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Scared of Psychosis & Schizophrenia

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I am a 20 year old male. And for the last few weeks I have been suffering from extreme Derealization and fear it’s something more than anxiety and stress. I am incredibly stressed because I had life goals and plans that did not happen because of me being colorblind (I wanted to join the military) I have wanted to join since a child. Since then every avenue I have chose has been rocky because of colorblindness. I experienced DR 5 months ago and since it has come and gone and I never thought anything of it. Now I’m concerned it’s really something more which in turn has made it worse. I don’t see or hear things, no one in my family has a mental illness. Just nothing to me feels real. I’m constantly questioning if things are real. I have weird thoughts all the time now and I get irritated rather quickly. I’m always tired from not getting good nights sleep. I my doctor told me that it’s just anxiety and that it’ll pass. I should mention that I’ve been unemployed for 7 months. I can’t shake the thought of me going into a psychosis and going crazy.

Scared of Psychosis & Schizophrenia

Answered by on -

A.

I’m not certain of your exact question, but it seems as though you want to know if you are developing psychosis and/or schizophrenia. It’s always impossible to provide a diagnosis over the Internet, but I can provide general information about psychosis and schizophrenia.

Psychosis is a break with reality. Individuals who are experiencing psychosis have difficulty knowing what’s real and what is not real. Their mind is jumbled. It’s difficult for a person with psychosis to function on a day-to-day basis. They think bizarre thoughts, may be paranoid and engage in unusual behavior. Many people have described it as a frightening experience.

Schizophrenia is a thought disorder and is only diagnosed when an individual experiences a very specific set of symptoms, including: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic-like behavior, and negative symptoms. Those symptoms have to have significantly disrupted one’s life and must be present for at least six months. If certain symptoms are not present, then schizophrenia would not be diagnosed.

You have been evaluated by a doctor who seemingly does not believe that you have psychosis or schizophrenia. That was his or her opinion after having assessed your symptoms and psychosocial history. According to your letter, your doctor believes that you have anxiety and not psychosis or schizophrenia.

Your anxiety could be fueling your fear of psychosis and schizophrenia. That is not uncommon. You also mentioned being unemployed. That increases ones risk for anxiety. It creates worry about one’s financial situation. The stress of being unemployed is likely contributing to your anxiety.

Your lack of sleep is also probably contributing to your anxiety. Not sleeping causes mood instability.

You have consulted a doctor but what about a therapist? Therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety. Medication might also help. Many people report that both therapy and medication significantly reduces their anxiety. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Scared of Psychosis & Schizophrenia

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Scared of Psychosis & Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/12/26/scared-of-psychosis-schizophrenia/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.