Hi, I'm a 20 year old female, currently 3rd year medical student. I have previously (at the age of 16years) experienced the feeling of derealization and became obsessed with the possibility of becoming schizophrenic. I did not seek proffessional help during this time and it passed on its own. Now 4 years later, I've experienced the same symptoms since December 2012. I feel disconnect, have existential thoughts (like who am I, what is life etc.) and have again become paranoid about developing schizophrenia. I have seen both a psychologist and a psychiatrist, who seem to think I have GAD and traits of hypochondriasis. (i've previously taken pregnancy test and HIV tests out of fear even though I'd never realisticly been exposed to semen i.e Oral sex). My mind now seems constantly anxious, and I always double check on things I see in my peripheral vision. I monitor all my thoughts constantly freaking out if anything strange pops up in case it's a sign. I do sleep more, but considering I'm a medical student this could be rationalized. I have a good relationship with my boyfriend and one or 2 good friends. Some of my other friendships have deteriorated recently (but do to circumstance not my social withdrawal I hope). I have never done drugs, barely drink and have no family history of mental disease except for depression in one of my grandfathers. I do have a great aunt who was quite strange, but she didnt have any disorders that I know about. I would just like to know if this sounds like schizophrenia and if not what is my risk of developing it?
There can be specific phobias including of the concern of having schizophrenia. You could ask your psychiatrist about this. Besides medication and talk therapy this can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy. You could ask your psychiatrist about this as well.
So you think this sounds like a phobia not schizophrenia? As someone who has schizophrenia, years before you develop it did you experience any symptoms? All through this period,, I've still been doing well at medical school, passing with high marks. Could I have schizophrenia?
Yes I had a decline in functioning but it started with the onset of psychotic thoughts and auditory hallucinations. When a person is psychotic generally they are not able to understand why their thoughts are apart from reality testing but you could discuss this more with your psychiatrist. Obsessive phobias and concerns that are overstated sound more like part of anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder but you could discus this with your psychiatrist as well.
the fact that you can read your own 'anxious' thoughts and they worry you to think you have schizophrenia supports the fact that you don't actually have it.
as a sufferer of anxiety (not GAD, just an anxiety problem) i too have feared this for a long time, and other mental illness's. its one of my fears unfortunatly. go seek help! i have a councillor and am due to get a therapist in six weeks, both said my anxiety is mild and when your mind gets into a habit of anxiety you need a push to get back on track.
with anxiety you get intrusive thoughts that give you mind chatter,this is one of the symptoms that do worry a lot of sufferers about their mental health. they an be scary and disturbing and weird and i've suffered from them, but i know its nothing serious, because i know i wont ever act upon the thoughts!
you don't have schizophrenia, the symptoms that come with anxiety are horrible, and confusing, but get yourself someone to talk about all your symptoms to and you'll soon again feel like you understand yourself.
good luck :) x
I am a fifth year med student too. Well, considering that u had numerous check ups and constant worry i can say you have anxiety. Schizophrenia is not only diagnosed upon only derealization. I can say in your case its more like a medical student syndrome and plus you are in the med field. It's very similar to hypochondriasis. I have been in these kinds of situations for 5 years now. After learning psychiatry, i thought i had schizophrenia, somatization disorder, bipolar.... Try to control your mind, this is the best way. Tc
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