Q. I am terrified to go to my doctor. Also I have no health insurance and I cannot afford to see a psychiatrist on my own. Can my regular Doctor diagnose what is actually wrong with me? My problem is this, over the last two years I have been seeing things that apparently do not exist, at least that is others tell me. I saw a woman standing in a doorway of an old house dressed in victorian garb, and others said they saw nothing, I keep seeing a face looking at me from over my back fence, yet my husband tells me there is nothing there. I see things walking from one room to another in my house. They are black figures, I see them night or day. This probably happens once to twice a month.
I also hear a person talking. I cannot understand them as they sound muffled, like a person talking from another room. When I am home and I hear this, I ask my husband “What?” then he tell me that he said nothing at all. I do this several times a week. I am scared that someone will hurt me. I worry that when we move to another state my husband will kill me and dump my body. Why? I don’t know. He has never been abusive or even yelled at me since we’ve met. I guess it’s an irrational fear, yet I think about it all the time. Sometimes I cannot tell if I am dreaming or things are real. I feel like my neighbors to my left are listening to every word I say. My neighbors on the other side of my house, worry me that they are watching me.
I would rather not see others. I like to be alone. I have lost interest in most things over the years. I have a hard time waking up each day. I just don’t feel like doing anything. My questions is this. Do I have Schizophrenia? Can my normal Doctor help me? What do I do to help myself not feel scared and worried all the time.
Q. Thanks for writing and sharing your story. I unfortunately cannot give you a diagnosis over the Internet but I can help direct you to others who can assist you in person. Based on what you have written my suggestion would be that you get in to see the doctor who can evaluate you the soonest. Your regular doctor can evaluate and assess your symptoms and rule out any medical causes that could be causing your symptoms. Once you have been assessed by your normal doctor, he or she can refer you to a mental health professional. Your regular doctor may know of free or low cost mental health services available in your community.
If you want to bypass your normal doctor then it is perfectly acceptable and warranted that you go directly to see a mental health professional, and this could include a therapist or a psychiatrist. Whichever doctor you choose, your medical doctor or a therapist or psychiatrist is fine but I do think it is imperative that you make an appointment immediately to be evaluated. Because you do not have insurance, you can go to the local community mental health center to see a therapist or a psychiatrist. They often charge a sliding scale fee or sometimes, their services are free for those under certain income levels. Community mental health services can usually be located in the white pages of your phone book.
Getting in to see a professional can help you not feel so frightened and worried all of the time. Also, try to connect with family or friends who can help you in this process so that you do not have to go through this frightening time alone. I hope this helps. Take care.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Oct 2007
Randle, K. (2007). Am I a schizophrenic mom?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 9, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/11/am-i-a-schizophrenic-mom/