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Am I Schizophrenic? How can I cope with Hypochondria?

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I'm a horrible, horrible hypochondriac. When I was a kid I thought i'd get brain tumors or other forms of cancer, then I thought I had diabetes and all that mess. Well, about 2 months ago I used lsa (a precursor to lsd) and had a bad experience. I had no visuals or delusions, I just had bad depression for the entire "trip" and couldn't sit still. I was a wreck. This immediately made me think I had schizophrenia, although when I sobered up I had no symptoms or anything like that. About a month ago, I started seeing little lights in the dark.

Flashes, little dots and an increase in floaters. I went to my eye doctor and she said my eyes are fine. I use my computer a lot (12 hours a day, every day) and it was concluded that I had really messed up my vision. But when I saw the flashes the first thought in my mind was "schizophrenic!" so i've been obsessing over it for a month.

I don't have delusions, at all, and I never see things besides those little dots or flashes, almost always when it's really dark inside. My problem is that whenever I hear a noise from a car outside, or my cat making noise etc, I immediately think i'm hallucinating it and going schizophrenic. I've sat in complete silence before, turning off everything in my house and sitting on my bed in the dark to see if I can hear anything. I never, ever do. I thought I heard a door opening and shutting the other day but it could have been the tv or outside or a number of things. I've had no confirmed auditory hallucinations, but i'm constantly searching for them.

I've been studying schizophrenia a lot recently and all logic points to me not having it. But, i'm 18 years old, and I read that's a prime time for it to start to develop. I have absolutely no family history of it. I've used a few drugs before, which i'm not proud of. I've used one hallucinogen (salvia) twice and lsa once. I'm never doing them again, although I had no bad experiences besides the one "bad" lsa trip. I've also used cannabis about 15 times and never had any problems, and I haven't used it in about 8 months. I also used these drugs only after I turned 18.

I guess i'm just wanting someone to tell me i'm not or I never will be schizo, but I don't think anyone can. I'm so sick of worried about this. As soon as schizophrenia leaves my mind, i'll immediately obsess over some other illness. I have been pretty depressed, and my mom thinks i'm clinically depressed. I'm considering going to a psychiatrist. Please help.

Also I should mention that when I was a child I complained of headaches a lot to get out of school. Not realizing the seriousness of the situation, doctors did scans of my brain to check for problems. When no physical problems were found, they checked for signs of mental illness. My question is, if I was schizophrenic, would the excessive dopamine or whatever have showed up even then? I was about 11-12. They ruled out all mental illness and concluded I was completely normal. I knew it at the time but didn't realize how much money it was costing. I think the final bill was around $5,000.

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replied September 6th, 2006
Schizophrenia Answer A1413
It doesn't seem likely that you can be diagnosed with schizophrenia. People diagnosed with schizophrenia strongly believe that their hallucinations are reality and are not aware of the disease. These people mentally operate outside of "reality" and live in their own world of delusive ideas and hallucinations. A young man like you might consider spend his time introducing changes to your lifestyle and to ask for expert help from a psychiatric, if necessary. Perhaps another mental health professional can also help you develop coping mechanisms for the seemingly obsessive thoughts that you are experiencing.
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