Fear feeds on illogical thinking. Anxiety disorders thrive because illogical thoughts are entertained as real possibilities. That means they are given more weight than they deserve. That seems to be happening with you.
Your stated anxiety level would suggest that you believe that there is a high probability of developing schizophrenia but that is not true. You presented nothing beyond general facts and assumptions as your evidence to suggest that you will develop the disease. Thus, you have presented no convincing evidence to suggest that your level of anxiety is warranted.
Generally speaking, you have a slightly higher risk of developing schizophrenia because of genetics but that in no way means that you will get it. Most people who have a family member with schizophrenia don’t develop the disease. You’re making assumptions that have no basis in fact. Fear seems to be guiding your thinking.
The fact that you are in graduate school and seemingly have no symptoms of the disorder are both very good signs. If you were to study the lives of the people who have schizophrenia, there are often early warning signs. Case studies have shown this to be true.
In general, your anxiety level should match the likelihood of your developing the disease. Your likelihood of developing schizophrenia is only slightly higher than what it is for the average person and in that case, your anxiety level should be very low.
It is important to believe what is true and not what you fear to be true. The key to overcoming anxiety is to believe in reality and in facts. Focusing on what is real will help you to stay grounded and to not become overwhelmed with anxiety. Hopefully, those are the types of discussions you are having in therapy. Thank you for your question.
Dr. Kristina Randle