Schizophrenia and Obsessive Thinking
Schizophrenia and obsessive thinking, which is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), rarely present together (although there is a noticeable comorbidity between schizophrenia and OCD). However, I do not have OCD and my schizophrenia symptoms never included obsessive thoughts.
At least not until I was put on an antipsychotic medication with a rare side effect of causing obsessive thoughts. Then, not only did I have to deal with symptoms like hearing voices, but my generalized anxiety disorder morphed into a deep well of obsessive thinking with no bottom. Schizophrenia and obsessive thinking is a tough pair to deal with.
Schizophrenia And Obsessive Thinking With Fixations
It started with fixations. I remember obsessing over whether I had locked the door after I left the apartment. But it wasn’t just locking the door. I worried that I’d left my nightstand light on. I worried that I’d left my laptop on and even that I’d left a drink by the laptop even though we don’t have any pets that could knock it over. I worried about these things as if they were matters of life and death.
That’s when I started making lists.
It started with making a list for when I left the apartment. Things on that list included:
- Making sure there was no drink by my laptop
- Making sure my mouse was turned off
- Making sure I’d taken my morning medications
- Making sure the back door and front door were locked
I’d make sure of all these things and then make a checkmark so that later I could refer to the list and the checkmark would let me know I’d taken care of that particular item. I realize they are all perfectly reasonable things to check before leaving the house, but keeping the list was quite cumbersome, especially if I was carrying things out the door with me.
I started keeping a list for my car, too. Items on that list included whether the doors were locked and the lights were turned off. This list was even more cumbersome. Again, it was especially hard if I was carrying something, which I usually was.
But it wasn’t just obsessive thinking and making lists. I washed my hands all the time because I may have picked something up off the floor or touched something that had a chance of being dirty. Sometimes I didn’t think I had washed my hands correctly, so I washed them again and then worried about everything I had touched after I had first washed my hands.
Schizophrenia And Obsessive Thinking Is Ending For Me
It was clear that I needed to change my antipsychotic, so I did. I’m not fully recovered from obsessive thinking, but I’m doing a lot better. I’m not making lists anymore. And I don’t freak out over a miniscule stain on my shoe or about whether my tights are too shiny. I’m learning not to care as much if something falls on the floor or into the sink. Life is getting better. I just need to keep my eyes on the big picture, and not get caught in the web of little details.
Photo by Elizabeth Caudy.
Caudy, E. (2015, October 6). Schizophrenia and Obsessive Thinking, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2015/10/schizophrenia-and-obsessive-thinking
Author: Elizabeth Caudy
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