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Is what I'm experiencing signs of developing schizophrenia?

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I've been suffering from problems with depression for many, many years. Recently, in the last two years or so, I have been struggling with a slew of other issues that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Last year I began to have problems with anxiety, having a mahjor anxiety attack the summer of last year in which I had intense hallucinations of people in the streets wearing leering masks and the sun fading in and out and dimming the sky and shadows coming to life and reaching out for me and silent people racing by. The hallucinations only lasted for 10 minutes before they faded. My anxiety has grown to the point where I now have trouble making it through a day in school without getting worn thin from the anxiety of being out in public. I prefer to be alone, where I dont have as much anxiety. But when I am alone my mind plays tricks on me and I dont function very well. My concentration and academic ability has fallen. I was previously an honors and AP student who had all B's. Now I am failing most of my classes. Just last year I was an avid reader. Now I cant sit down and read much of anything befoer my concentration slips.
I have had experiences where I find myself pacing back and forth in the house almost in a stupor. I stop and stare outside the window at birds in the trees, noting how their eyes look like cartoon eyes and becoming entrance by their hopping and flying. As I am pacing I try to think, but I cant. I can literally feel my thought in my mind falling to pieces. Like a bridge that reaches from one side to the other, but disentegrates as its trying to cross the gap. I feel like my mind is split into floating islands, and these bridges are the connections that bind them together, but the bridges are disentegrating and I cant make the connections. Cant think. It gets better after a couple hours, though sometimes it literally takes days to gather the pieces back together.
I fear people watching me. I fear that people are watching me through reflective surfaces, like mirrors or windows or shiny metal. I dont know what they want, but I feel like they are watching me. Two years ago a being came into my life. I have never seen him and have n proof of his existence, but I have felt his presence. I call him the Waiting Man. Whenever I feel his presence I feel him waiting somewhere just out of sight, in such total silence that it makes all sounds around me seem simultaneously so loud and dampened (not possible). And he is surrounding by an aura of malaise. And fear. He makes my heart beat faster and my skin tingle and feel cold. I havent been visited by him for more than a brief visit once a month or so in over a year. Just last month another being entered my life, who I have dubbed the Maniac. I saw him in my minds eye, dancing wildly in the rain with a huge sloppy grin on his face, laughing maniacly and he seemed to beckon to me. I heard his laugh in my mind. It echoed so loud. I doubted that he wasnt real, but I was still disturbed by his presence. I heard someone tapping and began to believe that was him trying to communicate with me through morse code, but I shook the feeling, only after spending 20 minutes recording the code I heard. Just in case is what I told myself.
I have also been experiencing a strange feeling of detatchment. Like nothing around me is real. I feel a weird sense of deja vu, combined with the sense of liveing in two worlds or two times and the feeling that the things around me are not real. Its kind of like feeling that what you see in the distance is not a continued expanse, but merely an image, like a painting of one. Like you could walk out and touch it. Like you are in a room designed to look like you are outside. But its still a room. Also I have experienced a feeling like everything i see is through a window. Like I am seperate from my body, but still in control. I can control my body, I just feel as though it is unreal. watching my hands as I type this it seems as though I am watching thiem move through window, the windoow being my eyes. Sometimes I am bothered by the feeling that some of the people around me are nothing more than biological machines. Empty, soulless, machines of flesh and blood.
I feel almost emotionless. I dont trust anyone and interacting with people makes me weary and anxious. I am not very good at communicating and often I dont make much sense. Not even to myself. I never go out to spend time with people, simply because I dont want to.
Well anyway. All I want to know is if these things are signs of developing mental illness. Sometimes I think that I have a problem and sometimes I dont believe a word of it. I dont know if it is a real problem or if I am simply just living half in a different reality. Im just really confused. I feel as though I cannot trust my own mind anymore and all these things are confusing me and messing with me. The line between reality and unreality is blurring. And these experiences are disturbing me and making it so I cant do much of anything. My mind feels like it is falling to pieces.
Any help would be very much appreciated. I dont care if its saying im crazy or saying im just a normal person going through a hard time, I just need some advice and feedback. Thanks.
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First Helper Jash121
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replied March 6th, 2012
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Have to say that you certainly are showing enough symptoms of a developing disorder that you should be pursuing professional help. A number of the things you mention are symptoms I share (I'm diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia).

There can be a lot of resources for help, depending on where you are. Try starting with your regular doc, s/he should be able to get you started in the right direction. Many places also have a crisis line you can call for referrals or emergencies, and the United Way runs a referral service for many resources, just call 211 (I think this number is only good in the US).

If you haven't already, I'd also suggest googling your symptoms--there are a lot of people who have shared your symptomology, and reading about what has and hasn't worked for them can be very helpful.
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replied March 6th, 2012
The fact that u know its in ur mind and can tell the difference between reality and whats in ur mind shows that u dont have schizophrenia but what u have said suggests u have a DISORDER RELATED to this illness look it up on google, there's schizo personality disorder, etc its related TO the illness but ISNT infact the illness itself schizophrenia is the worst and the others although bad is not as severe as it. Hope u get help and better
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replied April 26th, 2012
THAT IS NOT TRUE! Please disregard this person's irresponsible comment! You ARE having textbook symptoms of schizophrenia. It is a blessing that you are insightful and smart enough to recognize that what you are experiencing is 'abnormal' and not necessarily real.

Please seek help immediately as, with schizophrenia, the longer one goes untreated, the stronger the hallucinations and delusions become until one can suffer a continuous and permanent break with reality...A sad situation I have witnessed in many of my patients and one that you can easily avoid if you act now!

Schizophrenia is not a death sentence...Every day we are developing better and beeter drugs that together with talk therapy can allow you to live a normal life. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and, quite frankly, something YOU'd probably be able to help others with if this post is even slightly indicative of your nature, bravery, and intelligence. Smile

However, lack of (or a delay in) treatment can ultimately result in a life of alienation, homelessness, drug abuse and early death...A path I've seen to many wander down. Sad

My best wishes to you,

Katherine
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replied March 8th, 2012
Thank you both for the support and information. My grandmother has paranoid schizophrenia, my cousin has disorganized schizophrenia, my great grandmother was agoraphobic and had severe paranoia, my grandfather is bipolar, and my mother has an anxiety disorder. I am just concerned that I am developing what my grandmother had. There is no doubt that something is occuring in my mind, though at times I have trouble realizing that there is a problem, and the trend in my family backs that up. Anyway thank you both.
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replied April 26th, 2012
Please, please, please disregard the 'information' RockIsInMyHeart and oopsagain are giving you!

In case you missed my earlier reply I will paste it in below. Otherwise, PLEASE listen to Ozy (a treated schizophrenic) and myself rather than untreated / undiagnosed 'ill' people or misinformed/uneducated plebes (not directed at either of the users I mentioned earlier...no offense meant Wink

Anosognosia is lack of insight/awareness into one's own disease or delusions...While common in many (easpecially untreated) schizophrenics, it is not a defining symptom by ANY means. Many schizophrenics are aware that something isn't right--especially in the erly stages/onset of the disease. That awareness, however, often fades the longer one goes without treatment.

Continue reading below.
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THAT IS NOT TRUE! Please disregard this person's irresponsible comment! You ARE having textbook symptoms of schizophrenia.

It is a blessing that you are insightful and smart enough to recognize that what you are experiencing is 'abnormal' and not necessarily real.

Please seek help immediately as, with schizophrenia, the longer one goes untreated, the stronger the hallucinations and delusions become until one can suffer a continuous and permanent break with reality...A sad situation I have witnessed in many of my patients and one that you can easily avoid if you act now!

Schizophrenia is not a death sentence...Every day we are developing better and beeter drugs that together with talk therapy can allow you to live a normal life. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and, quite frankly, something YOU'd probably be able to help others with if this post is even slightly indicative of your nature, bravery, and intelligence. Smile

However, lack of (or a delay in) treatment can ultimately result in a life of alienation, homelessness, drug abuse and early death...A path I've seen too many wander down. Sad

My best wishes to you,

Katherine
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replied April 27th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Just coming from a more knowing place is all.

I've been on meds for a long time, and it's ruined my life okay.

If they can make it somehow without them it would be best for them, and I know this for a fact.

"Inhibitors" are no way to go. They give them to people so that they don't explode but it's wrong.
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replied April 27th, 2012
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On top of that.

She is right, we don't have souls, we are as her post suggests, flesh and blood.

The shadows coming to life she is right about as well, this happens in reality, they are different beings.

She also seems to be becoming aware of certain illusions, like being in a room(the mind) painted to look like a huge expanse.

She feels like she is watching it through her eyes, this is also true in fact, we are only watching it happen, and are in no control of it, we are it and we see it happening.

She doesn't trust people? Should she ever do that, even sometimes herself? C'mon.

The list goes on and on that people like this are absolutely correct about although they don't seem to know they are.

And if we had good advice and caring to give we'd say something along the lines of "don't poison yourself to death until you absolutely must." What is the point of that if it robs you of everything that you ever had anyway?

These pills destroy people in everyway, only seek them if you are going to die period, at which point they are your best option.
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replied March 9th, 2012
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You don't have a problem per say.

It would seem that you are becoming more aware of certain things only.

And reality is much stranger than fiction.

We are born out of reality, all the time thinking that it is real, and then when some stumble upon(or so it seems) reality, they are the ones that are called crazy.

Im sorry about it if it feels bad, but we are soulless biological organisms, except we are called souls, our bodies are souls, and they are actually quite the mystery and magical, not to say they are a good thing, but quite a mystery and magical.

However, we are actually no different than a roach, a cow, a cricket, an amoeba in this manner.

However again, being a biological organism is probably way more than we think actually, it would seem that there is a source that gave way to all of this that we see and it is all made out of that, quite possibly making everything more alive than we could ever imagine right?

This is why the shaman considered everything to have a soul, or be alive so to speak, because like us it is alive in a way.

You are waking up, sorry, it's a hard thing to do. But once you realize that you aren't going to die it gets better, the world becomes your playground, and yes, it is as they say, you can pretty much do anything at all.

Pain can become your plaything, not something that you are afraid of, and it will not affect you whatsoever. They can sit out in the wilderness and dance and sing and play for several hours, and then a man after working himself up can ingest hot searing coals and it does not harm him.

We truly do have great potential.

And you are showing that im afraid. So whats to do or think about? The easy way? The hard way? Blindness or Sight?

You have no choice, if you didn't realize you were already on a path, and contrary to popular belief you can't get off of it. But don't be afraid, the path goes to where we've always wanted to go and be doesn't it, they all do actually, it just takes some longer and some shorter.

The waiting man, thats hilarious, perhaps he should stop waiting, I mean, he hates to wait. He should be more of a maniac, which is actually what it takes to have fun in our situation. The waiting man could take a page out of the maniacs book.

Although the maniac could also use a couple of pages out of the waiting man's.

We are in a book, and it's already been written, and realizing this is quite the feeling. Like peering out of it and seeing the one writing your story huh?

It seems to be genetic huh? Makes no sense that it would be whatsoever. What do they follow certain families around or something?
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replied March 9th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Time isn't real either, we just thought that it was, you might even call it a delusion.
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replied March 9th, 2012
@oopsagain
first off thank you for responding to my post. Correct me if I am wrong, but what you are saying is that there is no problem, I am merely opening my eyes to the world, life, and reality as it really is? I am merely developing into a better being and, being in the middle of this change, am struggling to understand the things I am realizing when I am not yet fully capable of understanding them?
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replied March 10th, 2012
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Yeah, most of that, but it is a problem, not knowledge, but "it".

Our being is the problem, not knowing about our being.

The situation, thats the problem for us, not knowing about it.

Don't let them say that knowing is what is making it hard, it was never knowledge of it, only it was the problem.
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replied March 10th, 2012
Theres no doubt that there is something wrong, if u are seeing and feeling and experiencing this then talk to your famiy see what they think and if they dont think anythings wrong and ur still concerned then go to a doctor?, but if u do go to a doctor make sure that he knows about your perceptions of reality and non-reality, because he will (like i said in my other post) say that ur not schizophrenic because most of the time u can tell what in ur mind and whats not, but what they dont realise is even schizophrenics can notice when something is "different" around them and no-body is adopting or having the same behaviour as them.
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replied April 6th, 2012
Advice is the last thing you want, you know the answer. Now live it.
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replied April 6th, 2012
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I was just saying that you were right, we are but flesh and blood, there is no magical ball of light in your chest that comes out of you when you die.

I've seen a shadow come to life before, I call them "the living shadows." Funny how that was already in your head, we must be hundreds of miles away from eachother, and we are talking about the same things without ever having spoke to eachother.
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replied April 7th, 2012
Although I'm not a doctor, I have reason to believe that you are experiencing Prodromal Psychosis, also referred to as 'At Risk Mental State'. Even though a lot of your experiences mirror psychotic symptoms, you still have insight, which is a good thing.Given the frequency of Schizophrenia and BP disorder in your family, you should seek professional help immediately. At this point, I strongly suggest you to see a psychiatrist familiar with prodromal psychosis and if possible, start taking high dose Omega 3 supplements (which have been shown to prevent or delay transition to full-blown schizophrenia)
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replied April 25th, 2012
I also agree that you do have enough perception of whats real and whats not that your writing does not sound schizophrenic. I as well notice that you are the most comforted by advice from oopsagain, and that is ok. I think that being open to more of a world than what most see is an awesome experience. However, you do seem concerned about your grades, anxiety and fatigue. You should definitely seek some help but it may be nutritional. No reason to ignore the new views on existence but you should also not put your self into a place where you become listless and isolated with these revelations.
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