Hello, I am 22 years old, I suffer from bad anxiety and I’ve been terrified of developing schizophrenia all of my life, I went through a period of my life a few years ago where I had awful anxiety, and I would hear what sounded like police sirens inside my head from time to time, eventually when my anxiety lessened, the noise went away.
Now after the past 6 months my anxiety has come back full force, at first I started having intrusive thoughts that caused me great anxiety, after that one night while going to sleep, I had a hypnagogic hallucination before falling asleep, when that happened i started getting scared I was going to become schizophrenic, and started to obsess over it, started googling all my symptoms. I started getting scared I would start to hear voices or become delusional, every sound I’d hear I would have to check that the sound was real, which it always was. I’d sometimes hear the police sirens I use to hear when I was younger, but it would go away if I didn’t pay attention to it.
The past week I’ve felt a lot of fatigue and weakness in my body that comes and goes, I assumed I was getting a cold… but for some reason the feeling comes and goes every other few days.
anyway.. yesterday I was feeling a lot of fatigue and very weak again, and suddenly started to hear the police sirens, but this time it has been constant, and no matter what I do the sound continues and wont seem to go away, and when it does go away, right when I think about it, it comes back. I don’t have a fever, i have been having some ear pain and throat pain also. I’m scared that this is some sort of schizophrenia/psychosis, the sirens sound like they are in my head. I’ve also had tinnitus all of my life, but I’m not sure if this can be considered tinnitus or not. I’m filled with anxiety and fear that I’m going to lose my mind, I have a therapist appointment coming Friday but my therapist specializes in anxiety and OCD, and I feel like I may have something worse.
I’m not looking for a diagnosis, but I’m looking for some guidance. I don’t know what type of appointment to make, could this possibly be something physical going on, or could this be psychological? Where should I start? Should I go to a psychiatrist, or start with a ENT?
Your upcoming meeting with a specialist in anxiety sounds like the very best idea. As you noted, you have had anxiety all of your life. It’s apparently never effectively been dealt with. Even though it lessened for a time, it never fully went away.
If I were your therapist, I would inquire about your life circumstances during the time in which your anxiety decreased and about your life circumstances now that your anxiety has increased. That information might help me to better understand what is causing your anxiety.
Your concern about developing schizophrenia is not uncommon among people who have health-specific anxieties. Schizophrenia tends to be the mental health disorder they fear the most. Some people perceive it as being the worst or the most frightening of all mental health disorders.
Regarding the hypnagogic hallucination, those are relatively common on the verge of sleep. It may be a normal experience or it could indicate a potential sleep disorder. You should report this symptom to your therapist upon your first meeting. He or she could provide you with a referral for a medical evaluation, if deemed appropriate.
Based upon the information you have provided, it seems unlikely that you have schizophrenia. Only a mental health professional, who interviewed you in person, could know that with certainty but your symptoms seem more characteristic of anxiety than they do of schizophrenia.
It’s encouraging that you are planning to undergo treatment. Your symptoms are highly treatable. With the right assistance, perhaps the right medication and a commitment to treatment, you should expect positive results. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle