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Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Am i schizophrenic?

Mon, Dec 15th 2008

Two questions came in recently, I believe, from different people wondering if they might have Schizophrenia. Taken together they illustrate the difference between worrying over the condition, and possibly experiencing it.

The first reader writes:

Hi, I was just wondering if and when symptoms of schizophrenia would develop. My mother had a serious case of schizophrenia and i believe that my grandmother also suffered from the illness. I talk to myself sometimes and i do get kind of paranoid about people talking about me behind my back, however i don't hear voices and I don't hallucinate and I don't partake in drugs because I'm scared of becoming schizophrenic. I've actually spent a lot of my time researching the illness in hope to prove to myself that I don't. I'm a 19 year old male, so that means that if symptoms were to occur it would start soon. Is there anyway to prevent it from occurring if it hasn't already?

The second reader has this to say:

I know you probably get a thousand of these questions a day. I really don't know how to ask this so ill just tell u some of the things i CATCH myself doing that i feel aren't normal. I guess the main thing is; i feel like the universe is a conscious being and its "job" is to cause me pain through annoyance and setting me up and i can almost see it laughing at me sometimes. It seems like it catches everything and plans ahead for elaborate setups. I've caught myself crying and cursing at it...then i think omg I'm ill. but when I'm upset i forget and its real all over again. its like i know its not real but even know as im writing this i don't know for sure. i feel as if there are two parts of my mind fighting for control;one is trying to fly into the abyss of insanity and the other is holding on for dear life,thats why i use the word CATCH because ill be flying then ill say wait....this isn't normal. i use the term poking. the universe is always poking me. oh my god writing it makes it sound so crazy. I took an iq test when i was around 6 or 7 and "supposedly" scored like 136 or something sometime i feel like i was lied to because i don't feel very bright next to others, except when it comes to consciousness. it seems everyone is in a fog. (I know i jump around allot.) sometimes when I'm deep in thought i vocalize what I'm thinking without even realizing it,or hearing it really. I CATCH myself doing it. i also have extremely violent dreams most of the time it seems like a "task". but i am always somewhere where there are a set number of people normally with guns and i have to find weapons from my surroundings.(for example: i'm in an abandoned house there are like 5 or 6 guys and all i can remember is killing one of them with a metal clothes hanger i unwound. and I'm not trying to be sinister but i almost enjoy my dreams its like trying to work out a problem. i really don't know what else to mention. It would be greatly appreciated if you could give me your opinion. Thanks.

See my response to these two questions below:

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