So much so that earlier (before the Christmas party) I had an over-loading of my muscles with anxious, tense, agitating energy. I writhed about in discomfort as my muscles strained for release. In these kind of episodes I feel as though my body will tear apart from the stress on the integrity of the over-all body. Often these episodes of mixed-state, out-bursts trigger a delusional reality where I feel trapped in a shallow pit while being punched and hammered with pipes and hammers. I twisted my body in response as if I was literally being tortured; and in a vain attempt to escape the grip of the mixed-state. In those moments I am lost in the hallucinatory delusion and am convinced that I am being tormented by deranged men dressed in Victorian suits, cloaks and top hats; their faces hidden by a swirling cloud of grayish, black smoke. But as usual, I digress.So, I saw my psychiatrist a few days back (who is brilliant) and told him the story of my break from reality. I asked him what the hell is going on when I have experiences like those above. I'd say they happen a few times a month on average. So, he told me that it's called a tactile hallucination!! Apparently it's a hallucination that creates the sensation of tactile sensory input, which explains the sensations in these episodes of literally being punched, hammered with lead pipes and electric shocks from a cattle prod. It also creates the sensation of pressure within the skin and organs, which explains why I feel like my skin is crawling and the muscles within swelling toward the ripping point.
Tactile hallucinations are a type of somatic hallucination, which are characterized by the feeling that the body is being mutilated (i.e. twisted, torn or disembowled). For me, this comes in the form of feeling like my muscles are twisting around inside without my control, which causes me to writhe around on the bed, couch or floor in agony. It's feels very uncomfortable to say the least!! As if that wasn't enough, it causes me actual physical discomfort and pain.
During these tactile and somatic hallucinations, it feels as though I'm stuck in two states of being. I know that I'm awake because I can see the waking life around me on the edges of my vision. However, I also feel the very real sensations of being in a dream state. My therapist mentioned that the brain in these states is mimicking the hynogogic state, which is where dreams occur as your falling asleep but still slightly aware of being somewhat awake.
They are terrifying and exhausting both psychically and emotionally but it's nice to be able to put a name and explanation to them because I've been trying to figure out what the FUCK these episodes were about for years. I knew already that I have visual, auditory and olfactory hallucinations but not tactile, somatic hallucinations. Living with Schizoaffective disorder is like being stuck between the real world and a virtual reality world that has gone awry with programs reaching through the veil between the two worlds to attack you. But, the worst part is you don't know when those attacks could come -- so, you live with constant tension and anxiety about having an attack at an inopportune time and in an inopportune place.
But, my psych said to take a full milligram of the anti-psychotic, Risperdal when I have these attacks. The problem is that I'm usually so ensnared in them that I can't break free physically to go get the medicine I need. So, it's scary because I can't call out very easily for help. But, If my wife can see that I'm in the middle of a hallucinatory break from reality, she can get the Risperdal down my throat--hopefully. At least, that's the plan from here on out. Wish me luck.