I’m afraid that I might develop schizophrenia…

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So, for years, I’ve dealt with high amounts of manic depression and anxiety, and as of recently, my mental health seems to only be deteriorating. I haven’t told my parents because my grandmother had dealt with similar issues and has now somehow gone into a state of psychosis/schizophrenia where she has completely lost touch with reality, and my parents are currently treating it like a joke and laughing at her condition. I’m scared because I fear it might be genetic (yes, many web sources have said that it can be genetic), and that I might develop a condition similar to that of my grandmother. I was reading up on her current condition (which seems to be similar to schizophrenia) and its early warning signs. I’ll list the ones that I’ve been having recently:

–A blank, vacant facial expression. An inability to smile or express emotion through the face is so characteristic of the disease that it was given the name of affective flattening or a blunt affect.

–Overly acute senses- lights are too bright, sounds are too loud — I actually made a thread several months ago about how much I hated sound

–Staring, while in deep thought, with infrequent blinking.

–Clumsy, inexact motor skills

–Sleep disturbances- insomnia or excessive sleeping

–Unusual gestures or postures

–Movement is speeded up- i.e. constant pacing

–Movement is slowed down- staying in bed (in extreme cases, catatonia)

–The inability to experience joy or pleasure from activities (called anhedonia)

–Sometimes feeling nothing at all

–Appearing desireless- seeking nothing, wanting nothing

–Feeling indifferent to important events– my mom told me that my uncle’s father died today, and I felt absolutely nothing.

–Feeling detached from your own body (depersonalization)

–Sudden irritability, anger, hostility, suspiciousness, resentment

–Depression- feeling discouraged and hopeless about the future

–Low motivation, energy, and little or no enthusiasm

–Suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideation

–Rapidly changing mood- from happy to sad to angry for no apparent reason (called labile mood)

–Severe Anxiety

–Dropping out of activities and life in general

–Inability to form or keep relationships

–Social isolation- few close friends if any. Little interaction outside of immediate family.

–Increased withdrawal, spending most of the days alone.

–Becoming lost in thoughts and not wanting to be disturbed with human contact

–Neglect in self-care- i.e. hygiene, clothing, or appearance

–Replaying or rehearsing conversations out loud- i.e. talking to yourself (very common sign)

–Finding it difficult to deal with stressful situations

–Inability to cope with minor problems

–Lack of goal-directed behavior. Not being able to engage in purposeful activity

–Functional impairment in interpersonal relationships, work, education, or self-care

–Frequent moves, trips, or walks that lead nowhere

–Ruminating thoughts- these are the same thoughts that go around and round your head but get you nowhere. Often about past disappointments, missed opportunities, failed relationships.

–Frequent loose association of thoughts or speech- when one thought does not logically relate to the next. For example, “I need to go to the store to buy some band-aids. I read an article about how expensive AIDS drugs are. People take too many street drugs. The streets should be clean from the rain today, etc” The need to go to the store to buy band-aids is forgotten.

–Directionless- lack goals, or the ability to set and achieve goals

–Racing thoughts

–In conversation you tend to say very little (called poverty of speech or alogia)

–Difficulty expressing thoughts verbally. Or not having much to say about anything.

–Difficulty focusing attention and engaging in goal directed behavior

–Poor concentration/ memory. Forgetfulness

–Thoughts, behavior, and actions are not integrated

–Obsessive compulsive tendencies- with thoughts or actions

–Thought insertion/ withdrawal- thoughts are put it or taken away without a conscious effort

–Overpowering, intense feeling that people are talking about you, looking at you– I always experience this one

–Hallucinations are as real as any other experience to the person with schizophrenia. As many as 70% hear voices, while a lesser number have visual hallucinations– I actually did hallucinate this morning– I thought I saw my flute on my bed, and I tried to pick it up so I could play it, but then it disappeared, and then I realized it had been in the case the whole time. That might have been from lack of sleep. I don’t know. It still left me feeling very paranoid.

–When people hear voices inside their heads, it is as if their inner thoughts are no longer alone. The new voices can talk to each other, talk to themselves, or comment on the person’s actions. The majority of the time the voices are negative– Sometimes, I feel as if there’s another version of myself talking to me. Most of the time, it’s when I’m depressed, and she’s very mean and degrading to me.

I don’t know. I might just be really paranoid about this, but I’m just really scared and really depressed and I hate everything right now, and I wish my parents understood what my grandmother is dealing with and what I may potentially end up having to deal with… The sources I read also said that schizophrenia develops around the ages 16-25, and I’m 17 years old, so…

Category: asked May 29, 2015

10 Answers

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I think you should leave diagnosis to the professionals as a lot of diagnosis tools can be fairly inaccurate. Even I feel/tick a lot of the symptoms that you have listed. See a professional, even calling a help line might be a good first step to take. Google it.
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The truth is, that only a professional can properly give you a diagnosis and in that case, a way to help you deal with it if that's the case. I know, it might seem scary but this is your health and well-being we're talking about and your parents need to understand that. Try reaching out to a canceler or something at school and they can help you how to get in contact with someone and perhaps even help explain things to your parents. Have a conversation with them in a calm and safe environment, tell them how you feel. Maybe even write them a letter if that's easier for you, with no fear of getting interrupted.

As good as the internet is, it's not a sure way to self-diagnose yourself and I don't think that you can really relax until you know for sure either way. Good luck A!
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A lot of schizophrenic patients end up gaining depression and anxiety due to their condition, if you're experiencing all those symptoms I suggest you seek professional help, I'm currently studying psychology and there's lots of different types out there, but you will be okay if you get help, most schizophrenic patients are able to go about their lives as normal. Sadly, schizophrenia is a very stereotyped disorder and is highly misunderstood, you're going to be okay and your psychologist will probably recommend family sessions in order to create a more positive atmosphere for you, I hope all goes well for you, if you need someone to talk to feel free to message me
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I can't seek professional help yet. My parents don't know that any of this is going on, and like I said, even if they did, they'd laugh at me, almost out of pity. I don't want them to pity me for anything, or at least to pretend to. Although even writing this comment is really hard because it doesn't feel like my mind is completely there right now. My head feels really fuzzy.
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I'm no longer in school, so I can't really do that. Besides, I don't really trust that person anyway, so...
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I've gotta be honest with you here. You do have issues, yes, but I think that you may be freaking yourself out. There symptoms may only be there because you think they will be. My suggestion is to try calming techniques, you need to stop over thinking so much. If you think you have it for too long you'll actually get it
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I suppose I might be a bit paranoid. I really don't know. I don't know what's going on anymore.
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Ugh you guys are not helping, telling someone to just ignore it, and that it will go away is the worst advice i have ever heard. Hey A, first off its gonna be ok, your gonna be OK; you might just be severley stressed and highly paranoid, but the fact that yes it is genetic, and that your worried raises concern. I would talk to a shrink, a real one and you guys could both convince them of the seriousness of your at least depression....and I wouldn't be too hard on your parents sometimes people take things as a joke as a coping mechanism to protect themselves against the seriousness of a problem, as well as just being indenial :) good luck
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I'm sorry...
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I don't mean to be cynical just for the sake of it but do you know how rare schizophrenia is ? and have you considered perhaps other answers to some of these phenomena you're experiencing? You'll be amazed at what your mind can achieve once it convinces itself something is fact. Also it seems to me that you made really good research into this extremely rare disease, did you consider that maybe you're some how causing these symptoms yourself? not saying you are don't get me wrong, i just like you to explore all possibilities before jumpiing to a very unlikely , rare, and devastating if it should affect you, conclusion.