Do I have Schizophrenia?

Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been experiencing a great deal of the “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia in the past couple of months.
These symptoms are not accompanied by strong delusions or hallucinations (Maybe some, will explain later in post)

My family has a history of depression, and “my cat” has taken the psychedelic drug LSD over ten times in the past year, and I’ve heard this substance can trigger schizophrenia and/or depression.

The symptoms I have been experiencing are as follows:

Apathy: I have lost interest in various activities in school, am in no extracurricular activities, and don’t engage in many activities other than computer games and tv. I always put off homework and personal hygiene and just do enough to scrape by.

Absent/Blunted Emotional Responses: This is a big one for me. I have noticed I speak in a monotone/emotionless voice all the time. I feel depressed a lot and when i’m in situations that should make me happy or excited, i feel nothing. I had a thing with this girl for a while and she always noticed i acted weird, like i couldn’t function the way a normal person does. I had trouble making eye contact, always spoke in the same monotone uninterested voice, never showed any emotion. I didn’t know how to small talk or hold a normal conversation. I don’t even know if i felt emotion. I have a blank or sad face about 70% of the day, if not more. I wasn’t always like this, I used to be excited and exaggerated and happy.

Reductions in Speech: I have also noticed my replies are shorter, I have difficulty in normal conversation, forget words I should use a lot. Stuff like that. I often have long pauses in my sentences. I lose interest in conversations quickly

Social Withdrawal: I do my best to avoid social situations, pretend i don’t see people in the hallway, even my friends, I listen to music instead of talk to people, etc. When I had a thing with that girl instead of being excited to see her I was scared of being weird and not even knowing how to talk to her.

Lethargy: I feel tired all day every day, no matter how much sleep I get. I feel unmotivated to do anything, to take showers, to even get up. This happens very often.

The following symptoms I am not sure how to categorize:

A) I think of things very deeply and view human existence as meaningless, and often realize how small I am and how pointless everything is. This really makes me think “Why do I even do anything anymore?” I think like this every day, at random times

B) I don’t know if this would be called a delusion, but when i’m alone I often think conversations and stuff. Not quite full conversations, they don’t mean anything. I’ll think something along the lines of “Yeah, oh okay, yeah like… like” a bunch of words with no real subject, but they build on each other. This happens very often in the morning hours and after school when I’m not doing anything.

C) Also in the mornings before my brain is fully awake, when my alarms are going off, I think the weirdest thoughts, like i’m still in a dream and rules of reality don’t apply. Only while i’m still half asleep. Not sure if this is normal or not

Also, “my cat” has tried 30mg doses of Adderall from a friend he knows. When he took them he felt amazingly bright, all of the above symptoms vanished and he felt like a normal, functioning member of society. He participated in class and felt motivated and socialable and enthusiastic. I know Adderall treats ADHD and not Schizophrenia, but it helped “my cat” for some reason.

This is greatly affecting my quality of life and ability to develop and maintain relationships with others, each day gets worse and I just want to feel normal again. Any advice or ideas would be great

Ben

With a history of mental illness in the family your best bet is to see a psychiatrist. If your parents aren’t being very receptive about it. The majority of schools have a school counsellor that you can see for free. i suggest making an appointment asap. if needed I’m sure he/she will act as a mediator to your parents if needed. Best of luck.

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I don’t think that you meet the criteria for sz. You must have delusions or hallucinations for 6 months for a sz dx. It sounds as if you have depression to me. You should go to a doctor to find out for sure though. Also, various ailments could be the root cause of your depression so I’d highly suggest seeing a doctor to ensure it’s nothing dangerous.

If it is depression with no obvious physical cause, they’ll likely put you on a med that increases your serotonin levels, such as prozac. They’ll likely try atleast a couple of these types of meds and if they have no effect you might be put on a med that increases dopamine, which is what adderall does. Wellbutrin might be a good fit for you, it increases your dopamine levels and is generally much easier to get a script for than adderall.

Anyways, take everything I wrote with a grain of salt. I’m not a professional so I have no qualifications to diagnose you. Go to a dcctor to get help and find out really whats going on.

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I’m nervous to tell my mom I feel like she either wont believe me or if she does she will think i’m insane idk. Do you have a suggestion on how to approach the topic?

I’d suggest telling her that you havn’t been feeling well and that you need to see a doctor. If you initially see a general practicioner, they’ll likely send you to a psychiatrist. The doctor will then give you a diagnosis and your mom is more likely to accept it since it’s from a professional.

Yeah, you have to tell someone in your life all this who can help you. The problem with differentiating between just being a teenager or having serious, serious problems can be hard. Some of your problems can be attributed to lots of people around your age. I’m sure there are other people at your school who have trouble socializing or have girlfriend problems. I guess because of the fact that you have so many of these problems might spell trouble. My only advice is to avoid ALL drugs and alcohol. They will not help you and they will probably hurt you. Most doctors think tend to think that schizophrenia is a brain disease and if you are taking mind-altering-drugs it will make your mental state even worse.
Yeah, sharing this with a counselor at school seems like a good idea. She/he will be impartial and probably has the knowledge to offer you good suggestions on what course to take with your parents. We can’t diagnosis you on here of course, we can only say that you have some problems that are similar to symptoms of schizophrenia. But there are other diseases or conditions which mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia. That’s why you should see a psychiatrist. He will examine you and test you to see if it is schizophrenia or if it is some other condition.

Important! Check your thyroid levels! You are a teenager. Hormones are rushing. Both me and my sister have too low production of thyroid hormones. Easily checked with a blood test at your GP. Too low levels mimics depression.

Do you think my symptoms of emotionless and inability to carry out normal conversations mean I’m suffering from depression?

My sister and mom both have low thyroid levels. Do you think this would account for my inability to display emotion, rambling thoughts, and dreary outlook on life?

Could be. Maybe you want to research depression a little. But you shouldn’t be suffering alone and without help. Tell someone you can trust.

Thanks for your thoughts and help, i’ll be heading to bed now

As I said try your school counsellor. Can help you in a few ways 1. to tell better if you need a psychiatrist. 2. help you communicate to your parents. 3. help act as a mediator. That is someone who speaks on your behalf.

Too low levels can do a lot of things. I have Hashimoto’s. google thyroid problems.

I mainly slept all day and night. Gained weight. No enery to do anything. Isolation. Wanted to be left alone. Could not get pregnant. All this made me feel low and sad.

Sadly, yes. There are (fortunately) a growing # of hip diagnosticians who will assess for what the pros are starting to call “cognitive” vs. “physiological” (anxiety, mania or) depression.

If the assessment (including blood work) turns up the latter, they’ll suggest medications. If it turns up the latter, they’ll suggest CBT. And if the pt is direly neurotic (or borderline or psychotic), they’ll suggest both.

While dx’ing online is obviously fraught with gross limitations and potentials for false positives, I do agree with Bipolar_Bear that what you describe sounds like one form or another of clinical depression.

(See http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-types.)

  1. Please also read my comment to B_B above, and 2) find a “hip” diagnostician, meaning a good psychiatrist. Money spent up front with competent professionals almost always pays off in the long run. The people who “get in trouble” with the mental health establishment are pretty often those who tried to get “help” on the cheap at the beginning.

It sounds like depression or negative symptoms.

My doc told me I was exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia but didn’t official dx me. Another doc said I exhibit symptoms of bipolar.
currently I feel more bipolar than psychotic symptoms. Stuff seems to change like the wind with me.

Hope you get some help