Schizophrenia.com

Diagnosed before onset

I had never experienced symptoms of psychosis before I was 24 years old, that’s when the symptoms of schizophrenia began. I had been diagnosed at 14 with depression and anxiety and suffered from some sort of depersonalization in my late teens but never had psychosis.

But when I was 21 my parents were concerned that I hadn’t been able to hold a job and hadn’t worked in a few years so they met with my psychiatrist and told him to get me on disability. So he tells them I don’t really stand a chance getting on disability for depression and anxiety so how about schizophrenia? He asks me how I feel about being diagnosed with this and I say “hey whatever” thinking at the time that one could actually live independently on SSI.

So I’m now diagnosed with schizophrenia and getting a disability check but have no symptoms of this disorder. The psychosis wasn’t to set in until I came cold turkey off of 700 daily mg’s of Effexor when I was 23/24. The psychosis was to last five years or so, straight. True I was never entirely out of touch with reality as I was always highly aware of my surroundings and could easily pass as sane but I was delusional and “hearing” “voices” for five years straight. Then it all goes away for two years until recently creeping back into my life.

It’s just weird that I was diagnosed before I had symptoms and then years later developed them…

It sounds like they caught you during the prodromal phase of the illness, which was very lucky for you. My pdoc said sz often fluctuates, coming and going during a person’s life and they find that it peaks about 10 years after first appearing, then it levels off or lessens in intensity. This appears true in my case. Onset in my late teens-early 20’s, then I had a good mid-20’s symptom free and med-free, then reappearance of symptoms at 31.

Wow @Skims, your pattern is similar to mine: onset at 12, remission at 19, med-free until reapppearance of symptoms at 27.