Ok well where do I start? I have been dealing with anxiety for about three years now. It started about 3 years ago after I interned at a hospital and was really stressed over getting hired there. I guess I should add that while working there I had to handle and clean the deceased, which was also the first time I actually saw someone who was mentally ill. At the time however it really didn’t affect me or I didn’t think it did. So about maybe 3 months after I finished my internship I started to worry about having a medical condition (brain tumor, brain aneurysm, HIV, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer). So my first attack came when I was googling a symptom and I raised my hand to say “hey I have that” well my husband asked me why I raised my hand and I went blank and thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t immediately say something after I raised my hand. That time I felt more of the psychical symptoms of anxiety. So the attacks lasted about maybe a month or so and then went away for a year.
The next year I was googling “the Illuminati” and it said how some people believe that they (the people in the illuminati) are demons disguised in human form. I DONT believe that BUT I was thinking about it right after reading it. I went to bed to get ready to go to sleep and my husband was humming which he never does I got creeped out! I started thinking “omg what if that is true and my husband is a demon” so I had an anxiety attack because that was a really creepy thought. I didn’t understand how I could have a thought so unrealistic. I should add that at the time we were having financial troubles and I had got fired a couple of months prior. So again the attacks lasted a month or so then went again. UNTIL now! I was again at a stressful job and I was having problems with my husband and I was at work talking to a customer over the phone and noticed how hansom the customer sounded. I began to think how could I think someone sounds hansom if I’m having trouble with my husband. So I began to have an anxiety attack and after left work and went home. The next day I tried to go back but I felt so anxious and quit without saying a word. I felt guilty for quitting like that and that guilt stayed with me for a while. At that moment I felt like I lost control over my anxiety.
So anyways one night the night before my birthday. I was up very late maybe about 3 or 4 in the morning I was laying in bed on my phone and out of no where the thought of “crazy people” (and I hate to say it in that way) popped into my head. I started to think about how they hear voices. So I wanted to see if I could make myself hear voices. So I did it purposely in my head but it was my thinking voice just creepier. I should add that what I made myself say was “kill them” because that’s what I would think “crazy people” hear? At first I kind of chuckled because I thought it was silly BUT then I kept doing it and I got so terrified :/ I had the worst anxiety attack! This attack however was more of a mental emotion. I was scared like I’ve never been in my life. I cried for a good 15-20 minutes I had to wake up my husband and then started shaking until I fell asleep. So the next couple of days I was still doing the “voices” and figured out I was the one controlling what I was saying, but I started to think “what if I hurt my children” because what I initially made myself say was something of that nature. I became slightly depressed for thinking these thoughts and I didn’t think that anxiety was the cause. I also had been seeing things well mistaking things for other things. I also became really scared that I wasn’t going to be able to recognize myself so when I look at myself in the mirror I always think I look different, I know its me but I feel like I look odd. I also feel like my family sometimes looks different like I know it’s them but it feels odd I don’t know if it’s because of the same fear? I also sometimes think my thoughts in other peoples voices well I can make myself do it. Anyways I went to go see a therapist and she assured me that I didn’t have schizophrenia or psychosis all I have is anxiety. BUT she is not a psychologist she is an lpc so I felt and still do feel insecure with her diagnoses. I went to a psychologist for a second opinion but he was NO help he was mad because I arrived late to our session. He also told me he could not give me a answer from one session and that even if he could he wouldn’t, he was very rude to say the least. I don’t have money to go to a psychologist again and I can only afford my therapist. The biggest reason for my concern today is that I drove my husband to work today as I do everyday day. We wake up really early about 4:30am I didn’t get a lot of sleep I fell asleep maybe about 1:00am I was really sleepy anyways after we (my kids and I) came home from leaving him at work I was walking upstairs and my child was walking in front of me and I thought I saw him walk into his brothers room I even laughed a little because I thought “aww he’s sleepy he doesn’t know where he’s going so I went into the room and called his name and noticed he wasn’t there he had gone to my room but I thought I saw him clear as day walk into the other room. So I’m scared that I was hallucinating. After that I started to think well “what if I’m just imagining him being in my room” or “what if I start believing he’s another person” I just feel like I have so many symptoms of schizophrenia like bad memory maybe that’s why I feel like I’m not going to be able to recognize myself? Also I’m clumsy, I isolate myself from people I don’t really have friends sometimes I think what if I was actually hearing voices at times I also have that feeling like I need to turn around and see if anything or anyone is behind me and now I might be hallucinating! I’m scared I might have schizophrenia or paranoid schizophrenia. I’m just so tired of thinking. Thank You in advance for any reply :)
The level of your concern and the fact that you are actively agitated leads me to think it is time for an evaluation. I would look for one of two professionals: Either psychiatrists, who can give you a diagnosis which will then help determine the kind of treatment that will work best, or a clinical psychologist specializing in testing. Both of these individuals have the ability to make accurate diagnoses. This would then allow you and your therapist to plan a course of treatment that can help you manage the symptoms.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is a good first step. This way you and your therapist can work together on a treatment plan.
A treatment plan should include two basic parts: the first part to deal with the symptoms, and the second part to find a way to highlight your strengths and develop your skills.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Terrified of Becoming a Schizophrenic. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/21/terrified-of-becoming-a-schizophrenic/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Nov 2013) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.