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)
–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
–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…