It is always difficult to offer a diagnosis over the Internet. Having said that, you have provided many specific details about your symptoms. You may be exhibiting the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. There are two main types of symptoms of schizophrenia: positive and negative. Positive symptoms of schizophrenia are considered excess relative to one’s normal way of thinking and functioning. Hallucinations are an example of positive symptoms. Negative symptoms are those characteristics that are absent from one’s normal level of functioning. Having a lack of emotion is an example of a negative symptom. Below is a list of positive symptoms that you seem to be exhibiting. They include believing that:
- you are being followed by spies;
- your life is being orchestrated by the government or by masons;
- your apartment is bugged;
- the government can tell what you’re thinking because of the way your eyes move;
- the government is conditioning you by the color of clothing that random people on the streets are wearing or by what is being said on the radio;
- your car is bugged;
- ringing in your ear means that someone is thinking about you; and
- you control the weather and that is why the government is after you.
Other concerning aspects of your situation include the idea of having a “split mind” and losing track of time. These symptoms are not necessarily consistent with schizophrenia per se but may be associated features of active psychosis.
Research shows that individuals with positive symptoms of schizophrenia have a better prognosis than those who primarily display negative symptoms. There are other positive elements about your situation including your intelligence, your ability to remain employed, your return to school, beginning a new career, and your ability to maintain social relationships (even if you’d rather be alone). You also constructed a well-written and logical question despite your symptoms. These aforementioned facts are typically not consistent with a schizophrenia diagnosis. Generally, schizophrenia significantly disrupts one’s occupational, emotional and social functioning.
It is also possible that you do not have schizophrenia. Individuals can experience a psychotic episode and not have schizophrenia. There are also some cases of individuals who experience one psychotic episode and never another.
Evaluation and treatment are the best course of action. It is important to identify and stabilize your condition. Once an evaluation has been conducted, mental health professionals can direct you to the appropriate treatment. Psychosis generally does not resolve itself. It requires treatment. Otherwise, it may intensify and lead to more.
You have tried medications. They did not work for you. They do work for many people. I would recommend medication but suggest that you try a low dose. You had a negative experience with medication. This may have been because you were on the wrong medication, wrong combination of medicine or you were overmedicated. Antipsychotic medication is the best protection against psychotic episodes. It is also the best treatment for an active psychotic episode.
It would also be helpful if you kept your stress levels low. Among individuals with a propensity towards psychosis, stress may increase the likelihood of future psychotic episodes. You should also try to surround yourself with supportive people.
You might also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). How well you do with CBT will depend on the severity of your symptoms. For instance, if you are actively psychotic, CBT may not be effective. The reason for this is because psychosis is a break from reality. Part of CBT involves challenging one’s assumptions about reality. If one has lost touch with reality CBT may be of limited value. It may be a more appropriate and effectual treatment once the psychotic symptoms have diminished. CBT could help to prevent future episodes by keeping you grounded in reality.
I hope you will consider treatment. Some research suggests that psychotic episodes may damage the brain. This is one reason why treatment is so important.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to write back. I will do my best to help you. Take care.