Am I showing signs of schizophrenia?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I am 15 years old and I fear that I am schizophrenic. In a recent discussion with my sister (the only person I’ve talked to about this), it seems that I suffer from nearly every symptom of schizophrenia. Ever since I was maybe 12 years old I’ve hallucinated. As a side note, I’ve never done any drugs. It started with visual hallucinations, then the figures I would see began to talk to me. It stopped for about one and a half or two years. Then I started to frequently hallucinate, feeling that I was being followed by a cloked figure when I would walk around at night. I even once saw a shadow of a person with a gun following me (though they weren’t there) and my shadow was shot in the head. I also began to feel a lack of existence or any reality in my life. I had recently left my school and started at a self paced school, where I didn’t socialize with anyone. I haven’t lately been hallucinating, but I have been feeling that my perception is clouded. I feel that I’m losing touch with sanity, though it’s hard to determine how serious it is. My uncle went crazy years ago, and I’ve briefly mentioned my hallucinations with my mom (it was her brother), though I didn’t want to frighten her so I toned it down a bit, ending my discussion with her by saying, “it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it.” I don’t take medication besides advil, and that’s just because I have chronic migranes. I am generally against medication, and I am afraid to confront a doctor about this matter, because I don’t want to lose my identity to anti-psychotics. I also have a general lack of emotion, which sounds strange, but it’s true. I am frequently told by friends that I need to try to “feel” something. But I feel that I’ve generally become more social than I used to be. But I still feel very out of place, and very unlike my peers. I am concerned with my mental state, and I would like for someone to please help. Thank you for any help.

A. Many individuals write in thinking that they may have schizophrenia. Overall, I believe that very few do. Based on what you wrote to me, especially given your age, I would not diagnose you with schizophrenia but I would be concerned about how you have been feeling and I would want you to come in for therapy. A therapist could help you work on your social skills and keep close watch over you week to week.

I do think that you should share this story with your parents, a doctor, a therapist or guidance counselor, preferably with someone that you know and trust (not just your sister). Tell him or her that you are concerned about your mental health and that you just want to talk, not be prescribed medications. The only way you can be helped in this situation is if you do tell someone about your concerns. It would be your wisest move. I hope this helps you.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 May 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Am I showing signs of schizophrenia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/22/am-i-showing-signs-of-schizophrenia/