Hello, I am a 20 year old college student. I apologize if this post is really long or filled with grammar mistakes. I was wondering if I am having early signs of Schizophrenia or not. About four months ago, I had a panic attack while smoking weed. It was pretty scary and I thought I was going to die. About a week later, I had experienced derealization. All my surroundings seemed different and I felt like I was in a dream state. This lasted for about 6 weeks; pretty much all day. During that time and all the way up until today, I have experienced severe anxiety that I am insane or that I am going to lose touch with reality. I have constantly looked up signs of early Schizophrenia. I also have had obsessions with ideas about reality. I continuously think about: “Am I dreaming or am I awake?” or “Am I in a coma or not?” I doubted reality for about 2.5-3 months. The fear of going insane and doubting reality scared me to death. In December, I started to become paranoid of parents. I kept thinking, “what if they don’t really love me and they actually hate me.” “What if they wanted to hurt me?” I thought these thoughts aren’t true because my parents love me. I also only started thinking these thoughts because I knew some schizophrenic people become paranoid while they are experiencing their mental illness. When I would get these thoughts, I would start to get anxious and started to worry that I was going to get schizophrenia. Good side is, whenever I talk to my parents, the thoughts usually go away. I also started to think what if my whole life was fake or my whole was a TV show. Then I started to worry what if everyone around me was robots and I was the only one on Earth. Finally, I worried about what if I was imagining my reality and and some evil genius controlled the world and made me image my reality and that he was going to one day show that my reality was fake and what I experienced wasn’t true. I am anxious everyday with these thoughts. I sometimes think I am go to become delusion but then I say to myself a delusional person probably wouldn’t say that. My thoughts are all basically what if scenarios about doom and being all alone forever. That somehow my life was lie. I don’t believe these thoughts but they make me miserable because if they were true I would be alone and if they weren’t true I could be Schizophrenia. I am also have social anxiety so I get really nervous around people. I don’t have many friends or much of a social life so I am pretty lonely which doesn’t help my thoughts and emotions. I am not sure if these thoughts are feeding on my loneliness or not. I have not experienced any forms of visual or auditory hallucinations. I have only had these weird thoughts and anxiety. I had never had any of these thoughts until I started reading about Schizophrenic symptoms. I also never had this bad of anxiety until I had that panic attack while smoking weed. I just want to be my old self again and not doubt my reality anymore. The uncertainty is killing me. I am taking a SSRI right now - escotalpram 10mg
- don’t smoke weed…bloody stupid thing to do.
- see a shrink and get diagnosed…
- may i suggest you learn about your body and mind and how it works…would save you a bit of stress.
know someone cares
Doesn’t sound like sz yet, but does have some features of being prodromal (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2930984/ ; I love NCBI because their stuff is totally research-based).
I see Mary Jane hanging out with a smart, sensitive young adult who’s brain may be wired to make the worst of the stuff. But, that said, you may want to look into all this with your parents if putting the pipe down doesn’t bring you out of it:
- Get a copy of these books, read them and have your family read them, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of his book is really worth the effort to plough through.)
- Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
Find Top Psychiatrists by State. and Find Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses - Psychology Today
- Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.
Psychotherapies for that currently include…
DBT – What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? – Behavioral Tech
MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
MBCT - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22340145
ACT – ACT | Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
- the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
MBBT – An Introduction to Mind-Body Bridging & the I-System – New Harbinger Publications, Inc
SEPT – Somatic experiencing - Wikipedia
SMPT – Sensorimotor psychotherapy - Wikipedia
- or standard CBTs, like…
REBT – Rational emotive behavior therapy - Wikipedia
Schematherapy – Schema therapy - Wikipedia
Learned Optimism – Learned optimism - Wikipedia
Standard CBT – Psychotherapy | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness & scroll down
- Get two or more of those “down,” and one can use the skills therefrom in this way to combat delusional thinking and emotional reactivity very quickly:
10 StEP – Pair A Docks: The 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing
- If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, I would use those search tools in item 2 above. Look for clinics that include intervention and treatment resistance services.
- If you or your sz patient suddenly becomes manic: http://www.currentpsychiatry.com/specialty-focus/bipolar-disorders/article/what-to-do-when-your-depressed-patient-develops-mania/f3218a38f6603114ff2f9d9bfc21acfb.html?
- Look into the RAISE Project at Google.
- Look for mental illness clubhouses in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at Google to locate and investigate them.
This book has helped me with depersonalizatoin/derealization a lot.
sorry if i was a bit harsh…but…
doing recreational drugs…weed for instance…can trigger psychosis which it seems you have done…
know someone cares
Does that mean I have it now or had psychosis back when I was high?
I have not smoked weed since September.
normally it takes a while for ’ weed ’ to get out of your system…
good on you for not smoking it anymore
my advice is talk to your pdoc.
We’re not doctors, so we can’t diagnose. Those symptoms can be symptoms of a variety of illnesses, sz, bipolar, depression. So only a doctor can say for sure and even them sometimes change diagnosis according to the evolution of a persons well being.
From where I stand it sounds like you know you have these thoughts and you don’t believe them for sure. As a psychologis friend once told me, we all, even “normal” people (whatever that means) have the blueprints of paranoia, delusional thinking, etc, it’s just a matter of chemical balance in the brain. As you seem reasonable and not believing in those thoughts yet I urge you to talk to your psychiatrist soon about that and don’t hold out on information on the fear of the “crazy” label. Everyone is a bit crazy, the stigma we deal with.
Good luck, you don’t sound at all delusional.
It takes a few weeks for weed to get out of your system, so you are well beyond that point now.