I am 25 and I am really worried that I might have a mental illness. My sibling has had a psychosis since an early age (started when she was 12-13). So far, I have had no hallucinations or delusions, my thinking is not impaired, I don’t neglect my hygiene, and I am not forgetful. But recently (as I have been abroad and separated from the people I love), I have started worrying a lot that I will get psychosis. That’s when a weird feeling in my head started. It’s difficult to describe-maybe as if I didn’t get enough sleep (and I sleep more than I used to) or like tension. I’m also nervous and more clumsy than usual. My concentration for studying is poor, though I do manage to do it in the end. As a child, I had anxiety problems that resulted in motor tics (might be important to note) and I have some obsessions (like repeating some moves).
I feel good around my family, and I have been in a loving relationship for 5 years-no problems there. I don’t have many close friends, but I do enjoy interacting with my boyfriend’s friends and they like me. Among close people, I feel safe and relaxed. But I do not feel so comfortable in class (I don’t like the people and feel inferior). This is nothing new, I was usually shy at school. I am very talkative and like discussing all sorts of issues with the close people, but still can’t chit-chat with my classmates, since I’m not relaxed with them. They think I’m weird-no wonder, I can’t even smile naturally among them.
I’m unsure whether my “weird head feeling” or social anxiety (in class) is a first sign of psychosis, or just an effect of my worries. I also have diabetes in the family and was once sure that I had it too — I was feeling extremely thirsty at one point, though it all went away as it turned out that my blood sugars are OK. So, this would not be the first time that my body is responding to my worries. Still, the fear of experiencing a psychosis onset is so overwhelming, and excessively reading about it is not helping. Any advice would be appreciated.
What you might be describing is anxiety. You may be worried about developing psychosis. That, in and of itself, might be what’s causing your “weird head feeling.” There are people who fear developing psychosis. They have health-related anxieties, also known as hypochondria. This may be the case for you.
You might consider having an evaluation by a mental health professional. It might reduce or eliminate your anxiety about developing psychosis. An evaluation is an objective assessment of your symptoms. You didn’t describe any symptoms that would suggest psychosis, but I can’t diagnose you over the internet.
In the past, when you were worried about having diabetes, it seems as though you had an evaluation for that condition. That evaluation determined that you did not have diabetes and you no longer worried about having that condition. Why not take that same approach with your fears about psychosis? It would help you to know the truth and it should ease or eliminate your anxiety and, if you were diagnosed with psychosis, it is easily treated in the early stages.
Finally, the best way to overcome any anxiety disorder, health-related or otherwise, is to always focus on the truth. If you continue to struggle with your fears about developing psychosis, despite there not being any objective evidence to suggest that you have psychosis, counseling could help. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle