Does this sound like I have schizophrenia? I'm skeptical

I’ve been on several anti psychotics since my senior year in high school. But honestly I’ve always been very skeptical of my diagnoses. I know this forum probably gets a lot of topics like this, but I just want to list my symptoms to help get a second opinion.

When I’m off my medication, I feel very self conscious and suspicious of people. My suspicion honestly is bordering on full blown paranoia. A lot of times I’m at home, and I get the feeling that people are trying to mock me in some way. This also includes my parents and siblings sometimes. It’s usually very little things that cause me to become very self conscious and paranoid that I’m being mocked in some way. If someone starts coughing a lot, if they start talking in a phony way (their voice is higher pitched than normal or too nasally), if I notice that someone is mimicking the way I’m walking. I think I should note, that a lot of things still happen even if I am on my medication, but the only difference is that it doesn’t bother me as much. I want to expand a bit in the later paragraph when I’m talking about my medication.

I also have a deep feeling that something is wrong with me, either that I’m horribly awkward or that I’m doing something to make people dislike me that I’m not aware of. I also get the feeling of being very vulnerable in my self esteem. I also don’t take well to criticism very well for anything.

Other than that I’m pretty normal. I don’t hear any voices and I don’t believe in any outlandish things like people are trying to kill me. The only thing I have a hard time shaking off is the fact that I can’t get rid of the feeling of being made fun of. A lot of people are surprised that there is something wrong with me because I don’t show any physical signs of being distressed. A lot of times my parents don’t even realize when I’m on or off my medication because the difference is so subtle.

I’m on Abilify and I noticed that when I’m off my medication I feel a lot more “open.” I can think more clearly and expressively. I also feel emotionally blunted. I have a harder time relating and sympathizing with people and I also have a harder time comprehending what I’m reading. Honestly, I feel less murky in my head and I feel like I enjoy things a lot more. For instance, when I’m on Abilify I don’t have the attention span to watch movies and I don’t feel rewarded for playing video games. I know these are probably small things, but they meant the world to me before I started taking Abilify. Also I only take 2.5 mg of Abilify!

What does this sound like to you? My symptoms seem very mild to be honest but my parents and psychiatrist seem to be dead set on me having schizophrenia.

The meds may cover up your positive symptoms but the negative ones are still there, maybe?? I would not stop meds. And I would try to work with a therapist to get over these self-conscious thoughts.

Who cares about the diagnosis??? Who cares at all? Please stay focused on receiving treatment.

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Some of what you described links into social anxiety and even ADHD but that’s the nature of diagnosis when it comes to mental illness…a lot of things over-lap.

Why don’t you seek a second opinion? Or, even a third. Perhaps don’t mention you’ve been previously diagnosed so you can be assured their opinion isn’t tainted.

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Have you had a psychotic episode? If not, what does your pdoc see as sz in you? You sound like my son. He has low self esteem and believe ppl are talking behind his back about him and laughing at him. But very much are misunderstandings because he has PDD-NOS. He has a hard time recognizing other ppl’s emotions and body language.

I am not a psychiatrist, but your symptoms sound like Schizophrenia. You might want to talk to your psychiatrist about maybe changing your medicine. I play computer games and I understand wanting to enjoy them again. Not enjoying them is part of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

@captain_comrade I personally agree with Louisa84. Getting a second opinion from a medical professional would be the best move. Doctors can be wrong. Psychiatry isn’t like surgery where you can go in and just remove something. A great deal of it depends on the doctors intuition, discretion, and training.

However schizophrenia is sort of a (I hope this is the right phrase to use) spectrum disorder. It is almost a catch all for a large variety of problems. That is why so many people have so many different degrees of positive and negative symptoms. Maybe in the future there won’t be schizophrenia but ten or more different diagnoses that better describe the disease. So it could be schizophrenia but just more unique than the more average forms.

Whatever you do, please make sure to continue whatever medication regiment your doctors put you on.

Also, remember it is good to talk to those you trust. Joining a support group is good and there are a good group of people to talk to here if you need. Just because your symptoms aren’t as severe doesn’t mean you don’t need help or that your troubles are any less valid.

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I was skeptical too about my diagnosis because I didn’t have obvious positive symptoms like hallucinations or paranoid thoughts. But what you are saying about yourself sounds like a bit of persecution mania and it’s part of a clinical picture of Schizophrenia. I have something similar. 30% of SZ affected people do not have hallucinations or full-blown paranoia. It’s just a fact, I am within that statistic, maybe you are too.

There is no such thing as mild symptoms, there are a lot of symptoms that you don’t actually notice. If you talked to your parents about it, you might find out, if they choose to be open about it, that there are some issues with the way you talk too, some issues with the way you express emotions.

In SZ sometimes your face will remain expressionless when you talk, your voice remains equal, monotonuous, you avert your eyes from other people, maybe you don’t always make so much sense to people who are listening to you as you seem to make in your head, maybe there is a big difference between what you say and what you intend to say, maybe you forget things about the past and you are sure that they never happen, maybe you get angry at things that happen only in your head and no one else notices them etc. You might not have these symptoms, but it’s worth discussing, even if it’s uncomfortable to you, the resons why your family thinks it’s SZ. You might find a lot of interesting , somewhat disturbing things about you. So do have this talk with your closest family, but do it when you are ready to hear the answers. They might get you angry on the short term, but on the long term they will make you understand better what is going on.

I’m on abilify too, on 10 mg, and besides my avolition I do not seem to have any of the symptoms you mention. I do however, find it hard to focus sometimes, but I feel the same when I am psychotic, so it’s no biggie. It is to say that yes, on abilify I feel less “smart” than I feel off meds and I have to make real efforts to work, take care of my son and study (I study Norwegian, web design and PHP). But it’s not the meds who make me that way. The meds only let my brain work exactly how it does during psychosis, but they do not allow it to "expand"into delirium. So, basically, on Abilify it’s just me, without the manic stuff, and with the ability to fight to get my attention back.

I don’t know how to put it better. On other meds, I get all the symptoms off, but my personality gets off too, so I don’t care I lose attention etc. On Abilify I get my personality without the “numbing” effects so I get really upset about the loss of attention. But on Abilify I get to fight, and with some behavioural-cognitive therapy I am sure that I will be able to re-wire my braiin so it will do the things I am used for it to do.

Aaaanyway, back at you.

There is no such a thing as mild symptoms in mental health, you might have symptoms that are harder to grasp on your side. But your clinician and your parents seem to be sure of it , based on symptoms that you cannot possibly notice because in SZ and other mental illnesses you do not have the ability to self-evaluate, unfortunately. It’s part of the clinical picture of SZ and other such ilnesses. There is no such thing as “milder” ilnesses and “more grave” illnesses, SZ is as bad or as mild as bipolar, borderline etc. With them, you are at risk, so please be cautious.

You have the right to change your pdoc if you are unsatisfied by your current one. The downside there is that your pdoc should have your mental history and a new pdoc might not be as informed regarding you as your current one. Ask for a re-evaluation, sometimes hospitalisation off meds is needed for that.

So: again. If you want a re-evaluation you should be prepared for what is to come. Talk opemnly with those who seem to think you are SZ and get ready to hear stuff you never imagined you did or had as a behaviour. It’s the case with all of us, we rely on our peers and family to tell us what symptoms we have when we feel “ok” because of the lack of self-evaluation speccific to this illness.

Good luck and let us know how your quest for knowledge goes!



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