Posted by: | 2016/10/24

Crazy or some other form of psychosis

Hi doctor. I realise this may be out of your area of expertise... I've been experiencing some things for some years now. This experiences come and go. Sometimes I see and hear things others can't or if I close my eyes I see places and people I have never seen before not even in media. Other times I have "memories" or flashes of events, people and places I know for a fact didn't happen. Also there have been times I have had involuntary out of body experiences and "astral projected". Sometimes I can be minding my business one minute and the next thing I'm waking up. I always feel disconcerted when this happens as it always feels like I lost hours of time when in actual fact it has been about 10 - 30 minutes at longest. Also I experience different types of dreams from your normal silly dreams to lucid dreams but I also experience other dreams where I feel I'm in another "dimension". There are other experiences I experience, some are difficult to explain. I've googled some of these things but my experiences are different from the stories on the Internet. I'm African and I was informed by three sangomas that I have a calling but I'm not quite convinced. Again my experiences are somewhat different from the one's written about. I have been told that my awakening happened naturally without the need for shamanic guidance. I still have my doubts and am really scared of going crazy so I guess I need some reassurance about my sanity. I'm a student and I do well in my studies which require rational thinking. If I'm still able to think rationally, socialise normally and am still able to tell the difference between reality and false "memories" then I'm still sane right? How can one tell when they are crossing to the other side of sanity? Ps I don't do drugs and I'm not on medication.

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Our expert says:
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- 2016/10/24

You're right : this is a complex issue, falling between several areas of expertise, but you're not crazy.  People with psychotic illnesses of various kinds, often don't recognize anything strange in what they are experiencing, especially if the onset is gradual.
The reason I am hesitant to rapidly accept the suggestion that this is a calling to be a sangoma is that there are so many possible explanations for such experiences, and all need to be taken seriously.  One area I think needs to be explored is that there are a whole range of neurological disorders,  including some ordinary and some more exotic variations on Epilepsy,  that can produce experiences very like what you describe.
It'd be a good idea to see a good specialist Neurologist, for a thorough discussion of your experiences,  good thorough physical examination, and some tests such as an EEG, then a thorough discussion of the possibilities and possible ways to deal with these.
As you realise, the issue of where the boundaries lie for a psychiatric or neurological disorder is a complex issue we often need to explore, and one criterion we often usefully use, is to ask whether the condition significantly interferes with your abilities to enjoy you work, you relationships, an indeed to enjoy yourself in general.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Jason | 2016/10/28

i suffered from right temporal epilepsy for many years until and can relate to the experiences you speak about. do contact a neurologist for further assessment. i had a brain op to remove the affected brain tissue and today i experience very mild seizures. they are no longer debilitating as before. all the best

Reply to Jason
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/10/24

I used to believe that I was psychic, I was diagnosed two years ago of having schizoaffective disorder. I was put on medication and can no longer see demons, angels or ghosts. It's been a long scary road, but I'm beginning to enjoy my new life.

Reply to Anonymous

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