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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Paranoid Schizophrenia -Social withdrawal, Depersonalization


 Jack of Blades - Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:47 pm

For a while now I've been wondering if I have Paranoid Schizophrenia. It started when I learned of some of the symptoms in my psychology class and that same day I went home and read more about it online. Anyways, I guess the easiest way to explain this is to go through some of these symptoms I've experienced.

Social withdrawal - I usually spend my time outside of school with me, myself, and I.

Depersonalization - Sometimes I think just me being alive is so surreal. I could just look at myself in the mirror and question if this is all real. This has been happening way before I even knew what schizophrenia was.

Loss of appetite - Quite frequent.

Loss of hygiene - Not as much anymore, but still present.

Delusions - I used to have these thoughts that I am the only "normal" person, that everyone else is an alien. If you've ever read The Martian Chronicles you should know what I'm talking about. I rarely have these delusions anymore.

Hallucinations - I've only experienced auditory hallucinations; however, the most recent hallucination I believe was a hypnagogic hallucination. I wasn't even sure if I was asleep or not. What I heard was a deep voice saying something along the lines of, "I don't really care about anything". Pretty weird.

I've also experienced something else but I don't know what to call it. It's not an auditory hallucination per se, but I would have conversations with myself. In these situations I don't literally hear anything but I imagine them. One time I actually told myself to shut up haha.

I also get that ringing hallucination, but from what I've heard that's fairly common.

The sense of being controlled by outside forces - Not so much.

Paranoia - Whenever it gets dark outside I feel almost frightened that people are looking inside my room and I turn off all the lights. I know it's ridiculous, but I feel compelled to do it.

I have a hard time trusting my friends, even my closest ones that I've known my whole life. For instance, I may leave a text message to someone and if they don't respond right away I feel as if they're ignoring me, like they're just pretending to be friends with me. Again, I know this is ridiculous because I've been friends with these couple of people most of my life but I can't seem to have a gut feeling that they are just part of some elaborate gimmick, like they're pretending to be my friend or something.

Hope most of that made sense, thanks.
 Dr. E. Seigle - Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:25 am

Hi Jack of Blades,

It does NOT sound likely that you have schizophrenia. Rather it sounds more likely that you are experiencing some anxiety, some difficulties with trust of others, and perhaps some feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.

You are to be applauded for your honesty and it sounds like you are looking for some guidance. You may want to consult and psychologist or psychiatrist to help understand more fully why you feel as you do and to feel more secure and satisfied with your relationships.

Good luck.

Eliot Seigle MD

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