Hello, over the past few months I have been concerned with the progressing status of my mental health and believe I am experiencing some symptoms of schizophrenia. I am about to graduate Grade 12 and have recently been losing all interest in school work, physical activities and previous hobbies. The main concern I have is the various hallucinations I have been experiencing. Typically they are vary small, such as some flashing lights or seeing an object that isn’t there for a brief moment. Less commonly I have had more serious ones. One night I saw various bugs crawling on my ceiling, and could hear voices in my head. Although I do experience these, I have never had any delusions (I never actually believe that they are real). Also I have been having bad depression as well as insomnia and am wondering if the sleep deprivation could be the cause of all of this. I am too scared to go to my doctor right now, and It would really help if someone could just tell me what the chances are that this actually is schizophrenia. Thank you.
A. Don’t be frightened to go to the doctor. You are experiencing concerning symptoms that require evaluation. It would be wise to have both a medical and mental health evaluation. A medical evaluation can rule out physical causes.
Sleep deprivation might also be contributing to your symptoms. It’s difficult to know if it is the cause of your symptoms or if it is exacerbating them. Your doctor can gather more information about your symptoms and make that determination. Your doctor also might recommend having a sleep study. A sleep study involves a series of tests in which your sleeping patterns are evaluated.
Because sleep deprivation might be a major contributor, I cannot determine whether you have a psychological problem. Sleep deprivation would need to be ruled out before a proper psychological diagnosis could be made. Depression seems like a realistic possibility but I cannot be certain. You’re right to be concerned about your mental health and it is imperative to ask for help. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jun 2013
Randle, K. (2013). Am I Schizophrenic?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/08/am-i-schizophrenic-4/