I think I have schizophrenia. Looking for answers.

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idreamedidreamed

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#1
I just joined this forum to connect with some people and hopefully shed some light on my problems. I'm 27 years old and starting to see that there may be something seriously wrong with me.

For the majority of my life I was a major drug addict. I started smoking marijuana at 11, was doing cocaine addictively by teen years and heavy drinking almost daily by 19, after a nasty breakup at 21 I became dependent on opioids and soon after became an IV heroin user. I always thought I just had a drug problem and now I've been sober for 7 months and I live in a sober living home. I started having visual snow and floaters at about 14 and still have to this day (gets much worse with stress) I have trouble expressing emotions and speak in a flat tone, I'm always severely depressed and think of suicide on an almost daily basis ( two serious attempts at 23 in jail in withdrawal from heroin and an intentional od at 26 that I survived)

I had a very bad delusional spell before ultimately ending up at a rehab 7 months ago where I thought my family had been medicating my food I really do believe they did this I'm sure my mother has very serious undiagnosed mental health issues and that her and my father medicated me to keep from committing suicide. I had been doing meth for awhile too and became obsessed with police and CIA etc etc that I was being watched people were out to get me. I never through it was mental illness as you can see with my history I always thought it was drugs.

I'm currently in college full time and getting straight A's but I'm starting to feel very stressed and severely depressed to the point I feel I'm going to eventually commit suicide I have so much trouble reaching out to people I'm in serious isolation. I feel so self conscious and embarrassed all the time and I have to do a ton of self care just to function. I got out of a 6 year relationship over a year ago and have felt extremely alone since. I'm ashamed to even talk about the possibility of schizophrenia with my counselor and have tried very hard my whole life to hide any mental health issues . I did tell my counselor awhile back that I was concerned I may have it though. Looking for some light on all this and to speak with others on what I may be experiencing. Ive tried to keep on the major points and not write too long of a post.
 
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PastelKittenX

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#2
Do you hallucinate and still have delusions? Normally people with psychosis and schizophrenia dont realise that they are ill until they get and intervention and diagnosis. Thats my case. I was delusional and always halucinating, and thought it was normal. :/
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#3
It is definitely worth discussing with your councillor and Dr your concerns. As pastelkitten says often people with psychosis/schizophrenia have poor insight into the fact they are ill. This was also the case with my husband. I'm no doctor though it sounds to me like you are describing a possible delusional episode whilst withdrawing from drugs? Is that right? And then low mood and suicidal feelings more recently. There are lots of possible causes for what you describe. My husband has been under his psychiatrist nearly 5 years now and she hasn't decided what the cause of his psychosis is (The list of possibles is alcohol induced psychosis, drug induced psychosis, schizophrenia or schizoaffective) so it's definitely worth discussing your concerns with a professional. It is known that long term drug use (particularly canabis in the teenage years) significantly increases your risk of developing psychosis. It is also common for people with mental health problems to self medicate with drugs and alcohol, which is my personal (non medical) opinion on what happened with my husband. It is also possible to have psychosis with depression. You also need to let your councellor/Dr know you are feeling suicidal so that they can give you the right level of support. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job of turning your life around well done.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#4
From what you said in your post it sounds like it might not be schizophrenia. The delusions might have been caused by the drug use/withdrawal or depression. To have schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia the person usually has had a period of time they had psychosis when they did not have depression.....or probably drug use too. Have you always been on drugs or were very depressed when you had the delusions?
 
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idreamedidreamed

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#5
I have visual distortions. They get worse with stress. Like a tv screen static and stuff floating around, after images, flashes things like that. I always thought this was issues with my eyes and not a psychological issue. I've been having psychosis and breakdowns here and there in my life. There have been time where I'm sure that I had psychosis and wasn't depressed but there are always lots of variables i.e. Coming off of drugs or being on drugs. And as for me having insight into this I'm majoring in Psychology in school and when you get into recovery after a grave addiction you must look back and analyze yourself a great deal. I have family members with schizophrenia , an uncle whom I lived with before rehab and it scared me how he reminded me of myself and I started to reflect. I also watched a beautiful mind at this time and I can say I was having a full blown episode where "they" were out to get me. If you met me in a social/public environment you probably wouldn't guess that I would even have the ability to get like that and I strive to be successful it just bothers me it feels like I have to put so much work in just to function like others who don't have to do absolutely anything.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#6
I have a little visual snow in lower light conditions, and I see a lot of after images for I think longer than normal when I look around the room.....like seeing an after image shadow of a picture frame on a blank wall after I had been looking at an actual picture frame. Sometimes it is bad enough that it is annoying. I sometimes wonder if I am hallucinating or if it is just something with my eyes. I found a thing on the internet called illusory palinopsia which seems to accurately describe what I see with the after images. Interestingly, it said that taking the antipsychotic med risperidone can sometimes cause this to happen. I had taken risperidone for 10 years. I kind of want to see an eye doctor to ask about this, but I've never seen one yet because I have almost perfect vision and have never had a reason to go.
 
Cazcat

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#7
My husband occasionally has visual disturbances, he has been told this is migraine by a neurologist he often gets it without headaches and sometimes he can have a full hemiparesis with it where he loses use of one side of his body. We have never associated with his psychosis but that is interesting.

It is not uncommon for schizophrenia and schizoaffective to run in families. My husband has both in his family so my money is on one of those for him too. I think it's too much of a coincidence if his psychosis is not related to there's. I think the drugs and alcohol are a red herring in his case. Really you need to discuss this with a Dr though to get a professional opinion and access to the support available.
 
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BornAStar

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#8
It seems to me that you have organic (in your case drug-induced) psychosis.I have organic (epileptic) psychosis and i have schizophrenia in my family but i've been told by many doctors that i dont have sch and that i have organic psychosis.Your uncle having sch doesnt mean you have it since most likely you have drug induced psychosis but I would suggest talking to a doctor to get a diagnosis,since i'm not a doctor.
 

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