Dear Dr. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and also suffer from health anxiety. I also suffer from a brain injury due to low oxygen levels at birth.(delayed birth) I'm a 26 year old male and have been battling depression ever since I was 11 as my best childhood friend committed suicide at 11 and it was very traumatic for me. Not only did I stay depressed but it has only gotten worse as I've gotten older. As of now i'm wondering if i've become manic or a paranoid schizophrenic? I have also head a nervous break down before and ended up hospitalized. As of now I have been extremely consumed by fear of dying to the point of where it is all I feel...fear and depression. No interest or emotions for anything that I would have otherwise been excited about or looking forward to. I'm always feeling like there is something seriously wrong with me and death is all I can think about..it seems I am losing weight and my arms have shrunken ....extreme muscle loss....but the tests (bloodwork, EkG's, have all ruled out that there is nothing wrong...thank god. Anyhow i've had this before and it seemed to go away but it seems to be starting up again...ups and downs of emotional surges or blasts of either laughing or feeling like i'm going to burst into tears. I have been on zoloft but it seems to have stopped working. At this point I feel as if these feelings and current state are permanent but don't know. What is your take on this ? Any advice would be greatly valued and appreciated. Thank you
Thank you for your message. You have had quite a remarkable life and faced many challenges.
As you point out, you have had this before and it seems to go away. I am pretty confident that it will go away again.
But the question is what is causing this state of confusing and disturbing thoughts and emotions?
There are a number of possibilities. I am pretty sure it is not schizophrenia, but to really be clear about what is happening would require much more than we can do by messaging each other. I think that you should get a good psychiatric assessment, a thorough one, that would probably take more than one visit and involve a chance to answer all your questions.
I think that you might have to drive a bit to get such a consultation. I would probably suggest trying to find someone in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. This is the kind of question that is often a really good one to find answers to at an academic center.
But either way, you will be feeling better again soon.
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