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I Am Worried that I May Be Getting Schizophrenia

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Hello, I have two different issues here, that both culminate in the same worry. 1: About 1 month ago I had a major panic attack on marijuana. I woke my roommate and almost convinced her to drive me to the hospital for a heart attack. I could not sleep at all the Friday of that week. I developed some symptoms that are associated with depersonalization and derealization. I sometimes felt like I was still high, or that time was still dilated, or that I was taking a third person perspective of my thoughts and actions. Sometimes I felt as if I had become someone else, or someone else was making actions for me. I would enter my room and refer to my previous self as “him”, rather than me. I would be scared of random things and develop random phobias. I started to believe that I was developing schizophrenia, as I have heard that marijuana can cause it in people that are predisposed. I started researching the symptoms, and some things that I have had all my life started to be concerning. For example, when stressed, I see small “sparks” in my vision. Usually white, but sometimes they are blue or red. I also have some mild visual snow when I look for it. One time, I thought that a customer I was working with looked strangely like clay. When I am happy, the world seems more colorful or vibrant or bright (this has never distressed me). I have read online that these are technically hallucinations. Sometimes I have to search for words in my mind before I speak them, and sometimes I jumble my speech. Once I had read the symptoms of schizophrenia, I started to believe that I was developing them. For example, when I found out what “clanging”is, I had a moment when I was on the couch where I spontaneously thought “the bread is red”. I of course know that this is ridiculous.
2: I tried psychedelics on Nov 1, 2019. Wednesday after, I had a moment where I thought I felt a friendly presence, and I said “You can be here, I welcome you in.”I do not believe in spirits or ghosts. I had two times after where I felt like there was a presence in the room. These stopped.
I have been formally diagnosed with ADHD and GAD.
Your thoughts?

I Am Worried that I May Be Getting Schizophrenia

Answered by on -


First and foremost, you should stop using illicit drugs. They are causing major problems in your life. Taking these drugs is akin to playing with fire. You had multiple instances of frightening symptoms. To continue using drugs, despite those symptoms, would be the height of misjudgment. Consider them warning signs but also consider yourself lucky because your symptoms seem to have subsided. Not everyone is that fortunate.

The symptoms you have described all were in the past. In other words, it does not seem as though you are continuing to experience them. If you are no longer experiencing them, then it’s unlikely that you would have schizophrenia.

In addition, it’s common for people to believe that they’re developing schizophrenia after having these types of experiences. Research suggests that marijuana usage can increase the probability of developing psychotic disorders however, it seems to be a relatively rare occurrence. Obviously, no diagnosis can be given over the Internet however, I do recognize these as being common aftereffects of drug use. It’s always best to consult a mental health professional, in-person, to determine if a diagnosis is present. If you’re worried about your mental health, it would be wise to schedule a consultation.

As for the symptoms that you have had seemingly all of your life, that you are now attributing to schizophrenia, it’s unlikely that you it and never knew about it. Generally speaking, the symptoms that you are characterizing as being hallucinations and signs of schizophrenia, are not how I would characterize them. Using Google as a way to diagnose yourself is always a bad idea. It’s always best to avoid “Dr. Google” if you can help it (and you can).

Again, I cannot diagnose over the Internet but most of what you have described does not seem consistent with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. It seems more consist with a bad trip or the negative aftereffects of illicit drug usage.

It’s also important to reiterate the fact that you should avoid using illicit drugs. They can damage your brain and there are instances of individuals who have developed a severe mental illness because of their use of illicit drugs. It is dangerous and you should avoid it. If these experiences have taught you anything, let it be that illicit drug use is very risky and should be avoided. You only get one brain and you should protect it. Purposefully harming it with illegal drugs is a very bad idea. If you’re struggling with abstinence, consult a professional. They can help you to identify what is driving your need to use drugs.

I hope that this answer helps to provide some insight into what may be wrong and more importantly, to convince you to stop using illicit drugs. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

I Am Worried that I May Be Getting Schizophrenia

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

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. (2020). I Am Worried that I May Be Getting Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Jan 2020 (Originally: 22 Jan 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Jan 2020
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