Schizophrenic or Depressed?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I can feel that something is wrong, I don’t know if it is something around me or maybe inside me, it is probably something inside me, but something definitely is wrong. I have been going to my sad place again, only I don’t even know if it is even sad anymore, I haven’t felt anything for so long, I haven’t smiled and been happy, I haven’t been sad, I’m never angry anyway, but being nothing is worse than being sad, it hurts in a silent way. I’ve been at college ( the British kind) for a month now and things are so much worse, I’m 16 by the way.

I don’t have friends, apart from this one lovely boy that I know, but he lives far away and I don’t get to see him, I don’t know if he dislikes me now, I go to the library whenever I have ‘free periods’ because there is nothing else to do, I sat there today in the corner alone, where I usually sit, and I suddenly felt so sad, and I begun crying, harder than usual, and I just wanted to be alone, but I wanted him to be he too, because he understands. It was difficult today especially because last night I was thinking too fast again, and I couldn’t sleep at all, I just lay there all night and decided to read to get away from things, but today I was so tired, sometimes I have blackouts and dizziness naturally but today I nearly collapsed at college, it was scary, and it was scary being sad in the library. I wanted not to talk and to be alone but I didn’t get to be, and on the way home I was sitting on the bus, and I was talking to somebody, but them someone tapped me, and it turned out that I wasn’t talking to anybody, I was just sitting there but being ‘not there’ like I am sometimes, the person seemed concerned that I seemed as though I was tranced but I said I was okay.

To be honest I don’t talk much, but I find myself talking to people in my imagination that I take for granted as being there when I’m alone, I’m sorry this all doesn’t make much sense, I’m just confused, I don’t like doctors, it’s not them in particular I think it’s just how I am. I don’t want to go back to any doctors, and for them to give me attention, but people have been acting concerned, like how I’m ‘not there’ when I actually am, I just think a lot, I’m just the kind of person that tends to watch from the sidelines and see everyone else doing there thing, and I wonder if they are happy enough, not in a cruel way, I just wonder and hope they are, but it seems that doing this is being noticeable, and usually I’m invisible, maybe something is wrong and I don’t know, anyway… Sorry I keep getting distracted, I don’t want to see doctors but occasionally I’m told maybe I should, I can’t do it again, not again, no. But could something be wrong? I’m so confused, and sad, but not sad, and I think a lot, and watch people being happy and being sad and being themselves and feeling what they feel, and people notice and act peculiar about it, maybe is something wrong? I don’t know, and I know this all seems pretty stupid and probably nobody will read it because I’ve wrote so much, but I don’t know what the answer is , and if there is some answer, please help, I tried figuring it out myself and being my own friend in a way but I don’t get along with myself well, I’m sorry to whoever reads this if its a waste of time, I don’t have anybody else to talk to, especially not my family… I don’t think the problem is about college, things have happened, I’ve seen and heard things while I was in high school, nobody believed me, sorry to say so much, all the best.

A. I am glad that you took the time to write about your concerns. You have a sense that something is wrong and I think you may be correct.

You also described “watching from the sidelines” and on some occasions having conversations with imaginary people. Conversing with imaginary people may be a hallucination, which is a symptom associated with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. It might also be a manifestation of your extreme loneliness.

Without being able to interview you in person to gather details about your potential symptoms, it is difficult to know what may be wrong.

Someone told you that you have schizophrenia. Based on what you have described, depression may be a more realistic possibility.

It would be interesting to know who that “someone” was who believes you have schizophrenia. Is he or she a mental health professional? If not, then it may be best to devalue their opinion.

My two biggest concerns are your refusal to see a doctor and your belief that you cannot speak to your family about these issues. With regard to accessing help, you have eliminated the very people who are there to help you. These issues should not be ignored; they should be brought to the attention of a mental health professional. You are clearly suffering. You should not rule out the opportunity to receive help.

Even though you are reluctant to seek help, you should do so anyway. Are there school counselors or mental health professionals available to students on your campus? Most colleges have professional mental health services that are available to students free of charge. I would strongly advise that you utilize those services.

You stated that you have been trying to “figure out” what’s wrong but were unsuccessful. Mental health professionals are trained to deal with these types of issues. Use their expert guidance to assist you in dealing with psychological problems; that is their job. I hope that you will take my advice and seek professional help. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Nov 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Schizophrenic or Depressed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/11/04/schizophrenic-or-depressed/