Hi, am 20 years old and I have been dealing with anxiety and depression since 6th grade, and my worries of being Schizophrenic started in September and I haven’t put it out of my mind that I may have it. I have talked to my family about it and they don’t believe I have it, but they think I should talk to someone about my anxiety and depression. I rarely leave my house because of my anxiety. I have also have thoughts that I may have a psychosis disorder because I am extremely worried I may turn into a psycho and hurt someone which I know I don’t want to do that. I don’t hear voices but I may be having visual hallucinations, in the corner of my eye I see what looks like human figures walking back and forth but disappear when I turn my head, also sometimes I see colors. My eyes are not very good so I don’t know if that could be it. But I thank you for taking the time to read this.
Anecdotally, it seems that people with anxiety often have a tendency to fear that they will develop schizophrenia. In fact, it is one of the more common questions that people ask me about.
Like other mental health disorders, schizophrenia involves a very specific set of symptoms. In order to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, certain symptoms must be present for a sustained period of time. If the symptoms are not present, then schizophrenia would not be diagnosed. You can read more about those symptoms here.
Given your lack of symptoms, it’s unlikely that you have schizophrenia but it’s impossible to diagnose over the Internet. You should undergo a formal, in-person evaluation by a mental health professional. He or she could determine if a disorder is present and make recommendations for treatment.
If you have yet to undergo treatment, you should strongly consider it. Anxiety and depression are highly treatable conditions. Without treatment, they tend to become more severe. Cognitive behavioral therapy is quite effective. Medication is also effective.
I hope that you will consider consulting a mental health professional. Choose a therapist who specializes in anxiety and depression. There is no reason to suffer when highly effective treatments are available. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle