Home » Schizophrenia » Fear of Developing Schizophrenia

Fear of Developing Schizophrenia

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a teen in the U.S.: I’m 19 years old, and I have a great fear of developing schizophrenia. It all started when I watched a video about Marina Joyce and her supposed mental illness, and being the idiot that I am looked up the symptoms and noticed something I sometimes do (thought blocking), but I stopped myself from doing that.

Anyway, I have had this fear since August of last year, and it is crippling me. I don’t think I’m developing it because I still laugh, care about my hygiene, quite organized, do my homework, completely self-aware of myself, and I certainly don’t blow up on people for no reason.

The only problem is is that I don’t know if I am seeing things because I can’t remember if I saw anything – I don’t know if it’s my brain playing tricks on me or if I’m creating a false memory. I’m not experiencing any delusions or paranoia, and I do not hear voices.

One day I’m completely fine, and the next day it’s all I could think about, and I don’t know if I’m going crazy or not.

I’m scared that if I have it that my life will be ruined and I won’t be able to do the things I want to do. I want to be happy and normal again like I was last year, and I wish I hadn’t looked up the symptoms, and I wish I could forget about it and move on.

Fear of Developing Schizophrenia

Answered by on -


 I really don’t think you have schizophrenia. What you may have is an episode of obsessional thinking. You apparently can’t let go of an idea that is distressing to you. Even when you tell yourself not to think about it, you are thinking about it. Your mind has become trapped in a loop of thinking about it, wishing you weren’t thinking, thinking about how not to think about it, which means you are thinking about it. No wonder you are upset!

You need help finding an exit ramp off the loop. The way out is to see a cognitive behavioral counselor who can give you some practical tools and some support to stop the loop. Really. A few sessions is likely to put an end to it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Fear of Developing Schizophrenia

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Fear of Developing Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 19 May 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.