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Fear of Psychosis or Schizophrenia, Just OCD?

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Hi, first some information to myself. I am a very planning person and hate uncertainty and feel a high degree of responsibility for my family. I also was always afraid of death and therefore also of cancer, heart attacks also. Now I had a panic attack 3 months ago that kicked off thoughts and high fear of suicide. I was so afraid that u went straight to a psychological clinic where I was diagnosed with OCD and a panic disorder. I am lucky, not afraid of driving or knives or anything like that because I really don’t want to die so I don’t think I am a risk for myself. But that now first kicked off the huge fear of a major depression that could change my attitude one day towards the fact that I don’t want to die. Luckily I could also reassure myself that I don’t have depression because I don’t really show any symptoms like listlessness or loss of happiness in activities. I also still see my friends a lot. But I somehow still are very sensitive towards my emotions and anything around me that sound like death depression, sadness, suicide or stuff like that. That stuff scares me. For example, when somebody is making a joke about me I instantly check myself to make sure I am not sad or mad or anything. That goes along with a lot of ruminations about the topics of OCD, suicide, anxiety and psychological disorders itself. I also sometimes have the feeling of derealization when I feel anxious and insecure. And since some days the fear of becoming schizophrenic or psychotic came up heavily. I don’t have any hallucinations or hear anything that isn’t there but the occasional surreal feeling of the world around me freaks me out. I am so scared that I could harm myself in psychosis. I also never took drugs or had any psychological disease in my family. Does that sound to you like an upcoming psychosis or something like that or is it just my OCD that freaks me out? (From Germany)

Fear of Psychosis or Schizophrenia, Just OCD?

Answered by on -


You have shown a great deal of resilience and fortitude in coping with these symptoms. Whatever the label, you’ve already demonstrated a great deal of courage and endurance in dealing with these difficult and uncomfortable symptoms. I can understand why it is confusing. The sensitivity and rumination can feel overwhelming, but again, I admire your ability to somehow navigate the choppy waters of these indicators.

I think it would be in your best interest to begin working with a therapist, a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist in particular, who can help follow the symptoms as they emerge and come to an accurate diagnosis. The clinical psychologist often uses various tests that can help with the diagnosis, which can then pinpoint which treatment is best. Self diagnosis is difficult, and with the information you have presented it would not be possible for me to offer an opinion. Often when the symptoms overlap as yours do, a psychological examination combined with ongoing therapy to track the markers is most helpful.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Fear of Psychosis or Schizophrenia, Just OCD?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Fear of Psychosis or Schizophrenia, Just OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Aug 2019 (Originally: 14 Aug 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Aug 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.