It started recently when I was finishing up my sophomore year of high school. I began to become increasingly paranoid (I thought people were out to get me, and that people kept staring at me, even if I was alone), that people could hear my thoughts, and I kept feeling like there was some sort of presence near me, and/or following me. Not only that, but I would have the occasional auditory hallucination. I didn’t hear voices, but rather noises people make such as breathing (as if someone were right next to me)r when I was alone (happened twice), a snarl (also as if someone were right next to me), and an exhale (right next to me; alone) , however these are minor compared to the visual hallucinations. These occurred in the corner of my eye. I would see moving shadows, full blown people (I would see them moving, sand they would be extremely detailed, but when I looked back they were never there in the first place.[this occurred 3 times]), and sometimes pictures would look like they were moving or finishing an action. Some of my other visual hallucinations I could see directly such as a face at the top of a door (occurred once), and one time I was sitting in drivers Ed and my teacher was talking about bugs when all of the sudden I see two black dots swarming around her head like flies, but it didn’t last long until they flew behind her head and disappeared. Another time I was sitting in a car and I saw a fly, fly right up to my face, so I swatted at it, but I realized that there wasn’t actually a fly, because I couldn’t find it anywhere, neither did I hear the buzzing of its wings. Another instance is when I thought I saw a bug crawling down my arm, but I didn’t feel it, nor did I see it where it should have ended up. Another time u thought I saw a bug crawling across my wall, but again I didn’t see it where it was suppose to end up (on the ceiling; it was crawling up). Not only that but when I walked down the hallways of my school, they would appear to be crooked, and moving, causing me to walk funny. Then there is other stuff like my loss of motivation, emotion (not flat effect), I would miss letters when I wrote, I began talking to my inner voice as if it were real (it talked to me first), I now have a bad attention span, and it’s now fairly hard to get my point across because I’ll get tongue tied, plus my personal hygiene is not the best, and my memory (especially short term) seems to be increasingly getting worse. That last part could be due to my dysthymia, but it still doesn’t explain the rest of the things I’ve been experiencing. I never have and never will use drugs, and I don’t take any medications. Thank you for your time.Am I Developing Schizophrenia?
Am I Developing Schizophrenia?
You mentioned having dysthymia, a chronic form of depression. It is true that some of your symptoms are not entirely consistent with dysthymia and may suggest that another disorder is present. However, I know from your letter that you’re not taking medication and thus it’s also possible that you’re not currently undergoing any form of treatment. Untreated dysthymia could be contributing to your symptoms.
Other factors that could be affecting your overall mental health include stress, possibly an undiagnosed medical problem and insomnia, a common symptom of dysthymia. A lack of sleep impairs concentration and many other cognitive functions. In fact, an international team of researchers discovered that 24 hours of sleep deprivation can cause psychotic-like symptoms among otherwise healthy (non-psychotic) individuals.
It’s important that you are evaluated by a mental health professional. An evaluation is necessary to determine if a psychotic disorder present. Medication could help with many of the symptoms you have described. Counseling would be especially helpful for your ongoing depression symptoms.
Ask your parents to assist you in finding a local mental health professional who specializes in depression among youth. Your symptoms are highly treatable and are unlikely to go away by themselves. They should not be ignored. A mental health evaluation would answer your questions and would be the first step in a cure. Thanks for your question. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle