad's bad treatment to me on my body). I was treated with medication and BCT for 3 months and my disorder was gone! Then i was hit with a chronic insomnia and started missing early classes coz of my sleeping disorder. My grades went down although I was an A student at school. and for 3 years I was hardly passing my courses. I sought the help of a psychiatrist for my problem and he prescribed my ZYPREX! I thot it was a sleeping pill and my sleeping disorder went away and I gained some weight which boosted my self esteem coz i am very skinny. Recently I was exposed to tremendous emails from freaks about death, cancer and other dangerous diseases and gradually I believe developed a health anxiety(Hypochondria) to which anxiety in general induced by severe financial problems just added fuel to fire. I recently came to know zyprexa was not a sleeping pill and indeed an antipsychotic medication with controversy over having serious side effects. I asked the unprofessional shrink I see about quitting it(who also confused my health anxiety with OCD)....and he approved quitting zyprexa(he did not even advice me on how to quit) I quit cold turkey method and for 8 days there are no withdrawal symptoms. I have tremendous anxiety specially about my health. I have access to xanax from a reputable psyciatrist I also see and xanax kills the anxiety for a while till its back again. I am more nervous wen i go outside and dont know if its an agoraphobia or just health anxiety......Plz help I dont know what to do!!

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It's not possible to diagnose online in a forum like this one. However, it would seem to me that you've been dealing with anxiety and possibly also depression symptoms, and that if you have a disorder, it may very well be in that spectrum of conditions.

Hypocondria (aka health anxiety and constantly thinking you have a medical condition when you don't) is considered a "Somatization Disorder", which is a fancy way of saying it is a condition in which anxiety feelings are transformed into physical symptoms. No one knows exactly how this works, but one idea is that it is easier for many people to get a handle on what is happening to them by thinking about it in physical terms, so they mentally transform what would otherwise be a psychological problem into a medical one. Generally, medical testing will not reveal any physical basis for the experienced symptoms.

Zyprexa is indeed an antipsychotic medication, but it is prescribed by psychiatrists for more purposes than that. it is used to treat depression and anxiety conditions, although not generally as a singular agent. It's curious that this would be your doctor's first choice, as there are typically more established protocols for medicating depression and anxiety.

Xanax is a benzodaizapine in the same family as Valium - it is an addictive drug and will cause tolerance and withdrawal symptoms to occur if you take it regularly - meaning you will eventually need more and more of it to get the same effect, and when you stop taking it you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and craving to take it again. It's widely prescribed for helping people to manage anxiety, but it is useful only when taken "as needed"; and only so long as "as needed" isn't all the time. If you start needing it all the time, you've just added an addiction problem to your anxiety problem, making the situation worse in the long run.

If psychotherapy such as CBT has been helpful in the past, why not return to psychotherapy? There are very good protocols for helping people to learn to tolerate and manage anxiety problems, as well as depression problems, and as you know, there are not any side effects.

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Thank you very much for your response!

I understand its not easy to diagnose psychological disorders on forums.

If feel you are right, what I feel I suffer from is anxiety(I was never depressed) and I believe I was given zyprexa for that purpose. I have seen many not-so-professional shrinks and each one of them has a different diagnosis. I am totally confused. If it helps I never had periods of mania and depression, I was never depressed, dont have recurring unrealistic thoughts or rituals. My main problems are two: feeling rejected by my peers so I withdraw and get anxiety and fear of death(so its both necrophobia and hypocondria). As I mentioned I stopped taking zyprexa for about 8 days and I have tremendeous anxiety now. I dont know if its a withdrawal symptom or my anxiety getting worse. I cant sleep. And I am afraid that I will die. And I FULLY agree with you that I shouldnt have been prescribed zyprexa in the 1st place. Anyways it happened....in your opinion, do you think I will suffer more withdrawal symptoms? Shall I go back on zyprexa for the purpose of using a proper quitting plan? or shall I continue quitting?

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