So I just wrote this whole thing and I'm really sorry it's so long! I just wanted to make sure I included everything I thought would be important to know. Thanks to whoever has the patience to read the whole thing and help. Here you go:
I am 21 years old and am so fed up with being anxious and worried all the time. When I was little, I remember being very ambitious and determined. I had a great imagination and I had so much confidence in myself- I really believed that when I grew up I could and would become anything I wanted to be. However, every so often I would get really hyper and overexcited. This was to the point of really bugging my parents and family members. I think I might have just been bored or wanted attention, I'm not sure. Sometimes I pinched other little kids behind their parents' backs, I guess to make something happen because I was bored. Once, I stepped on a baby chick when I was 5 but felt horrible afterwards. I would cry for years after that happened whenever I thought about what I did. Sometimes I would get in trouble by my parents for not listening to them when they told me to stop acting so hyper (for lack of a better word, I don't really know how to describe how I acted!) For the most part, I had a normal/happy childhood. I'm from a really wealthy area in the country, so I am very priveleged and have gotten most of the things I ever wanted. During my childhood, my parents always fought. They finally divorced when I was ten years old. Randomly, my mom would cry. And my dad was an alcoholic. My parents fought whenever he was drunk.
Besides that, I had a lot of friends and never did great in school but never did horribly, either. Towards the end of middle school and in the beginning of high school, I guess you could say that I was depressed- I had a very hard time sleeping, I was extremely irritable and yelled at my family for the smallest things, and I felt sluggish and lazy. I became happier when I started dating my ex-boyfriend, even though I would still feel sluggish- and I started to cry randomly like my mom did when I was little! Also, I usually had this underlying feeling of guilt about something I couldn't pinpoint. I went to a psychiatrist when I was 17, who perscribed me 5 or 10 mg of adderall, I can't remember which. I hadn't been taking it for very long (maybe a month or two) when one night I started crying uncontrollably for three hours and I couldn't stop- I had no idea why! Nothing unusual or bad had just happened, so I didn't know why I was crying. I stopped taking the aderall after that. After my ex boyfriend and I broke up, I think my depression turned into anxiety. Instead of feeling sad and sluggish, I had too much energy and felt restless. The break-up wasn't a bad one, we just kind of grew apart- but I gave myself such a hard time about it that I made it a bad break up for myself- I was just too stubborn I guess to let myself have an easy break up even though I know I could have. That was around the time that I developed OCD, I think- I never actually fell into a routine and it didn't matter which environment I was in or where I was, but sometimes I would make up "rules" (I guess that is what you could call them) for myself about doing certain tasks- like, if I was throwing something away in a trash can, I would have to go back, take it out, and throw it away again. The rules and tasks always changed to accomodate where I was or what I was doing as I went about my daily endeavors. That's what I mean when I say that it wasn't a ritual of, say, brushing my teeth 5 times every morning, so I don't know if it's OCD. Also, for most of high school and up till now, I have always been awkward and have had a hard time communicating and having relationships with people. I guess I just think too much about what I should say in a conversation to actually be myself. In a group of people or at a party, I would feel anxious and self-concious, and then when someone talked to me I wouldn't know what to say, so I never actually said what I would say if I weren't so self-conscious about what I would say, if that makes sense. After my boyfriend and I broke up, I didn't really feel like being around people because I missed our relationship so much, but I think that is normal if you just came out of a long-term relationship.
Anyways, I don't know at which point I started to become really worried about my health and scared of developing some sort of disease, but for the past few years I have gone through cycles of being worried about different diseases: brain tumor, MS, AIDS, and when I had mono I was so scared about my spleen bursting that I couldn't sleep at night for months after wards. (I am finally getting to my point, I promise!) Recently, as in the past several months, I have been SO anxious that I am going to develop schizophrenia. This post is REALLY long because I wanted to say all the reasons why I am worried that I will develop it. Because I am so worried about getting certain illnesses I research those illnesses a lot on the internet (doesn't really help my cause, I know) and when I read about who gets schizophrenia and how, I got even more scared than I usually do when I am worried about a disease. My anxiety about developing schizophrenia has turned into an obsession... I mean, I spend so much time researching about it and reading forums by people who think they have it and have all these crazy symptoms. I don't even know what I would do if I had the same symptoms that some of these people have... like seeing demons and hearing people telling you to hurt yourself... I am SO scared of these hallucinations, and of waking up one day and hearing voices, becoming unreasonably paranoid and delusional, or of going crazy. Another reason why I am so scared and anxious of developing it is because I know that smoking marijuana can help bring about schizophrenia. In high school, I smoked marijuana sometimes but not a lot- I could probably count the number of times that I smoked it and I think it is close/around ten. Around the time my ex-boyfriend and I broke up, I smoked on a certain occasion and had a horrible reaction. I was scared at the time because I didn't know what it was but I think it was a panic attack just made a million times worse because I was high. I was screaming and my heart was racing so fast and I just thought I was going to die... it was horrible. After that, I didn't smoke for a year but I smoked a year later just to see if it would happen again and the same thing did. It wasn't AS bad, because I had gone through the same thing once before, but I have not and WILL not touch marijuana ever again. But now that I think about it, I never had a panic attack until after that first bad reaction. Although it's been half a year since I have had a panic attack, last year I went through a whole month of horrible panic attacks and I went to the hospital several times because I couldn't calm down on my own- I needed reassurance that it it was only panic and that I was ok. Like I said, I never had a problem with anxiety or panic until that first bad reaction to marijuana.
What I don't understand is that things are going SO much better for me now... I am over the grip I had on the relationship my ex-boyfriend and I had. I am really healthy.. I'm a vegetarian and I try to eat organic food as much as possible and I work out a lot. I do really well in school. I am more outgoing and I have been able to get closer to people because I am finally letting myself. Both my parents are happy and my dad stopped his alcoholism when I was little, so I haven't been exposed to it since then. Also, I even stopped my "OCD" for the most part. I just don't know why I am SO ANXIOUS AND OBSESSED AND SCARED OF GETTING SCHIZOPHRENIA!???
Some more information I feel like I have to share... in the past few months I have been seeing floaters and blobs of color that look like floaters. It wasn't until I started reading about schizophrenia that I got scared about them. Also, you know when you look at a bright object and look away, you see the negative outline of it? I have been seeing the negative outline of images that aren't bright! For example, I was sitting in class last week listening and watching my professor speak, and when I looked away for a second I saw his negative outline! Also, over the past two weeks I have been seeing little flecks of movement out of the corner of my eye. For example, while I was typing this I saw this black speck of movement near my hand that I thought was a fly or a bug or something but when I went to look it was nothing. Before I started reading about schizophrenia that never happened to me, so I don't know if I'm scaring myself or if I am going crazy. Speaking of going crazy... a few times I felt confused and I felt like I was going crazy to the point that I had to think about my actions and double check that they were normal and I was distraught if someone would talk to me, I wouldn't hear them at first.
Even when I smoked I have never, ever hallucinated, as far as I know, and from what I have read/heard I would know if I ever experienced a hallucination. I haven't been able to relax because I keep searching for voices in my head or things to see that aren't really there. I don't THINK I have heard any voices in the past few weeks, but I don't know! WHY am I so scared about this!? I know that people who actually have schizophrenia don't think they have it, but I really AM seeing floaters and things jerking out of the corner of my eye.
I'm really really scared that I will develop/am developing schizophrenia. I am also scared that if I don't stop this excessive worrying that I WILL turn it into schizophrenia- I feel like if I really want to hear voices/ am looking to hallucinate, that I eventually will. And I REALLY don't want that to happen. Please, if you are a psychiatrist with experience and can give your insight, I would appreciate it so much. I would also appreciate suggestions for stopping this unreasonable worrying. Thank you!
well first off crazy people don't spend their time worrying about being crazy, they have better things to do, ha. anyways, it seems that your ocd and anxiety have found some common ground. you are obsessively compulsive about your fear of schizophrenia. you don't need to worry about becoming schizophrenic, you need to focus on treating these two separate conditions. once you have those under control the fear of schizophrenia will go away on its own. remember schizo's do here voices and hallucinate you don't.
p.s. the seeing negatives of things that are not bright themselves is common with anxiety. due to a increased sensitivity to light.
Thanks for your advice. I made an appointment with a therapist and am going to see a psychiatrist next week. Today I have been hearing murmurs all day and things that I may not have actually heard- like a baby crying while I was in class today. Like, I don't understand why a baby would be in a classroom building on a college campus. And I haven't been able to concentrate at all.
look at it this way if you are developing schizophrenia, your catching it early. there is a lot of great medication and therapy out there for it, especially if it is caught before it has a chance to progress. my thoughts and prayers are with you. keep me posted i really wanna know what you find out.
hey there! i can't believe i've found this. it's mad. everything you have said is what i have been feeling. My anxiety is ruling my life and my anxiety of schizo is so obsessive. If you get this... then... well i'd really like to know how you are now?