Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

Living in a 'Fantasy World' Help

Posted In: Mental conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: cptmorgan
  • November 14, 2006
  • 04:03 AM

I am 15 years old and I may have a serious problem. My parents tell me I have become obsessed with a rock band called Avenged Sevenfold. Now before you think this is a waste of time, please hear me out. I have 3 full cds full of pictures of them. I have 3 full folders of pictures of them. I carry all 3 of those folders everywhere with me. I constantly believe that they are with me. I can't see them, or hear them, but I imagine they are, and that they follow me everywhere. I sometimes ask them questions or talk to them aloud, then pretend to answer these questions in my head. I have had this problem before, namely only with music. I sat in my bed tonight and tried to convince myself that they are not here physically or mentally and that I am alone, but nothing seems to help. Could I have OCD? This rock band is the only thing I'm like this with. I greatly appreciate your opinions. Thank you.

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  • You do seem to have some kind of obsession with these bands, but I'm not the one to classify you with OCD. If you are really concerned, you should go talk to a professional about it. As far as living in a fantasy world, I wouldn't worry about it. Since you know your obsession is a problem and are actively trying to get help on this forum, you are able to distinguish reality from fantasy. Best of luck!Tara :)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 05:39 AM
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  • Hi CptmorganWhat you describe is a concern.I will be very honest with you because this is serious and I am very happy that you have enough insight to recognise that you do have a problem and the courage to seek help. I have had thirteen years experience with those with mental illness. You are at an age when a lot of mental illness starts to manifest itself at puberty when chemicals in the brain can trigger the onset of such things in those predisposed. But don’t freak out about mental illness, two in five people will have a brush with mental illness during their life, whether it be depression or some other disorder. What is important is your getting to the bottom of it so medical attention will enable a better outcome. Too many youngsters are over looked as having wild imaginations, or just being antisocial or something or other and sadly it can take years, if ever, for the individual to get appropriate care, support and attention.This is not just OCD as I know it.When those with schizophrenia have spoken with me about when and how their mental illness manifested yours sounded similar, though each person is very different on what they focus on and hearing voices and so forth is not necessarily the defining point of schizophrenia as most people seem to believe. But there is a thread of similarity all in all.As regards OCD, it is a trait in those with schizophrenia. An obsession with something has them totally obsessed or focused on it. eg. Collecting news papers, books or what ever object they seem drawn to or, like yourself, a band or artist. I care for someone who is focused most of the day on a very famous female singer and constantly plays her music all day every day same songs over and over. No matter how hard she tries she cant stop having conversations with this artist and the dialogue goes on all day also. She is on medication and she is fine when distracted, but as soon as there is no distraction she is straight back into her fantasy world. Indulging your fantasy world will only enforce it and you will end up not being able to distinguish reality from fantasy and it is a lot of work to undo this.I advise you to seek help from a private psychiatrist (you may have to search around for one who is reasonable in price and knows about childhood schizophrenia as there are still some psychiatrists who refuse to recognise the phenomena). And no I don’t advise public. Searching out some sites on the web dealing with childhood schizophrenia might help you track a psychiatrist who can help you and where there is wonderful support AND most importantly you will be able to read experiences from others and if you have the onset of schizophrenia you will relate. And don’t believe the rubbish that someone with insight hasn’t got the condition. Some with schizophrenia have been fortunate enough to have a bit of insight and stumble upon help, though sadly this is rare.And remember, do not feel ashamed. It is my experience that those with schizophrenia, or related conditions, when on the right meds with the right support are some of the finest, most honest, considerate and loving people I have encountered and many are talented in the arts or other things; though their behaviours can be most frustrating at times, so I have found those without mental illness to be equally or even more frustrating. Agape and keep us up to date. I wish you all the best.searchingsam
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 00:38 PM
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  • Don't worry about it, at your age I was obssesed with Michael Jackson - he was in my thoughts from the moment I woke until I went to bed - I was sure we were meant for each other if only we could meet! I had all his vids, every paper he was in, who he was with etc. You find the fantasy of the person and the fabulous life style - wealth, super stardom, - the need to love and be loved addictive when you're young and your own life is so much more mundane, boring even. Relax, enjoy it like me and thousands of others who have had the same feelings you will soon grow out of it - it's just part of growing up - a fantasy that takes you away from life's sometimes unpleasant realities and harmless enough so long as you don't get too obsessive - and I don't think you will you sound as if you know exactly what's going on with yourself and are just needlesly worrying - in a couple of years you will look back on this phase of your life and laugh when your own life really takes off. I would advice you though to also try meeting new friends and take up a hobby you enjoy don't let life slip you by - reality is great too you know.
    maggiemay 68 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 11:54 PM
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  • "When those with schizophrenia have spoken with me about when and how their mental illness manifested yours sounded similar, though each person is very different on what they focus on and hearing voices and so forth is not necessarily the defining point of schizophrenia as most people seem to believe. "Hi is it true hallucinations are not always present in schizophrenia?Aubrey
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 15, 2006
    • 00:18 AM
    • 0
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  • Morgan, Sam is right, your obsession is not an OCD symptom it is a symptom of schizophrenia, of the Paranoid and/or Disorganized subtype of Schizophrenia. It could also be schizoptypal personality, which means not-full blown schizo, just partial symptoms of schizophrenia. My schizo roommate had a similiar obsession with a musician, it was like you describe. I wouldn't recommend medication though. If you know you are doing something, you can stop doing it. Its hard though, just like an alcoholic finds it hard, but not impossible, to stop drinking. You need to learn to see the thoughts coming and stop them before they get rolling, as well as not put yourself into the circumstances that make them irresistable (just like an alcoholic shouldn't go into a bar). Do not indulge the thoughts by devoting psychic time and energy to them, or they will only strengthen. Aubrey, yes its true, not all schizophrenia involves hallunications or visual delusions.
    Non Servium 85 Replies
    • December 2, 2006
    • 10:59 PM
    • 0
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  • Hmm.. Personally, I would stop obsessing over their pictures and start listening to their music instead. They do excellent guitar solos.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 15, 2006
    • 05:06 AM
    • 0
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  • If you're aware of the fact that your thoughts and behavior are somehow abnormal it isn't psychosis.In most kinds of organic mental illness, early treatment greatly increases the chance of recovery so regardless of the cause, getting checked out is important. The trend in psychiatry is towards treating symptoms and not diagnosis anyway, so what this is called is largely and accedemic issue.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 17, 2006
    • 00:57 AM
    • 0
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  • I seem to have a fantasy world problem myself. i think it's something im born with because i can remember having bizarre thoughts ever since i was about two and i've never grown out of it. when i was little i would talk to the characters on videocases as if they were real and were talking and seeing me back. i am sixteen now and i still look at pictures and like talk to them. i am an anime freak and totally obsessed with it but my obsession is abnormal. i always imagine that anime characters off a tv show are watching me and almost everything i do, everyday all the time. as a stimulant to it, i listen to music and i pretty much listen to the same songs over and over again. i even have huge crushes on some of the anime guys and i have all kinds of fantasies about me and them. i like having friends and people to talk to and hang out with, but i would rather be sitting in my room listening to music and spending time with the characters who are watching me in my head and also staring at the pictures of them on my wall. sometimes ill try and be open-minded and go spend time with friends and family but i just never really get the motivation to do so, but i force myself. i also dont like getting involved in a whole of activities either but i also force myself to do some of those. i also go on the computer a lot and stare at the pictures of anime characters and listen to music. i am usually really quiet and kinda shy around others and sometimes naive. people tell me im really nice though a lot of times people seem to get bored of me cuz im usually just too busy focusing on the characters in my head and dont talk a whole lot and im also not a conforming person. i have a few friends i talk too but im not close to any of them. when i was little i abnormally obsessed with other little things like alphabet letters and dates and birthdays and i played with dolls until i was 13. if there was a band i liked thats all i would think about and i would imagine the band members watching me and my life. i tried looking for a diagnosis for myself. at first i thought it was asperger's but now i read up on other things like schizoid, obsessive-compulsive or avoidant personality disorder. when i was in elementary school i would get picked on for talkin and laughin to myself but i was in my little fantasy world. i have always had a hard time focusing in class although i get good grades. i was thinking of talkin to my counselor but i feel to nervous and embarrased to say anything in person. i hope i find out what is wrong with me eventually.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Any schizophrenia and/or bipolar in your family tree on either side? To me it sounds like you need to see a Psychiatrist and if he tells you to take meds, do it. If you are having thought disordered problems they only get worse without meds. However, until you see a Psychiatrist nobody here really knows what's going on. I would take THEIR advice, not ours. Good luck!
    pammar94 6 Replies Flag this Response
  • This sounds youst like me.I had obsessions with God of luck (it doesn't really exist, but in my imagination was) and with the violin. I thought the same way as you. I dont have an OCD, neither a schizophrenia, but I do have Asperger's.Anyway, you are perfectly normal, unless there are other symptoms which are the problem.Everyone has some obsession and you already seem to have one;-)It is all normal.
    Anasthasia 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been here and I must say, as someone who has successfully shifted this balance, diagnoses are not the helpful thing you think they are. I see many well-meaning people in here trying to help, but I'd like to offer a contrary view. The DSM-IV is a tool to give us as a society a feel of some control, but it does not offer any solutions nor is it based on strong science (see: the DSM-IV sourcebook review by the University of Rochester Jeffrey Poland). It is clumped around "constructs" that are clusters of symptoms. The problem is that the way these symptoms are related is completely assumed. We've only rationalized some bio-chemical pathway on which to justify medications. The reality isn't incredibly conspiritorial, it is simply that we haven't based anything on a strong understanding of normal human biology and so we try to create a framework for organizing the problem and helping people without it. We are doing our best in this country, but have you thought ahead to what you are hoping for? A drug therapy will not "fix" you; you will wind up chemically-confused and just as paralyzed without direction. It may even depress you more. On the other hand, normal biology is a fundamentally social thing: we are designed to be rewarded biochemically by releasing dopamine when we have pleasant ideas, smiles, accomplishments, and think about rewards. This sets things up so that fantasy, for instance, can be very intrinsically rewarding to the brain - it creates a self-reinforcing cycle. The problem is while you are very adaptively, in some respects, cultivating a survival skill (for instance, lack of attentive parents means less rewards which you are compensating for them with fantasy rewards) you are not cultivating other skills such as how to gain dopaminergic rewards through conversation (oxytocin is a social chemical that occurs through positive contact and mediates dopamine release). I say this because here is the truth: a psychiatrist will put you on a medication which will not teach you social skills, will not stop you from fantasizing, will not help you change the balance of strategies you've cultivated. They will be well-meaning, but they will be using a hammer to do surgery on you. I would recommend a conceptualization similar to the one above; see it as a problem to shift through strategy. This is not easy! I know this! I'm sure you have been working to fix this for years now; you must have faith that that the right problem-solving strategy can help, and that starts with the right conceptualization. Here is a better goal: Find a sense of purpose; this is not easy either! In fact, your fantasy worlds have been intrinsically rewarding so no sense of purpose will immediately feel as rewarding as those. Perhaps you can find a job that involves fantasy: movie theater attendant, book store employee, artist, internet artist, etc. A job inline with the values you have cultivated puts you at the cross-roads of several reward systems different from fantasy: accomplishment, purpose, social support, social contact, etc. Over time and through trials and tribulations, this should adjust your balance of how to attain rewards somewhat. Finding someone with similar values will make mutual fantasy rewarding and over time you will begin having some social benefits in addition to the fantasy and ultimately perhaps shift to finding more rewards there. Another possibility is to join a helping professional! Your fantasy is not black and white good or bad; on some level it's given you gifts and if one of those is a natural empathy for those in your position, that is non-fantasy motivation; use that!Purpose is a path; it is faith that the very difficult adjustment will be worth it; the goal is bigger than you and worth it. It can be a beacon in the hard times of adjustment. Please though, listen wisely: our biomedical mental health system is well-meaning, but you don't want a diagnosis for a genetic or biological explanation. You were't born this way. You can change it. But not if you buy into the belief that it is permanent. The way I offer is harder, but real; what they offer is more fantasy, which as you can see, helps, but not in the real world.I say all this as a counselor in training. I am joining the field because it failed to work for me and I want to help make it better.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 24, 2010
    • 09:51 PM
    • 0
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  • i am the same. from when i can first remember i used to talk to my self in my head and act out fantasys with people who were not there, as I grew up i started to imagine the world was watching me I had delusions i could do everything better than everyone else , like being the best gutarist in the world, fight anyone and everyone to save planet earth. in fact for 1 week i thought i was a ninja lol. after a while i stopped talking to imaginary people and started having long drawnout conversations with myself and realised i had been acting like a fungling nutcase for most of my life. after that my hyper activity started to keep me up all night and the toughts kept racing through my head then depression would kick in to the point were i was bed ridden not to mention the erratic mood swing.im really confused so im of to the psy couch to sort stuff outmost people are boring at least uv got an imagination
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I seem to have a fantasy world problem myself. i think it's something im born with because i can remember having bizarre thoughts ever since i was about two and i've never grown out of it. when i was little i would talk to the characters on videocases as if they were real and were talking and seeing me back. i am sixteen now and i still look at pictures and like talk to them. i am an anime freak and totally obsessed with it but my obsession is abnormal. i always imagine that anime characters off a tv show are watching me and almost everything i do, everyday all the time. as a stimulant to it, i listen to music and i pretty much listen to the same songs over and over again. i even have huge crushes on some of the anime guys and i have all kinds of fantasies about me and them. i like having friends and people to talk to and hang out with, but i would rather be sitting in my room listening to music and spending time with the characters who are watching me in my head and also staring at the pictures of them on my wall. sometimes ill try and be open-minded and go spend time with friends and family but i just never really get the motivation to do so, but i force myself. i also dont like getting involved in a whole of activities either but i also force myself to do some of those. i also go on the computer a lot and stare at the pictures of anime characters and listen to music. i am usually really quiet and kinda shy around others and sometimes naive. people tell me im really nice though a lot of times people seem to get bored of me cuz im usually just too busy focusing on the characters in my head and dont talk a whole lot and im also not a conforming person. i have a few friends i talk too but im not close to any of them. when i was little i abnormally obsessed with other little things like alphabet letters and dates and birthdays and i played with dolls until i was 13. if there was a band i liked thats all i would think about and i would imagine the band members watching me and my life. i tried looking for a diagnosis for myself. at first i thought it was asperger's but now i read up on other things like schizoid, obsessive-compulsive or avoidant personality disorder. when i was in elementary school i would get picked on for talkin and laughin to myself but i was in my little fantasy world. i have always had a hard time focusing in class although i get good grades. i was thinking of talkin to my counselor but i feel to nervous and embarrased to say anything in person. i hope i find out what is wrong with me eventually.I just had to thank you for posting this. When I was reading it I thought it was something I had written when I was a teenager and then forgotten about. You have totally described my life. It's weird. I thought I was the only person who does this, and I have been looking for who knows how long to find out more information and to see if anyone was like me. You've given me a lot more confidence to talk to my counseller about it now I know that I'm not some entirely unique case and I hope now knowing you're not alone that this helps you too.Take Care.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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