There is no easy answer to your question regarding whether your paranoia will lead to schizophrenia because the cause of the disorder is unknown. The fact that you are currently undergoing treatment for your symptoms greatly decreases the likelihood that you will develop schizophrenia. Medication controls symptoms and in some cases, eliminates them.
The importance of early treatment for psychotic disorders cannot be overstated. Research shows that intervention in the early stages of psychosis can significantly improve responses to treatment and potentially prevent the development of a psychotic disorder. The earlier the treatment, the better the outcome.
It was also very wise to stop smoking marijuana. Marijuana is a hallucinogenic drug which has been linked to psychotic disorders. What makes marijuana so dangerous, and other street drugs in general, is that they are unregulated. Drugs from uncontrolled sources have a high potential to be dangerous. You simply don’t know where they come from or how they have been treated.
Your second question about whether your having smoked marijuana will contribute to the potential development of schizophrenia is also difficult to answer. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but many experts agree that it might be a combination of genetics and environment. Psychosocial stressors can also contribute to the development of schizophrenia.
Finally, having a family member with schizophrenia increases the possibility of developing the disorder but only slightly. Just because your sister has it does not mean that you will also have it. To protect yourself against the development of a psychotic disorder, it’s important to adhere to your prescribed treatments, don’t use illegal drugs, learn how to manage your anxiety, develop a strong social support network, and stay grounded in reality. Psychotherapy could greatly assist you in these efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle