I’ve had depression for a very very long time but lately it has escalated. I’ve been suicidal for quite a while but now my thoughts aren’t my own. they’re like a separate voice in my head. instead of my own thinking it’s a whole other voice I can’t control. it says the only way it will go away is if I’m hurting myself. I have been clean for a month so I don’t want to but it’s not even my own thought. I don’t know if this is a sign of early schizophrenia or not.

A. You mentioned hearing a voice that is not your own. I wonder how you know it is not your voice. Voices fall under the category of hallucinations. Hallucinations are symptoms of psychotic disorders, one of which is schizophrenia. Hallucinations may also be the result of drug use or interactions, disorders such as epilepsy and other organic brain conditions. I cannot determine over the Internet if you have schizophrenia or any other mental health disorder.

When you believe that something may be wrong, then you should seek help. Thoughts of suicide are especially concerning and need to be taken seriously. Thus, it’s imperative that you contact a mental health professional for an evaluation.

Ask your parents to take you to a mental health professional. Another option is to contact the school guidance counselor. They will be able to help you. If you feel like you might harm yourself or someone else, go to the emergency room or call 911. They will be able to keep you safe and in touch with people who can help.

Your symptoms are highly treatable. Mental health professionals are trained to deal with every problem that you have described. It will not shock them and they will know how to respond. Medication and psychotherapy are good treatments that will provide a great deal of relief. I hope you get to experience treatment so you can see for yourself how much better you will feel. Treatment works. Please ask for it. Good luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle