Can Anxiety Cause a Hallucination?

A year and a half ago I bought some Retin A on line for a wrinkle on my forhead, used it maybe 6 times in 2 weeks and my skin was like a wet sponge. If I touched it, it indented and stayed and the skin peeled off my nose completely. I don't know if it was that or an ingrown hair on my arm, but I developed a staph inffection of the skin which was extremely painful. My gland swelled up on the side of my face, I had repulsive looking sores on my arms and a few holes in my face. My doctor said to stop the retin A, gave me an ointment and antibiotics for a month. My arms stung like shards of glass was inside tearing its way out and I googled it. It led me to a site about people who had things, bugs living under their skin. I PANICKED!!! That night I hallucinated that "Bugs" were flying around me and into my skin and I couldn't pull them out. I screamed for my Dad and he came in and said I had tweezers, scissors, and clippers tearing at my skin saying help me get the bugs out and nothing was there. I even had him call 911 and went to the ER who said I had a parasite w/o even an exam or knowing I had Staph. Never told my doctor, too embarassed and realizing it was in my mind. My question is, was it anxiety/panic/depression that caused it? Or was it the toxins from the severe staph ( almost MRSA ) infection that caused it? I live in fear of having another one even after 1 1/2 years. Am I crazy??? I remember the paramedics being worried about my blood pressure being through the roof. I was alert but confused and now have significant scars on my arms as a constant reminder.

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4 Replies

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  • I wouldn't say this was a hallucination. Im no Doctor, but it just seems that you got so involved in what you were reading that you associated it to yourself. That happens with many people that live with Anxiety. There are things that could trigger deeper thinking and over thinking that what you are going through is in fact probably what made think that you had bugs. Rule number one: Don't self diagnose. Rule number 2: know that none of these can hurt you and that you are over exaggerating what is happening. It is a state in which you THINK something bad is happening so your body will naturally react to it.

    You will be fine as long as you keep that state. Understand that it will pass and that this is just a phase of anxiety. It all goes away. Believe that it will and it will.

    I still get panic attacks and anxiety attacks, but I know that it will pass and that I can go on with my day. Once you have that thinking, when it happens, you will see that they become less and less and they show up every so often.

    =)

  • I've had anxiety and panic over 32 yrs and should have known better than believe what I saw/felt in my minds eye. It was like a unrealistic, foggy nightmare yet I was awake. I even took pics of what I thought were bugs in my wounds. I accused my stepdad of gluing fake scabs on me and ripped them off to take pics. I was insane for almost 3 days and it terifies me that it can happen again. Not about bugs but just losing it in general. It seemed so real, first time I ever had that happen. Plus, at the time my older cousin was in hospice, dying from MRSA she contracted during a surgery so I'm sure it didn't help. Then the ER doc saying I had bugs that street people get without even looking at my arms. I had been to my doc that day. The story was about River Blindness in Africa. I've battled anxiety so long, I should have known my mind was playing tricks on me, it won that battle.

  • You're right. It won that battle, but you got over it. You know what it was and it passed. That is what many other need to understand is that it doesn't last forever. Deal with it that day and don't think about it for the future.

    That is where many of us get sucked in, it is when we start associating it to our future. ANYTHING can happen but we refuse to understand that. No sense in worrying about it because we just don't know. The only one who knows is God.

    Also, if you think you are going crazy chances are that you are not. Most people that are going in that direction think everyone is off and not them. So I now you are fine.

    Devin

  • Thank you

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