Anyone afraid of developing schizophrenia?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Anyone afraid of developing schizophrenia?
6
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 6:21pm

I've been battling GAD and MDD for the past 3 or so years, with moderate episodes that occur under stress and boy, have I had a lot of stress during those years.

I have seen 1 psychiatrist during those years, much to dismay of my therapist (Clinical Psychologist) who basically said he disagrees with the psychiatrist's assesment (possible schizoeffective disorder) but even though 2 professionals (the therapist and family doctor) dismissed anything beyond "your typical major depression and anxiety" I have since wondered if at 35 years old and no family history of schizophrenia, I may still be able to develop the illness.

Sometimes I sit there and worry to death that I may already have schizophrenia, I am just not aware of it. I realize that in order to be diagnosed with it, one should hear voices, etc. and I DO NOT have any symptoms of schizophrenia but that doesn't prevent me from still thinking I may have it or may get it one day.

Are these irrational type of thoughts part of anxiety, I wonder. Is this my brain playing tricks on me?

I don't think I would ever have such fear if that one psychiatrist didn't introduce the possibility. Schizoeffective disorder is after all in the family of schizophrenia and although I do see how he was able to draw the conclusion (I told him that I feared that people talk bad about me, which would be considered paranoia), I think he also traumatized me as a result and now I am struggling to make some sense out of it.

It makes me feel better hearing from people who know me well that I am intelligent and well educated, almost too well adjusted to be considered in the real "crazy" category but I always seem to come back to these other fears. It's almost like I feel that I am a big fraud, acting like I am a normal person but deep down I am anxiety ridden over this unsettling feeling that there's something wrong with me. When I start to think about this, I often work myself up to the point where I feel my heart racing, I get very anxious and I feel like I may be going crazy.

I have been taking Zoloft, low dose for a few months and it only helps me to function better, it did not eradicate the feelings I've just described.

I mainly wonder if anyone else is struggling with the fear of developing a "heavy duty" mental illness as a result of their depression?


Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 7:21pm

First of all, I need to make it clear that I am not a doctor, so I may be wrong in what I am saying.

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 7:29pm

just_aubrey,

I just researched schizophrenia and found the average age of onset is 18 in men and 25 in women.

Hope that helps.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 06-23-2011 - 8:39pm

I mainly wonder if anyone else is struggling with the fear of developing a "heavy duty" mental illness as a result of their depression?

I used to worry that I would develop a serious mental illness, since it runs in my family. However, sometime after I turned 30, I began to realize that it isn't going to happen. I "just" have garden variety moderate depression and a few endearing quirks. ;)

W

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 10:32am
Thank you, Sunset. I know the stats on schizo so I know I'm technically "too old" to develop schizo but somehow I still worry about the possibility from time to time. Maybe the real issue is that the only psychiatrist I've ever been to suspected schizoeffective and since that is on the spectrum I'm freaking out that I already have traces of it.
This should probably be a separate post- how to deal with being traumatized from one brief visit to a psychiatrist. Like I said in the op, my long time therapist disagrees with the psychiatrist but I have these very dark days when I simply wonder who is right and who is wrong. I wish I never went to see the so called professional, he really messed with my head with all these labels, I came to him saying I have all the classic signs of depression and he said 'how do you know it's just depression?" he put so much confusion in my head, it was a huge setback to see him.
Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Fri, 06-24-2011 - 7:26pm

I am not sure what happened, but if you feel comfortable making a new post about him, maybe we can help you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Sun, 06-26-2011 - 7:03pm
Thank you, I will.