Q. I am 18 and a freshman in college. for the last two or three years i have no had good control on my emotions i will be happy one minute and screaming, crying and not able to breath the next in a matter of seconds. my grand father on my dad’s side was schizophrenic, manic depressed and bipolar my little sister has cronic depression. i talk and argue with myself in my head i can hold a perfect conversation like i am talking to three of four people. i feel like people are watching me i have to check behind shower curtains and in closets when i enter a room or use the bathroom even in my own house because i am afraid that i am being watched. it is hard for me to explain i have tamtrums that can start for no reason at any time it is like someone else takes over and i am on the sidelines watching trying to regain control but each time it is harder. do you think i should talk to a therapist?

A. By the tone of your letter, it seems that you are open to the idea of seeking help and that is good because I do think that you should talk to a therapist. The primary reason that you should talk to a therapist is because these experiences are becoming increasingly more difficult to control, as you mentioned, and soon, if not treated, may very likely get to the point of being out of your control. I am not sure if what you are describing are schizophrenic or bipolar symptoms at this time but your symptoms should absolutely be evaluated by a mental health professional. A mental health professional can review your current symptoms as well as gather information about the last few years of your life and help assess what is going on with you.

If you are indeed on the verge of a schizophrenic episode, going to seek help now has the potential to avert a forthcoming episode. Please know that I am not saying that you are having a schizophrenic episode; I am only saying that if you are, getting help now could help stop it from occurring. In summary, and to answer your specific question, yes, I do think you should talk to a therapist. Go to your university’s counseling center or to a doctor you know and trust and schedule an appointment. Also, call your parents or a caring friend and have them help you in this process. Please write again if you have any further questions, and please go see a doctor or a mental health professional about your symptoms. Take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Oct 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). I am afraid that I may be schizophrenic, bipolar or both. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/11/i-am-afraid-that-i-may-be-schizophrenic-bipolar-or-both/

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