Hello. I think I may have Schizophrenia, but I am not sure. I experience many violent mood swings, which have caused me to lose friends over the years. I am very anti-social; in social situations I feel awkward, embarassed, and very very stressed out. I do not like people, and I try to stay away from them. I don't have many friends. The main thing that bugs me is that I feel that I have to obey this "outside person." I don't know what/who they are, but I feel that if I don't obey them, then they will hurt me. I have always had a fear of getting sick, and so i feel that if I don't obey them, they will make me sick. Because of this, I have to repeat the words "I won't get sick" over and over in my head, because it is what "they" want. And this sounds silly, but I also believe that they will make me "stupid" if I don't repeat "I will always be smart" over and over in my head. I have tried to convince myself that this person isn't real, but some part of me says that they are real. Having to repeat these things over and over gets in the way of my life, and it is very very annoying. Sometimes, in the middle of conversations, or even presentations at school, I have to stop and repeat these words in my head. It is embarassing, and I am sure the other people think I am weird. I have felt a major loss of interest for my fishing, which is my favorite hobby. I am also feeling pretty depressed right now, because it just never stops. I told my friend that I have Schizophrenia, but he didn't really pay any attention to it. I am scared, and I don't know what to do. Please give suggestions. Thanks.


Answers


bella
1661 days ago
Hi Dylan,

it must be very hard feeling scared like this. It's impossible to give a diagnosis over the internet, plus we're not doctors - just people who have compassion and try to offer guidance. The best thing for you to do is, consult with your family physician and tell him/her exactly what you told us here. I will tell you though, I do here some OCD like similarities in your description - where you have uncontrolled obsessive/repetitive thoughts. It might be just OCD. Is there any history of schizophrenia in your family? Even if you do have this, you can be helped. Please don't suffer alone and don't try to diagnose yourself because this will intensify your fear. I hope you find out soon and best of luck with getting help. Keep us posted and please don't feel scared Dylan,

Bella



Chemar
1661 days ago
Hi Dylan

I agree with Bella that you should see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. I also see hints of OCD in what you have described.

hope you will see a doctor soon and begin your path to getting a correct diagnosis and treatment

all the best to you



dylan88
1661 days ago
Thank you for all of your input. I looked up OCD and I have to agree with what you said. However, I am afraid of telling my parents or doctor, though. (By the way, I am 15 years old.)



bella
1661 days ago
Don't be afraid Dylan -mental illness is the same as a physical illness, except it involves your brain. Tell your parents how you've been feeling and that you need to see a doctor. You could also try speaking with a school counselor. Ultimately you need a doctor to evaluate you and give you the accurate diagnosis. Best of luck and keep us updated. Try not to be scared, hugs Bella. :)



dylan88
1661 days ago
I'm sorry for pushing this farther, but I was wondering if you or anyone else has any tips for approaching parents about this subject. Obviously approaching them directly is probably the best way, but I was wondering if there was another, more effective way. Thanks



Fpsych
1661 days ago
Hi Dylan,

I think it's really important that you recognise that you need to see someone. You may not have Schizophrenia, as your symptoms could be related to a number of other mental health problems, related to anxiety. But it's best that a doctor assess you and referr you to a psych doctor.

what scares you about telling your parents?

You could try focusing on physical symptoms when speaking your parents. Rather than say I think I have Schizophrenia, you could say, I haven't been sleeping well, and I have lost interest in my favourite hobbies, I feel tired, and I feel depressed. I haven't been feeling well at all lately, and I think I need to go and see the doctor. Of course you could put it in your own words.

When you see the doctor it is really important that you be honest about what you have described to us. You can print out what you have written and take that to the doctor for them to read.

The trouble with looking up symptoms on the internet is that it's really easy to self diagnose something that isn't really there. Diagnosis is a complex assessment and cannot be done by simply reading about some symptoms on the internet.

The good thing is that whatever is happening with you is treatable and you can get back to enjoying life. You can learn to relax in social situations so that you don't stress out, and then you can build frienships again and enjoy your hobbies.

I hope this helps.



dylan88
1661 days ago
Thank you for the input, Fspych :). I guess I am just afraid of how they will react, and how they will think of me. Thank you.



Fpsych
1660 days ago
Hi dylan,

I don't know your parents, but I would hope that they love you unconditionally. I would hope that they want the best for you and would like to see you well. Perhaps your fear of what they might think, is all part of your anxiety. I don't know, because I don't know your family. It is important for you and your family to understand that you are not choosing to think and behave the way you are. You are not deliberately behaving badly. If you could make it stop, you would. I think you need support in knowing how to cope with different social situations, regardless of what diagnosis you get.

Mental health concerns are not a sign of weakness, but if you think your family will not understand, then I think it is important for you to tell them you are physically unwell, rather than focus on mental health. If the doctor refers you to a psychologist or psychiatrist, if you agree they can help your parents understand what is happening with you, so that they can say and do things to help you recover, rather make things worse for you.

I wish you well, and I hope this helps.



Chemar
1660 days ago
Hi Dylan

you have received such good advice here.

I just want to let you know that my own son, now 20yo, has been dealing with OCD since very young. I am thankful as a parent to know what it is, as it has enabled me to better understand and help him.

I do urge you to talk to your parents, or at least ask them to make a doctor appt for you, and then, once you have a diagnosis, then the doctor can explain to your parents. I agree that it would be best to rather describe your symptoms to them, instead of trying to name what it is you may or may not have.

I hope things will get much better for you

all the best



dylan88
1660 days ago
Hi I have decided to tell my mom through an email about this. Sorry, but I have another question: do I tell her that I have been feeling suicidal, so that she takes it more seriously, or do I leave that part out for later. I want her to realize the seriousness, but I don't want her to worry to much =/.



Fpsych
1659 days ago
Hi Dylan,

I think it would be better if you talk to your mom in person, especially if you are planning on telling her that you have been suicidal. She will want to see you, and be there for you and comfort and reassure you.

Do you live with your mom, if you don't I understand you wanting to talk about this through email, but I think it's better done in person or on the phone. But it's your call.

It is a hard question to answer, about whether you should tell your mother you have been feeling suicidal.

Why don't you try talking to your mom about your physical symtoms, and mention that you have also been depressed and say you have been like this for while and you would like to see a doctor and ask her to arrange to make an appointment for you. If she doesn't take you seriously, then you can gently say to her, look mom this is pretty serious, I don't feel like living anymore. I'm really depressed, I don't want to feel like this anymore, I need help. As a last resort, if she still isn't taking you seriously, you can even show her your posts on here.

You can see the benefits of talking to you mom in person, so that you don't have to wait for emails to go back and forward. You can also communicate more clearly in person. Sometimes people misunderstand written words, because they can't see your body language and facial expressions.

Thats my take on it all and I

Hope this helps.



dylan88
1659 days ago
Thank you for all this help. I just feel like it is a box with no door...I hate talking to people and I even feel super embarassed and awkward talking to my own parents. Ironically, talking to them is the only way to get help. It just feels like being in jail or something.



Fpsych
1659 days ago
Hi Dylan,

why don't you write your parents a letter, and give it to them. Which ever one you feel more comfortable with. Leave it for them to read somewhere they are bound to see it and read it. They will probably want to speak to you about it. I reckon if you go in guns blazing and tell them your suicidal they might freak out. Depends whether you have tried to take your own life before, or made threates of suicide before. Do they know you have a history of depression?. They must know about your mood swings. Have you ever been to see anyone about this before.?

I think your anxiety and depression is at the heart of a lot of your problems. I think feeling uncomfortable around people is why you don't like them. Social anxiety is very common, but it is also very treatable.

Make sure your home when you give your parents the letter. You can be in a room somewhere that feels safe for you. Be prepared and anticpate some questions they might have around whats in the letter, and how you are going to respond. But above all, breathe slowly and tell yourself that you can do this, that you want to get support and that you deserve to be happy and enjoy friends and have a better life than the one you have at them moment. Your on your way, the first step is the hardest, after that it gets easier.

I wish you well and all the best. Write back if you need to. I would really love to know how it all goes and look forward to hearing how your progressing.

I hope this helps



dylan88
1658 days ago
Well thank you for your help, but I cannot bring myself forward to telling someone. I get unbelievably nervous and embarassed around people, and telling them about this would be so much worse. I have tried really hard to tell someone this past week, but it isn't going to happen. It is an invisible wall I can't get past, and I hate it. Put it this way: A few years ago, a few days before I had to go to the dentist, I tried to suffocate myself because I hate situations with other people, and I have always feared being diagnosed with some problem that will send me back. Sometimes I even feel a bit suicidal when I have to do an oral presentation in front of a class at school. Now, telling people about my current problems is not only impossible, but would be stupidly stressful for me. I can't imagine all of the doctor visits, and therapy. I am a very individual person, and I don't think I could bear it. I have told two of my only friends my symptoms, hoping that they would try to help, but one dismissed it, and the other one hardly listens to me anyway. It will be impossible for me to tell anyone, because what I have is the only thing holding me back from curing the sickness itself.



Fpsych
1657 days ago
Hi Dylan,

I going to go out on a limb and suggest that you might have social anxiety disorder. It's not a good idea for people to diagnose over the internet, but there are few things that you have told me that point to social anxiety. I think this is at the heart of your problem.

I understand how hard this is for you. I think your very brave to have come on here and asked for help. I notice that you have told a couple of friends, I wonder what is was that help you be confident enough to speak to them about it?. It's unfortunate that sometimes our friends don't really understand or know how to properly help us when we need it the most.

I am going to give you some information on a website about social anxiety. Perhaps you can read through this, it might be helpful for you. The other thing I want to say is that sometimes psychologists can provide online therapy, where you can do the treatment at home on your computer. You can to learn the skills at home and very very slowly gradually build on these and practice them.

Check this out and tell me what you think.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/social_anxiety_support_symptom_causes_treatment.htm



dylan88
1657 days ago
Thanks. I checked out the link, and I feel that those are some things that I feel. About the friends, I don't really know. It just felt right to tell one, because he is one of my only friends, and because I feel he is one of the better friends I have ever had. It troubles me, though, because I just realized that he doesn't pay attention to me. I will tell him something, and he will respond, but then act like he never heard it a later time. Anyway, back to the link. The social anxiety disorder thing didn't say much about suicidal thoughts or anything, so I don't know. Only recently, within the past two weeks, have I been having bad suicidal thoughts. It's like I want to get out of this life, so I don't have to deal with this anymore, but I just couldn't do it to my family. Also, I have recently turned to cutting. I don't draw blood, but it feels good to lightly cut my finger. I know it is a very bad thing, but I don't know what else to turn to. I had a good grip on this, but now I feel I am losing it, and I don't know where to turn. You've been a saint to me Fpsych, for all your help.



Fpsych
1657 days ago
That's ok Dylan,

the link probably doesn't talk about feeling suicidal because that is a byproduct of your frustation and depression with your life. So what is happening, is that your social anxiety is very severe, and now your experiencing depression, and you are having trouble letting your emotions out, so now your cutting. You then probably beat yourself up about what your doing and then feel worse. You can see how not getting any help for your social anxiety is causing you to experience other symptoms. A counselor or therapist won't judge you, they are great for listening to your feelings and thoughts and they help put things into perspective and help you understand yourself and they help you with coping. They never say bad things to you or tell you to never do this or never do that. They walk beside you like the best friend you've ever had, always there. Sometimes you try a couple out to see which one fits best, bit like trying out a new car, take it for a test drive first :) cause you can choose who you prefer.

I think on the forums on this site, there are other people who cut, and with social anxeiety and joining the forums might help you to feel less isolated, you just click on community and it takes you to the forums.

Don't be too hard on your friends, because they are not equipted to deal with mental health problems.

I want to encourage you to use other means to feel rather than cutting. Your self harm is because you have no other outlet to get your feelings out. If you could talk to someone like a school counselor or therapist you would feel much better. But I understand your anxiety and I don't want you to feel boxed in.

Instead of cutting, some people hold ice in their hands,or draw over their arms with red pen.

I want to encourage you to get your feelings out. You enjoy writing, so having a journal might be a good idea. I know other people who have posted on here talk about how writing down their frustrations and feelings help them to feel better.

I want you to understand that suicide doesn't have to be an option. You can overcome this, slowly one step at a time. Think about sending the email to your mom. Take it one step at a time.

How are you at speaking on the phone. Could you speak to someone on a free counseling line? or like this sending text messages. If you let me know where you are I can perhaps find a website where you can anonymously and confidentially (they wont tell anyone and the telephone call won't show up on the bill) get some support.

You are welcome to keep writing here. I want to encourage you to eat healthy food and if you can get physical exercise that is great for anxiety, frustration, and anger. Your body needs lots of help to fight all these emotions that you are experiencing all the adrenaline or other bad emotions you feel. Even a small walk outside, if thats possible weather wise. Sometimes even looking at relaxing scenes on the computer, you know relaxing screen savers etc feels good. Our body has a natural way of getting us to relax through slow breathing. We just have to learn how to do it.

I also want to say that the external voice you hear is perhaps your own self talk. We all have self talk, sometimes is negative and sometimes it's positive. When its too critical and negative it takes over and makes you feel bad. learning how to challenge that negative voice will help you to start feeling better. If your interested i can show you some stuff.

I don't mind you talking to me, and if your getting help from me then that's a good thing.



dylan88
1657 days ago
Thanks for staying patient with this. I have a question: Can these problems be caused by one incident where a person undergoes a lot of stress? Because there was an incident in 6th grade that I think was the problem. A new girl came into our class, and she was the kind that always needs attention. She, and a couple of her new friends wrote a note to to herself. She had threats in it, and every bad word imaginable. Then, she signed me and three other boys' signatures as the writers. We were called in to the principal's office, and it was a very very serious time, because of the seriousness of the note she had written to herself. I was young, and a little shy, and I was unbelievably stressed out that day. I have never been under so much stress...I was so worried that I would get in trouble, even though I didn't do anything. The day after the incident, I started thinking weird things like: "I can't wear the same clothes I did that day or it will all happen again." I was young, and I didn't realize it was a disorder, and so it got much much worse. I am not sure if it could be a cause, but it does feel good to finally be able to tell someone. After the incident, they had me talk to a few counselors, to "check in" i guess, and so I have had experience with them. About the voice I'm hearing and have to obey, it feels SO real. Part of me says stop listening, but when I try to stop, the other part takes over and I get more stressed out. Thanks for the advice, and I will try the journal.



Fpsych
1656 days ago
Hi Dylan,

I'm glad your talking and getting it all out. I think that incident you speak of has a significant part to play in setting this problem off. Mental health problems are often a combination of physiology,incidents like the one you mentioned, and psychology. There is often a combination of factors all working together. But I agree that this event was significant for you. You can see how you wanted to try to control something from ever happening again. Living with uncertainty is a probem for you. You were shy to begin with, so it compounded that. Childhood anxiety is very common also.

Of course being young you wouldn't have known what was going on, none of this is your fault. It looks like the counselor you went to see missed your anxiety, or wasn't given an opportunity to assess it. That's a shame as there was a window there to get you some support. But it's good that you have experience with counselors, I hope they were positive experiences.

I can hear what your saying about the voice. It's like if you try to ignore it or shut it up, it gets louder.

Try out the journal and see whether it helps to write stuff down. Don't forget to go back and look at the website on social anxiety and when you have time really give it a good read, there are some self help tips. If you look on the left hand side of the website under topics you will see anxiety disorders. Have a read of generalized anxiety and OCD. Just read through this stuff to get an understanding of anxiety disorders and learn more about some of the symptoms you may have. I don't want you to freak out and think oh my god I've got all these things going on. There are some very helpful useful tips that might benefit you. And hey, you don't have to go anwhere or see anyone or talk to anyone to get them :). You might read the info over a few days, you know take your time with it all.



dylan88
1653 days ago
I looked the site over, and wrote some things down. I feel a little better about myself, but I give up on telling someone. I just can't do it. I will just try to live my life with no one knowing about this but anyone who reads this forum. I doubt I will ever be able to get/keep a girlfriend, and I just feel really lonely, especially since I have never had many friends. You've been one of the best Fpsych, and I thank you for that.



Fpsych
1652 days ago
Hi Dylan,

never say never. You are only just beginning to come to terms with what is happening to you. Change happens slowly. I bet you used to think that you could never go onto a website and tell people your most private thoughts, and yet here you are talking to me.

You are already starting to feel better, but lets take things slowly, and not start thinking about talking to a professional yet. I also want to try to get you not to catastrophise the situation. You probably read on the website that "thinking" has a lot do with making you feel a particular way. Negative thinking about your situation will make you feel negative and depressed. Try to catch yourself out with the negative thoughts and replace it with something more flexible. Rather than say..." I will never have a girlfriend and I will never be able to tell someone about my anxiety". Try changing this to something more flexible that will also lift your mood and make you feel a bit better. You can stop yourself from thinking like that, and replace it with more helpful thoughts, like, "at the moment I think having a girlfriend will be too difficult for me". "At the moment it feels too hard to ever speak to someone about my anxiety". Give yourself some praise for reading the website I sent you, writing down some things and reaching out for help on here. Tell yourself, "well I have made some small progress......I did some hard work, by reaching out for help, doing some research on the web, taking a few notes." You have to be your own best friend, you have to back yourself. The negative thinking is very inflexible and it's because you feel a certain way about something, doesn't make it true. It's highly unlikely that people judge you in the way you think they do. Negative thinking is something that has been learnt, it can be unlearnt. Negative thinking gets to be a bad habit. When you start learning flexible ways of thinking, you need to practice it. It takes a while to get use to, but when you do, it feels so much better.

The website has some examples of negative thinking and replacing that with positive thinking. You might like to try some of that for yourself.

Can I ask you if your parents were harsh and critical of you. Or can you think of others in life when growing up had unrealistic expectations of others , Do they have high expectations of you.



dylan88
1652 days ago
Hello Fpsych. My parents aren't really harsh and critical, but I feel that they really expect a lot, and sometimes too much. I get all A's in school, and I am proud of that. Sometimes I feel that even though I get grades like that, my parents expect more, and I feel "boxed in" because I'm doing my best, and sometimes I would just like a little more appreciation. Part of this includes the fact that they actually "push" me to get a girlfriend. There was one time where I liked this girl, and I asked my mom if it would be okay if I asked her out. She said yes, but of course I never really was able to do it. I was so mad at myself, because I knew that I had just passed up a great chance, and I felt a lot of regret for a while. However, my parents kept pushing and pushing, telling me to ask her out, and I got kind of uncomfortable. Some people think I'm a whimp because I'm 15 in high school, and I have never even hugged a girl. I don't know. I also talk to myself and people think that's weird too. It's just that so much of society is focused on love and relationships, and I don't like it because I can't really relate to it. I just feel regretful and sad all the time. Thanks for the advice, though.



dylan88
1652 days ago
Sorry about that last post...it probably seemed like I blew you off there, but I am very thankful for your help.



Fpsych
1651 days ago
Hey Dylan,

thats ok I didn't think you just blew me off :). I would say your parents don't have a clue about your social anxiety. A really good therapist would be able to get your parents in for a session, or two and help them understand about your anxiety and help them to understand what makes it worse, by pushing you to do things you don't want to and how to support you better. They would learn not to push you into social things. They don't understand what is going on, so I guess they just want the best for you. And, because your unable to tell them that your anxiety, and you can't tell them you think you may have a social anxiety problem, you can't say to them, look I'm really anxious about this and pushing me just makes things worse. You don't get to stick up for yourself. Your parents don't realise what is going on.

Your very smart, and your right that society is focused on love and relationships. But you know what, there are loads of people who are happy on their own. I would think that if you started to make progress on managing your social anxiety, you would be able to get out more, getting active in hobbies and stuff and keeping relatively busy. You wouldn't notice so much that you don't have a girlfriend and then you wouldn't be so sad and frustrated.

You know what, everybody talks to themselves, sometimes people do it out loud and other people talk to themselves inside their own head.

I realise that talking to someone about your anxiety is not where your at at the moment. But it would help to think about if you did go into therapy, what goals would you like to have, what would you like therapy to change. You could think about what things your missing out on, by having social anxiety.



dylan88
1651 days ago
You are right. I am pretty sure my parents have no idea about what's going on. As parents, I'm not sure if they should, or if it's just well hidden. I agree that therapy would help, but obviously the problem is getting there. These problems tire me out, though, and I worry about every single thing that happens or could happen. I already had one really bad weekend where I seriously considered suicide, but I sort of got over it. It had gotten to the point where I had everything planned out, I just couldn't execute it. I am worried that I will have another one of those attacks, only I won't be able to overcome it.



Fpsych
1651 days ago
Hy Dylan,

I think your parents would want to know, they love and care about you. I'm certain that they should know, but they are not educated about mental health conditions, like most of the community, so they can't recognise it. They are the closest to you and can provide you with the best support. Why do you think they shouldn't know about your anxiety?.

Mental health problems are invisible and difficult to see, and most people are not educated about the different types. If you were physically ill, or broke your leg, your parents could see and understand what is happening to you. They would know what to do straight away. But with mental health problems they can only observe your behavior, they can't see all the thoughts and feelings you have that is driving your behavior. So they don't fully understand, so they don't know of all the stuff you have told me. I think they would so be very surprised that you feel embarrassed to tell them.

It is tiring, worrying about every little thing. You know I'm only getting a small part of the picture. You could have generalized anxiety, and social anxiety and some OCD. But the thing is, they all part of the anxiety group, so when you start to get treatment for one, the others are getting treated at the same time.

Suicide is an exteme solution to a temporary problem. Moods change, one day or one weekend you feel hopeless and the then your mood lifts and you feel better.

Here is a really good website to go to if you feel suicidal again. Read it and then keep it somewhere so that when you feel hopeless again you can read it again.

http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/



dylan88
1646 days ago
Hello, sorry it has been so long; it was a rough week. My dad, seemingly out-of-the-blue, approached me about teen depression. We had a conversation about it, and I admitted to feeling sad, having a loss of interest, and not liking to be with friends. It was kind of awkward, and needless to say, I cried. For some reason, I think my parents might have seen this blog. After our conversation, my dad also approached me about social anxiety. He asked me about that, and I told him, but now they think they have it solved, even though the truth is so much worse. I thought it was good that they approached me, but now I feel that talking about it further will only be more awkward than before. Also, today, my dad bought trigger-locks for the guns we have in the house--I'm not sure if he is worried about suicide or something, but it is a little rude, I think. Again, sorry I didn't post for a long time.



Fpsych
1645 days ago
Hi Dylan,

good to hear from you. No need to appologise for taking your time with the postings.

You are very brave for speaking to you parents, I am very proud of you. I know how extremely difficult this must have been for you. It is good that your parents have talked to you. It's good that they approached you. They are showing care and concern for you, it must have been a shock that your dad bought trigger locks, but I think it's a good safety measure in general, even if it is not related to you. To you it might have seemed, rude, but for them, they are doing all they can to prevent you from suicide.

This has been a great step forward for you. There are many times in life when things feel awkward, but avoiding them makes it worse. This feeling of awkwardness will go away, the more you talk to your family. Trust me on this one. Keep the conversation going.

Please keep me posted on how this progresses. Where to from now? are you going to be thoroughly asessed and referred to a therapist. I hope so, because this is the next step, for your parents to get you asessed properly to a thorough diagnosis, and the right kind of treatment for you.

I hope this helps.