For the past 4-5 years I’ve been feeling what seems to be depersonalization. I’ve been able to function fine, I know I’m existing and I’m able to talk to my friends and family with no trouble (besides arguing with my family constantly) but along with this feeling of not being all there I’ve had this fear that I may be schizophrenic. It started when I was smoking pot all the time, it was all fun and games until I had a little too much and I had a panic attack. I had no idea what was going on, but it passed. A few months passed and the depersonalization got worse, I developed anxiety after that panic attack and I began to have horrific thoughts that randomly invaded my mind and as much as I tried to get rid of them they wouldn’t go away. There was a point where I was scared to be alone and scared of my own thoughts that involved hurting my family which I know I would never do, and I didn’t know what to do anymore so I let the thoughts happen. They passed and t
here was a point of clarity, but I still felt like I wasn’t all there.I thought I had a ruptured aneurism due to headaches I was having on a daily basis, there was even a point where I went to the emergency room cause I thought I had a brain tumor. I’m constantly looking into symptoms, I believe I have some of the ones listed. I’ve never had hallucinations besides this one time where I was buzzed and thought I saw a woman in a parked car and freaked out but it turned out to be the head rest, and I’ve never heard anything crazy besides people calling my name time to time and me thinking my friend was talking to me when she actually wasn’t. I’ve also been told I’m overly sensitive, and there are times where I have irrational thoughts or make scenarios up in my head that get me angry but I know they aren’t real in the end. I worry all the time and have been looking up symptoms and stories everyday. I’ve also been told that my grandpa was crazy, not sure if he was schizo or not but it still worries me that this could give me a higher chance. I’m worried I’m developing Schizophrenia.
I cannot provide a diagnosis over the Internet but schizophrenia seems unlikely. Your symptoms are more consistent with an anxiety disorder.
Your fear that developing schizophrenia could have been triggered by your panic attack. The very nature of a panic attack is feeling out of control. It is not likely a coincidence that many of your fears are now focused on your losing control. The fear of losing control is a hallmark feature of anxiety disorders.
One of the more common questions that I receive, involves people who probably have an anxiety disorder but fear they have schizophrenia. It is common for people with anxiety to think that they have all sorts of ailments. They often believe that the worst things they can imagine are happening to them.
If you have not consulted a mental health professional in person, you should. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine what’s wrong. Most importantly, a treatment plan can be developed.
Treatment can remedy these issues. Untreated anxiety can worsen and significantly degrade your life. Medication and therapy are effective treatments for anxiety. Treatment works and you should try it. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle