I receive many similar questions from people who are concerned about their developing schizophrenia. In most cases, their fears are driven by anxiety rather than actual symptoms of schizophrenia. People with specific types of anxiety disorders, particularly a subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder, tend to be fearful about developing schizophrenia. The symptoms you describe seem to be more indicative of an anxiety disorder rather than schizophrenia. An evaluation with a mental health professional could determine a diagnosis.
Feeling that your brain is not processing information as it used to might be the result of your heavy substance abuse. That’s not an uncommon complaint among people who have abused substances. People will often say that they do not feel as clearheaded as they once did. Drugs and alcohol can negatively impact brain function. The passage of time can reverse this.
My recommendation is to consult both a medical and mental health professional about your concerns. You might also want to ask about medication which could help to decrease your anxiety and stabilize your mood. Remember, anxiety alone can cause all of the symptoms that you have mentioned. Medication might also help you to think more clearly.
Finally, congratulations on ending your substance abuse. Your continued refrain from using substances will help to protect your mental health. Keep up the great work. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle