I was just diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia today. My psychiatrist told me several months ago that she was leaning towards the diagnosis. I was absolutely stunned. I told her that it couldn’t be true because I don’t see things, hear things (very much), and I’m not violent. I was so angry, I thought about not going back, but I did.
After calming down and talking to the doctor for several more visits, I can see now that the diagnosis is most likely an accurate one. And I learned that all of my preconceived notions of what the disorder was, were not true.
I have recognized that many of my thoughts and behaviors are based upon paranoia. I never saw that before. I have had this paranoia for years; my anxiety is through the roof. I don’t see things, but every once in a while I will hear a voice calling my name. It’s strange, but it does happen. I don’t think she made the diagnosis based upon this, but specifically the paranoia and the way I have isolated myself.
She has put me on several medications. Cymbalta, Trazadone (for insomnia), Wellbutrin, and Risperidone. I know next to nothing about these medications, but the doctor said she is ramping me up very slowly on very low doses.
When I told my family today, they looked a little shocked. My biggest fear is that they will think I am somehow dangerous. I have never hurt a fly, but I keep worrying about the stigma of the disorder; can’t get it out of my head. How do I tell the few friends I have left? My brother? Will these people still want me in their lives? I’m probably just overthinking things.
Anyways, thanks for listening and I hope to meet you all.
I made the previous comment with only reading the subject heading. On a more serious note, my family was aware that I was regularly getting baker acted before my diagnosis. So I never had a “coming out” moment like you did. I don’t know your family and how they’ll react. In my experience, it’s more common for people to down play your problems rather than exaggerate them. Although I have experienced both from people. Over all, you’ll be fine. Good luck with the meds, they don’t always help everyone.
It probably will be very hard accepting your illness for a while. Please know it gets easier. Are you planning on getting on disability? How many hospital stays have you had since before being diagnosed? I only ask this because having hospital stays helps you get disability.
I have never actually been hospitalized for any type of mental condition. My doctor said that she believes I have been misdiagnosed for many years with Social Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She told me that what I am dealing with is much more serious than those diagnosis’.
I am currently on disability, as I have had trouble doing very basic tasks, like going to store or any type of basic social interaction. I sold my startup business several years ago because I just couldn’t stand the sitting in meetings with the investors.
I have a feeling that I am much older than most of the people here and that my diagnosis has taken a lot longer.
I was prodromal for about 3 years before I was diagnosed. My paranoia and delusions didn’t become full blown until I was 35. I lost my thirties to schizophrenia and all the years after that. I didn’t accept my illness for the first year which kept me in hospitals since I was off my meds. I am a firm believer in staying on your meds.
Hi, @AnxietyOrange. I am 48 and have been (clearly in my mind) suffering hallucinations and delusions, anxiety and paranoia for over 30 years. I was able to be isolated and kept much of my experiences secret. When I did ask for help as a teenager and told my mom about the demons tormenting me, she simply didn’t know what to do. Long story short, I was just diagnosed correctly almost four months ago. I’ve only told a few people. Secrets are my thing. I admire you for telling your family right away! There’s nothing to be ashamed of and you’re getting the help you need, so those who really know you and care I hope will be totally supportive. I wish you nothing but the best!
I’ve read research suggesting that you should follow the examples of LGBT individuals.
I came out to my family later, my friends could tell I was psychotic. My parents and sister were well aware that I was psychotic. I didn’t take the psychosis not otherwise specific diagnosis at all, and then the scz diagnosis put me in catch 22 denial. I came around once the meds really worked. I was so skeptical of the whole thing, my world seemed so real. Then the Geodon kicked in and I had a peaceful mental…breakdown? I was sane and I kept saying “it was all in my head” and cried a lot.
The good news is that you sound coherent and pretty well. I mean, seriously, you sound quite sane.
Google scholar search “Patrick Corrigan” and “coming out” and the article might be available in pdf on google scholar. I have access to databases because I am a researcher (and yes I am also chronic paranoid schizophrenic). He’s also written 14 books. I haven’t read the books but I have read a lot of his scholarly journal publications.
I’m researching a stigma intervention. I’m pretty obsessed with the stuff. It’s like I sort of call out everyone for stigmatizing us with empirical science. Hahahaha
Of all the people I’ve told about my sz, I’ve only had one friend that stopped talking to me. And even then I think it was more because he was around and trying to deal with me during a really psychotic period and just “saw too much,” as it were.
It’s hard to come to terms with, and even still I have times where I’m sure they all must be wrong or something. I don’t know. Having this forum, and others where mental illness isn’t stigmatized as much, has really helped me cope. Good luck.