Does this sound like schizophrenia, or something similar?

I am an 19 year old female. I have no major health concerns and I’m not on medications. I will reveal a few personal details in here but I am NOT trying to evoke pity or seek attention. I just want answers on here. This will be long but bear with me. I’m sorry if this sounds nonsensical or jumbled, I am really trying my best.

My father is mentally ill. He exhibits almost every schizophrenic symptom there is; hallucinations, delusional beliefs, disorganized thoughts, etc.

However, he has not been officially diagnosed. These symptoms started when he was 30 (I was 2) and he is now 46. These symptoms have been ongoing although they improved with age somewhat. He still gets episodes and these delusional beliefs of his has not changed. He is paranoid and is convinced that everyone persecuted him and is out to get him. He is often incoherent when he speaks. He used to be violent but not anymore. But whenever my family takes him to the hospital, he gives them the best impression he has and he refuses medications or believes he needs help. He appears normal to them and they think there’s nothing wrong.

I’m not saying he has schizophrenia since I know it is wrong to diagnose people if you aren’t a professional. However, he obviously has something severely wrong.

When my mother was pregnant with me she did LSD, marijuana, and consumed excessive amounts of caffeine.

Now, I love my family, but they are not the most supportive network when it comes to mental illnesses. They often fight with my dad and insult him, provoking his mental states.

Now, to me. I have shown severe signs of not socializing since I was 2 years old. I would not speak to anybody but my mother, father, and cousins. If a stranger tried to talk to me, I would hide behind my family.

My mother put me in preschool, where I refused to talk to anybody. I would not say a single word. Whatsoever. I made no friends. That’s when they started to try to diagnose me with autism.

My mother refused to believe that I had anything wrong with me. She would not let them diagnose me, and it turns out they couldn’t any way because I have a couple traits that apparently prove I’m not autistic. They tried to diagnose me with avoidant personality disorder, but couldn’t, because I wasn’t 18.

Most kids grow out of their shyness, but for me it has not changed. I still can barely speak to people and I have difficulty forming and keeping friendships and relationships. My only friends are my cousins and my best friend. I don’t know many social skills but I know basic social etiquette.

When I was 12, I began to “lose” my emotions. I had a very flat feeling, like nothing could stimulate me anymore. However, I have somewhat overcome this. I do have feelings and I do care about other people, and I have found a few stimulants, writing being one of them. But there are many times where I feel “dead”.

When I was 13, I was depressed for a long time. I had suicidal thoughts and engaged in self-harm. I managed to overcome this by thinking positively.

When I was 17, I started smoking marijuana, sometimes excessive amounts. I was not aware that this was another risk factor for developing schizophrenia, or I would have never started. I quit a while ago.

The reason I am telling about my antisocial behaviour as a kid is because that’s another risk factor. I experience stressful situations often, although not as much anymore.

I have had some trauma in my life, including sexual assault (not from family) that gave me delusional beliefs about my sexuality and life. I watched my father almost kill my mother in a violent episode, and I watched someone nearly kill him at gunpoint. I read somewhere that traumatic stressful situations can trigger schizophrenia.

Anyway, starting a few years ago, even before I began smoking marijuana, I began to lose focus and concentration. My grades became worse and I lost motivation to go to school as often. I developed a grandeur that I would become a famous writer. I somehow managed to graduate on time a few months ago with decent grades in advanced classes.

I have awkward behavior that has been with me since I was at least 13. I pace around my room often for no reason because sitting still aggravates me. If I’m not pacing, I zone out for hours and daydream. I put aside significant hours of my freetime just to daydream. I have recently enjoyed taking walks and hiking but find that I am going in no particular direction with no destination. I have been told I rest in awkward positions and drink and eat food very strangely. I have been told I walk “just like my father” (I only visit him once a month, aside from one time when I was a kid. he kidnapped me during an episode and I was locked in his house for several months until my mom convinced the police to rescue me). I sometimes start a project but end up with something completely different due to illogical planning. I don’t notice these things much to be honest, others point them out to me. This behavior feels natural to me.

I have a few delusional beliefs that I know are stupid, but they affect me ever day. For example, I hate eye contact because I think that the person is looking into my eyes to invade my soul and learn all my secrets and flaws to criticize me. I do not take well to criticism and I hate being teased, I find it hard to distinguish whether or not they are mocking me.

Three weeks ago, I heard a voice from the wall whisper to me. Last night, I kept hearing a cat scream even though none of my family could hear it. I am starting to see cats out of the corner of my eye. We have cats, but not a black one, which I am seeing.

My thoughts are what is really starting to bother me. It seems to be my most prominent symptom. I am going to try my best to make sense out of this… basically, my thoughts seem to be disappearing from my head. I’ll be like “hey mom” and then I’ll forget what I was going to say, or ill even start a sentence but have no idea how to finish it. My brain is becoming like autocorrect, where I have a thought and I’ll edit it over and over mentally before I say it or type it because I know it’s illogical, and I need to remember where to put what words. I have been misusing words completely. I have actually edited my sentences several times during this very topic because I keep using incorrect words. This is frustrating because I am a writer and my writing quality is getting worse because of my thoughts.

I am really scared about becoming schizophrenic. I want to be a normal person but I realize that these are all signs of early schizophrenia before it becomes full blown. I’ve seen the way that my family treats my dad and he often gets judged. I don’t want my family to hate me so I haven’t told them these problems because they’re all I have. Even if I did, they would probably shut me down and say I just have anxiety. I don’t, I actually feel mostly dead, not anxious.

Should I see a psychiatrist? Can they even tell if I am schizophrenic at this point, or do I have to wait to see what happens? What would be the best course of action right now?

EDIT: I messed up a few sentences very badly because of my stupid thoughts. Sorry about that. I hope they are fixed and make sense now.

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The sooner you get involved with sorting out these issues the easier it’s going to be. It might not be sz but it does seem like you could use some help.

Good doctors treat symptoms and not the diagnosis.

These issues seem very subtle, but potentially the grounds for worse things to come.

I would stop using any drugs. Marijuana was what took me over the line and it was a direct thing. I’d smoke and then hallucinate and get delusional and I was high enough to think it was real.

You never know when that kind of stuff might start happening.

If you don’t feel your in a position to see a professional, the least you can do is protect yourself from risk factors.

As for feeling dead inside… I get that. It’s all relative though, you can define it to be what you want.

I prefer the consistency of the void feeling over the chaos and complexity on the opposite end of the spectrum. This is something I’m actually trying to make more permanent.

Hallucinating is not good. Even just seeing cats. I’d say it’s grounds for help.

You’re an adult so you get to choose who your doctors talk too. You could even wind up diagnosed and you’d be the only one aside from the doctor who knew.

In this dead space the thoughts do kind of come and go. When I feel them dissapearing entirely It’s an odd state.

After my experience I’d love to learn to not think. I’d love to be free from words. I think it would stop the voices entirely. I don’t really think there is much of a point to thinking in the first place.

Anyways. Welcome to the forum. Good luck with your writing. It could be stress that is causing your mind to be slightly muddled.

Reminds me when I’m reading sometimes I’ll start seeing words that aren’t there. Also a word will jump out long before I am supposed to be reading it. It causes me to stop reading find the word then go back to reading. These things seem to happen off and on, but it has a lot to do with my state of mind. When I’m relaxed and my thinking is focused it doesn’t seem to happen. When I get stressed and my mind ramps up a bit is typically when i get that augmented focus which causes the glitches.

I’d do what you can to figure this out now, instead of waiting for it to become a bigger issue.

Hello, I can relate to a lot of what you have described. I was excessively shy too and was diagnosed with selective mutism when I was six. You are 19? I’m four years older than you, let’s see, in terms of shyness, I feel as I have avoidant personality disorder, like you wrote about. Are you diagnosed with that now since you are over 18? And the pacing thing too, I pace and pace lots and lots.

Take care.

No, I haven’t been diagnosed because I haven’t visited a psychiatrist since I was 17. It is nice to hear that somebody else understands, I was beginning to think that I was the only one with these problems.

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hi kittens…welcome tot he forums. I personally don’t think you have schizophrenia. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If you had sz, you would be aware of it and wouldn’t need to ask questions.

By the way, you have a very good command of the English language for a 19 yr old. Keep up the writing!!

It sounds similar to me or a woman with schizophrenia but milder likely diagnosed schizoaffective, bipolar. Because you seem to be managing well a doctor may think you don’t have severe enough symptoms. There are other ways to treat it then anti psychotics. Abilify at a small dose helped me with the eye contact issue and normalized me but I wouldn’t recommend a high dose for long term just because it’s a newer atypical. They might misdiagnose depression because of the flat effect.

Research orthomolecular medicine for schizophrenia etc. you can treat your symptoms with vitamins!! 5-htp and Sam-e has been said to help with moods. Instead id say look into alt health vitamins and Indian medicine. If everyone were given vitamin treatments and actual biological vitamins like herbs we wouldn’t be dependent on them and we’d all be super healthy!! I understand the urge to reach out but please check out some herbal holistic cures first. Psychiatric Medicine is a mind altering solution to psychosis and not always the best long term for less severe types of the genetic schizophrenia condition. Such illnesses are all on a spectrum. At 26 I wish I would have done this at 16 when my symptoms got worse but more severe than you have so far. Good on you for reaching out!

That stuff does wonders. It’s the only thing I take any more. Serotonin when you need. Curbs all kinds of negative states.

some signs indicate that you could potetntially end up schizophrenic in your twenties but to me it honestly sounds like youre exaggerating alot of these symptoms

I wasn’t trying to give that impression. And these symptoms have been frequent for years and many others have commented on them or I wouldn’t be so concerned.

Thank you. Is prescription the only way to obtain abilify? Vitamins do me wonders. I haven’t been taking them as often lately, maybe that has something to with it.

females usually get a full blown schizophrenic breakdown in their mid-late twenties so you still have some time until then if you are serious with your lifestory enjoy the remaining years free of antipsychotics and delusions

Sometimes full blown episodes are harder to treat it’s important still to monitor yourself by keeping a diary and talking to people. Schizophrenia is really not that clear cut in the first place. Things that helped me over time: I made a vow to God. I strengthened my self awareness, I developed patience. It’s easy to fall into depression and it doesn’t feel like depression, psychosis doesn’t actually hurt you so don’t be scared its actually not as bad as it looks.

It’s not dementia. It’s just a condition which can develop over time, not all schizophrenia is brought on by an episode but mostly it’s just that there are aspects to living with certain mentalities. People grow up with a notion that everything is fixed when it’s not.

The label itself de-values human existences and perceptions, but the condition itself is interesting…like I wish I could have been more…but on the flip side even living in this norm I know the truth of my personal existence…eh