I have always been a chronic worrier about every little thing. But everything started 3 years ago. I had a boyfriend of 4 years and he left me. After that I became extremely depressed. I would cry every morning and I would be constantly trying to get in touch with him. One night after that while out with friends I smoked some weed they said it would relax me. It did the opposite it triggered a panic attack in me and I started freaking out I asked my parents to take me to the hospital but they wouldn’t. I had no idea what was going on. They gave me a xanax and I went to sleep the following morning I woke up but the panic was still there. I began to freak out I couldn’t think straight and I had no idea what was going on with me. I started researching and came to a million different horrible deadly diseases. I couldn’t sleep at night I was in a complete panic that wouldn’t end. The only time I did relax was when I took the xanax for sleep. Eventually I had enough. I got a job got back in school and things got better I met someone who I fell in love with and we ended up married and I became pregnant. My pregnancy was amazing immediately I stopped taking xanax for sleep and I had the best experience pregnant. I was always calm and truly enjoyed every minute. After I had my baby I noticed when I was home I was extremely anxious. My anxiety was so high I could barely sleep or think straight. I started taking xanax to sleep and I felt myself becoming depressed and overall just more anxious. I love my baby and I hated that I was feeling that way. I thought it was just the baby blues but then realized it wasn’t just that. I was in constant fear that I was going to develop some horrible illness or disease and be taken away from my family forever. I came down with a fever and went to the hospital everything came back find but the fever would not go away. I went back to the hospital and they thought I had a blood clot. I immediately freaked out and it turned out it was only a UTI. I was sent home with antibiotics. After that I decided to go to the doctors for something for anxiety. They gave me a prescription and took some blood. The blood came back that my liver functions were high and I still had a UTI so I had to go back and was tested for hepatitis and an abdominal ultrasound was ordered to check my gallbladder. I was so afraid and I kept researching on google every little thing. Well everything came back clear and because of stress and anxiety my muscles were completely tight sore and tense. I began looking up more things and read about ms and more I started freaking out about that but then I felt fine. Now I am afraid that all of this anxiety is caused by a horrible mental illness like schizophrenia. I am so afraid of it. I began looking up symptoms and started to believe I had every symptom I even managed to convince myself my intrusive thoughts were voices rather than my own inner voice as strange as that may sound. It sounds so crazy even saying. It’s only when I’m thinking about being psychotic that this happens. I also always have intrusive thoughts that are horrible but I know they are all irrational. If I was psychotic wouldn’t I not know that? I also noticed when falling asleep I have thoughts that just don’t seem to make sense. I’m completely over analyzing every thought in my head and it’s causing me to believe I’m losing my mind. Is this all severe anxiety OCD related? Please tell me I’m not getting schizophrenia I couldn’t imagine living my life like that without my family. (age 22, from US)
Based on what you are reporting here, I would definitely agree that you have an anxiety disorder and not schizophrenia. Anxiety Disorders can be very severe and debilitating, and can sometimes be brought on by drug use. You reported that you have always been a worrier so it was probably lying dormant and smoking marijuana may have helped it manifest. You have mentioned trying medication to treat your anxiety but you have not mentioned therapy. Medication alone is not always enough, especially relying on ones like Xanax that are best used for acute issues such as a panic attack, not long term use.
I would suggest that you begin working with a psychiatrist and a therapist and stick with them both. You could look into seeing a sleep disorder specialist and since you reported that you felt better while pregnant, you might also benefit from seeing a hormone specialist for some testing in that regard. Many times it is necessary to supplement your medical treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques, yoga or meditation. I hope you feel better soon and can fully enjoy your family.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Anxious and Afraid I Have Schizophrenia
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). Anxious and Afraid I Have Schizophrenia. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/04/09/anxious-and-afraid-i-have-schizophrenia/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 9 Apr 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.