Home Psychosis Is this Schizophrenia?

Is this Schizophrenia?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I know you get questions about Schizophrenia a lot, and I apologize for taking your time, but I couldn’t find any answered questions similar to my situation. I believe I may be suffering from Schizophrenia, but I’m not sure. I was wondering if you could tell me if my situations sounds like Schizophrenia at all. I’m seeing a therapist soon because my mother thinks I have anxiety and depression (and I agree) but I think I may have something more.

Here’s my situation: I talk to two people inside my head. Sometimes I hear vague, hard to make out whispers aloud, especially at night, but they speak very clearly inside my head at all times. They tell me all kinds of things that seem crazy saying aloud. They say that they are angels, and that I’m one too. They tell me to kill myself so that I can “come home” and see them again. I should mention, I have never been a religious person. My brother actually taught me to be an atheist, and I believed in nothing of angels or an afterlife until these voices started. One of them sometimes encourages me, ensures me that everything will be okay, and helps me get through the day. The other more often tells me negative things, like that I’m worthless and stupid. Both of them tell me to kill myself and harm myself. I obey them all the time, I actually stop whatever I’m doing and cut myself almost whenever they tell me to. Sometimes, the one tells me to hurt other people, but I never act upon these commands. I could never hurt anyone. But I fear that I might start listening to them when they tell me to hurt people. I’ve begun to have dreams almost every night of killing my friends, family, and self. I have also in recent months started to develop strange habits at their instruction. It’s just little things, like choosing a certain dish out of the cabinet instead of a dozen identical ones, making sure the objects on my nightstand are in the exact same place every night, etc. These habits don’t harm anyone, but they’re strange, and I feel extremely uneasy and scared when I don’t follow one of these routines.
Does this sound like Schizophrenia? Should I bring this up to my therapist? Thank you so much for your time.

Never hesitate to write with your questions. We are here to help. I’m glad you wrote.

Your symptoms are unusual and concerning, but at 14 schizophrenia is unlikely. It’s rare for individuals under 17 to develop schizophrenia. It does happen but all other explanations need to be exhausted before schizophrenia or any other mental illness should be considered.

What’s most important is that you speak to your therapist about your symptoms. Your therapist only knows what you reveal to him or her. Without your honesty and willingness to be forthcoming about all of your symptoms, he or she might focus on treating lesser symptoms. That might not be enough to help.

For now, don’t jump to conclusions about a diagnosis. It’s good that you are asking for help but your next step should be discussing your symptoms with your therapist. He or she is in the best position to determine what’s wrong and perhaps more importantly, how to treat what’s wrong. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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