Hi, I’m a 15 year old. I was abused and sexually assaulted when I was only 12. I had struggles with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety through my junior high years. I do go to therapy, but I think there’s something else wrong with me. I have overcome my eating disorder as well as my depression, suicidal thoughts, and my anxiety is much better, but something I thought was normal was just brought to my attention to my therapist. I hear voices. Nobody else hears them apparently. They’ve got names and I can tell which one’s talking. Pan and Jacen talk the most, but there’s Kiri and Winter and others. They are not me and they have distinct voices. Sometimes I feel like I’m being followed and this makes my heart race. Sometimes when I swing or walk on the sidewalk I feel like someone’s going to shoot me or fire an arrow into my back. It’s dumb, but I can’t help it. Sometimes I see strange things that aren’t there. I used to see a dragon in the downstairs bathroom as a kid and sometimes my vision goes white or static is in front of all of it. My sense of time is also pretty bad and I usually don’t know what’s real. I listen to music a lot to ground myself and block out the voices. Pan is annoying, but Jacen is scary. He’s listening now and I can see him smiling and my heart is thudding. I’m scared to talk about this with my therapist because I’m scared of what she might tell me. Plus I think my parents are sick of me talking about my trauma and I don’t want to be a bother. Also, my mood shifts. Like sometimes I’m on top of the world and love everything and everyone and I’m ready to move out and be a doctor, but sometimes I want to die or I want to be ten years old and curl up in a ball and cry. I’m pretty high functioning, but I often feel unsafe walking down the crowded halls at school or at lunch. Sometimes I dissociate. I fade into my mind and I don’t remember anything except that when I’m brought back to reality, time has passed. I usually do this in crowded places. What should I do? Do I have schizophrenia or something else?
Unfortunately, I can’t provide a diagnosis over the Internet. I would strongly urge you to discuss your concerns with your therapist. You are fearful of discussing your symptoms in therapy but you shouldn’t be. It seems like your therapist has helped you a great deal already. You have overcome many other problems. There’s no reason to think that she can’t help you overcome this problem too.
If your therapist knew about the voices and other experiences, she could help. You mentioned that music helps you to stay grounded in reality, but it does not work every time. Your therapist can help you develop new techniques.
You should be less concerned about a diagnosis and more concerned about ensuring that your symptoms are treated. Nothing matters more than treatment. The sooner you treat your symptoms, the more relief you will feel.
I’m impressed with your efforts and progress thus far. Have faith that your therapist can help you with this problem too. But first, you have to give her a chance to help and that begins by opening up a little more and trusting her with the truth. Good luck.
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). Is It Schizophrenia or Something Else?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on July 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/03/27/is-it-schizophrenia-or-something-else/
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.