Psych Central

Am I Schizophrenic, Too?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My sister was diagnosed schizophrenic recently. After researching it and dealing with her, I am worried I have it. I have believed for a long time that I can know peoples thoughts, feelings, and problems. I believe they can know mine. I get scared to think about things without having tons of blankets on, because it protects me from them knowing what I think about or feel. when i think under blankets i can meet people in my mind through our spirits. My body feels really cold even though I have on tons of blankets. I have problems talking to people in person. i get confused and cant concentrate. I do okay writing to people. When I am talking face to face I have a voice inside screaming obcenities at me. I avoid people. I have not had a job for 10 years and when I have in the past I never had one for over 6 months. I am not lazy but I am so nervous I cant go. Luckily my husband is understanding. I have sexual abuse and rape in my past. I have hiegene problems. I am afraid to wear different clothes. I always wear the same ones for years at a time. i am afraid to drive. I am depressed most of the time. I wouldn’t kill myself but sometimes I feel like I really should to give my family a better life. I am fat. My sister doesnt eat but I over eat. I never realized these things could indicate mental illness until studying about my sisters illness. do i have it, too? what should i do? I have no insurance or money. i would love to have a more functional life for my kids and husband.

A. It seems as though you may have some of the symptoms of schizophrenia but without knowing the severity or frequency of your symptoms, I cannot know with certainty.

For instance, you stated that you are frightened to think about things without covering yourself with blankets. How often does this occur? Five times a day, once a week, once a month?

When speaking to people in person, in what ways are you confused? Do you not understand what they are saying? Is anxiousness or nervousness part of the problem?

The voices screaming obscenities at you, how often does this occur? Every time you speak to someone? Does this happen with family members or just strangers?

As you can see, there are many questions for which I do not have answers. It is unusual and a potential sign of psychosis for an individual to hear voices, especially those that are screaming obscenities.

Individuals with schizophrenia often have problems with hygiene. Your problems with hygiene stem from your fear of wearing different clothes but it’s unclear why this fear exists.

It’s unclear whether the issues you’re struggling with are due to anxiety, schizophrenia or any specific mental health disorder. What I find particularly encouraging about your situation is the level of insight that you have about your symptoms. Individuals with schizophrenia often do not have this level of awareness.

The best way to determine if you have schizophrenia or any mental health disorder would be to have an evaluation by a mental health professional. The local community mental health center (CMHC) may be able to provide you with a free psychological evaluation. Most communities have CMHCs that offer free or low-cost services to individuals struggling with finances.

The staff at the CMHC can assist you in accessing treatment which would likely include medication. Medication could greatly assist with your symptoms and allow you to live a more functional life. Medication often cannot extinguish all symptoms but many medications dramatically reduce symptoms and greatly improve the quality of an individual’s life. I wish you the best luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Am I Schizophrenic, Too?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/18/am-i-schizophrenic-too/