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Author Topic: Am I schizophrenic?
The_Prisoner
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I'm insane. Or going that way. Sometimes it's hard for me to think clearly. Sometimes I rant on about nonsense and I want to stop but I just keep doing it; while I'm talking I'm thinking that I want to stop and that it's not what I really want to say which scares me. Some people, whether it's a friend who is mad at me (because she's a pompous shithead) or someone who I don't like who has done something I don't like (mean to someone), I think of hurting them or sometimes killing them, but quickly snap out of the thought. Once my sister was beat me twice at a game of soccer and for a second I had a thought of hurting her. One time I was home alone with my nine year old sister and I heard her coughing terribly downstairs, so I went to see if she was alright. She told me to go away and that I was an idiot, so I hit her a few times. When I read a book and there's a character who does something immorale or thinks of only themselves in a life-or-death situation I sometimes cry because I worry that I might do the same thing. When a friend who I hold in high esteem doesn't want to talk to me I despair. Usually I'm pretty pacifistic and friendly, but that's probably because I'm a coward. Help me please.
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MrSquicky
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Go see a therapist or, in your case, your school conselor. No one here can give you any better help than they can.
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StickyWicket
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Don't hit your sister.
Don't over-anyalze your feelings.
Don't get your psychological advice from a website.

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Morbo
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Well, 'nuff said. [Roll Eyes]

While I understand that only doctors should diagnose and treat serious medical conditions, why is it that people can't solicit advice on a web forum? Not as an ONLY step, but as A step towards dealing with their problems. Doctors are not the High Priests of the Unforumable Truth.

OMG, Tom Cruise has gotten to me! [Angst]

Seriously though, I've seen this often: a refusal to offer any usful advice with someone's problem, beyond "see a doc."

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Dagonee
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Morbo, in this case I think it's because there is no better advice available than "see a doctor, therapist, or counsellor."

Of course, there's a nice way to say that and a rather insensitive, thoughtless way to say that.

But even being nice shouldn't supercede the necessity of clear, unambiguous advice to go see someone. His life may depend on it.

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lego feet
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You are describing a sense of aggression that is unbalanced.

That's nothing that can't be fixed! [Smile] You are not insane. See a doctor and get checked up.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
While I understand that only doctors should diagnose and treat serious medical conditions, why is it that people can't solicit advice on a web forum? Not as an ONLY step, but as A step towards dealing with their problems. Doctors are not the High Priests of the Unforumable Truth.

OMG, Tom Cruise has gotten to me! [Angst]

Seriously though, I've seen this often: a refusal to offer any useful advice with someone's problem, beyond "see a doc."

Because some things can be made WORSE by well-intentioned "help" from non-professionals?
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MrSquicky
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Some things can be made worse even by well-intentioned professionals that aren't in the proper relationship with the person they're trying to help. Over the internet diagnosis is a bad idea, especially if you give the person the idea that they've received reliable help and they don't then go to see someone who would be in a better position to help them.

I also don't give advice because I'm not willing to accept the responsibility that this entails.

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0range7Penguin
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just talk to someone in a better position to help than an internet sight
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Orson Scott Card
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We're not actually being asked for a professional diagnosis. We're being asked "Am I normal? Do other people feel this way or do these things?"

The answer is: Normal is a very broad range. You haven't told us how old you are. If you're thirty, then you probably have rage-control issues and need therapy. If you're fifteen, stop hitting people but recognize that rage is a powerful emotion and you feel it sometimes. Learn to channel it into something productive, like exercise.

You're a self-doubting brooder who gets angry. That probably means you should be an artist, especially a verbal one. Write poetry. Feel really guilty about how bad your poetry is. Then you'll REALLY be a poet. When you're angry, don't hit anybody, ever. But write really vicious poems about them and save them in a journal that will be published after you're dead. Then you'll get even when your poems last forever and the only reason anybody remembers them is because of your poems.

But there's no reason in the world why someone can't ask ANYBODY AT ALL for ANY ADVICE THEY WANT.

Psychology is only just barely becoming a science, and for about a hundred years, most psychologists have done about as much good as a conversation with a good friend. (There is serious data on this one.) Only with the advent of molecular psychology are we getting to the point where visit to a psychiatrist - as opposed to a therapist or school counselor - is likely to bring genuine relief from genuine psychological problems.

A talk therapist might, through long conversations, help you understand why you get angry so easily (going through parental divorce? socialization problems at school?); but so can a conversation with friends.

It strikes me as odd that when somebody reaches out for friendship, we so easily fob them off on a "professional." In the old days, it used to be "talk to your pastor, priest, rabbi, or imam." And that's probably also a good idea.

But if your friends are online, why forbid someone to talk to those friends? Why should "See a professional" be, not just your advice, but the advice that you insist must be FINAL, end of conversation?

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Orson Scott Card
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And, by the way, getting angry is not a sign of bipolar disorder. Often it's a sign of anger. If your sister isn't there when you try to hit her, or insists that she never said any such thing to you and looks really frightened of you because you're seeing and hearing things that didn't really happen, or your rages have your whole family frightened of you and your parents hide sharp objects for fear you'll find them, THEN there's a pretty good chance you have a bipolar disorder.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Why should "See a professional" be, not just your advice, but the advice that you insist must be FINAL, end of conversation?
One reason almost all my legal advice boils down to "see a lawyer" is that people can forfeit rights if they don't act in the correct manner when a situation arises. There's lots of bad advice out there that is almost impossible to recover from; much of it is in the form of common wisdom that is flat out wrong: "You can't enforce a verbal contract." "Mail a copy to yourself and don't open the envelope." "Don't pay your rent until they fix the shower." I've seen all these sentences and more given out as advice when they are flat out wrong. I've read hundreds of cases where the party morally in the right squanders his legal advantage by not consulting a lawyer soon enough. He can go from being the one who will collect damages to being the one who will pay them.

There's just as many common misperceptions about mental illness. This person didn't ask, "Am I normal?" He asked, "Am I schizophrenic?" Coupled with his own worries about self control, that's enough to make me suggest professional help. This doesn't actually sound like schizophrenia, but one common attribute is that schizophrenics won't mention the hallucinations, even when asking for help.

Untreated schizophrenia kills. The longer it's untreated, the harder it is to get treatment. If we can convince this person to see a professional, I won't have a bit of regret if it turns out he's just a normal emotional teenager. If it turns out he is schizophrenic or bipolar, then he might have saved his own life by going.

Dagonee

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
And, by the way, getting angry is not a sign of bipolar disorder. Often it's a sign of anger. If your sister isn't there when you try to hit her, or insists that she never said any such thing to you and looks really frightened of you because you're seeing and hearing things that didn't really happen, or your rages have your whole family frightened of you and your parents hide sharp objects for fear you'll find them, THEN there's a pretty good chance you have a bipolar disorder.

As someone with a brother who is bipolar (and a child who that is one of several diagnoses that has been discussed), I am therefore very aware of the symptoms, including some of the more subtle ones. And excessive, sudden anger can indeed be a symptom.

As far as sending someone to a clergyperson rather than a shrink, I think that depends about what the issue is. I certainly would recommend the former in many cases; suspected schizophrenia and/or bipolar and/or clinical depression are NOT among them. I have seen some of the damage that can be done when someone who is not trained to deal with those -- or who has insufficient information, which cannot help be true online -- tries to do so.

Which doesn't mean people cannot ask for help here, of course. It just means that help, IMO, is likely to come down to "Please see a doctor."

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Morbo
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Thank you for better expressing what I was trying to say, Orson. [Smile]
quote:
But if your friends are online, why forbid someone to talk to those friends? Why should "See a professional" be, not just your advice, but the advice that you insist must be FINAL, end of conversation?
Exactly. We just had a long thread about that study that said schizophrenics are helped enourmously by social contacts.

An internet forum is not an ideal for social interaction, but it's something.

The Prisoner, in no way am I saying I think you're schizophrenic, just making a point. I'll try to think of some cogent advice for you. Good luck. [Smile]

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The_Prisoner
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Thank you for your concern. The problem is I don't know *how* to tell someone. The problem isn't just anger. I feel like I'm basically a cowardly, immoral person. Maybe I am and just happen to have mental issues also.
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The_Prisoner
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Thank you for your concern. The problem is I don't know *how* to tell someone. The problem isn't just anger. I feel like I'm basically a cowardly, immoral person. Maybe I am and just happen to have mental issues also. Example: whenever I talk to someone I like I feel like they're thinking something negative about me. I don't know why but that's just what it's like.

BTW, I'm 15.

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MrSquicky
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Morbo,
I'm pretty sure I know quite a bit more about schizophrenia and mental illness in general than anyone else who has posted on this thread (although OSC may beat me out if he's anywhere near as much of an expert as he seems to present himself as), but I don't know anywhere near enough to be confident that the information and advice I could give P would hurt or help him. When you give advice, you're taking on the responsiblity of the effects of that advice. Were this a drastic situation or were it one where I've had the appropriate training/knowledge to be confident that I could help, I'd be freer with advice, as I have been in the past.

People don't know much about mental illness and what they do know is often very wrong. This wasn't a place for pushing one's political agenda or view of the world. This was someone who was (most likely, anyway. You've always got to consider the malingering case.) upset about stuff in their head and who was asking for help. The only help I'm qualified to give, the only help that I can be pretty sure is going to help and not hurt, I did. For me, that's being responsible.

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MrSquicky
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P,
I'm pretty sure most of us knew your age. Your feelings of worthlessness could be symptoms of depression in one of it's many forms. Even among non-depressed teenagers, they're pretty common thoughts from time to time.

Your best option is probably to tell your primary care physician. You could even print out what you've written here and give it to him if that would make it easier on you.

If you don't feel ready/comfortable to tell someone or are unsure of how to go about finding a person qualified to help, there are almost certainly confidential and anonymous mental health hotlines in your area. A quick web search or a look through the yellow pages should turn them up. I wouldn't be suprised if they've also moved onto the web. These are staffed by people who are trained and eager to help you.

What you've described doesn't sound to me to be too severe, but it does sound as if you might have problems that would be best dealt with with the help of a qualified professional. Tell your doctor, or your school conselor if they're available, or give the hotlines a try. They'll know much better than I.

At the very least, if you don't really need help, if you're just feeling the troubles that go along with being a teenager, they'll be able to set your mind at rest on that count.

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ShadowPuppet
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The Prisoner,

I know how you feel
in fact I've gone through a very similar thing
around the age of fifteen
I'm thirty two days from eighteen now
and while this doesn't make me a wise all-knowing sage
shoot it doesn't even make me much of anything

but I felt that way
and I got throught it
wish I could explain how or why
I think it can just be one of the stages of growing up for some people

my advice
for all it's worth
just hang in there
if someone pisses you off
find somewhere to be by yourself
take a few deep breaths
evaluate why you feel angry towards that person

meditation was a big help to me

a lot of the time you can just breath away the anger
and if that doesn't work
just avoid the person for a while
(with family this could be harder)

having a really good freind to talk to about it can also be a big help
someone who you trust and who is a really good friend
Mr. Card's examples of a religious figure if present are perfect
though you may not feel comfortable around this person
they are trained to some extent to help you out
and if things get worse and you just can't control your self
then go to a proffesional

this isn't a miracle cure
it might not be a help to anyone else but me
but it might be a comfort to know
that you're not a lone
with the way you feel

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Palliard
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Number 6, you've gotten a lot of pretty cowardly advice. So I'm gonna go out on a limb for you, and actually give you advice that could get me into trouble.

Your basic problem is, you just hit puberty and its running rampant with your emotions. The good news is, that's a pretty normal thing to happen to a male human of your age.

As Uncle says, "Stop hitting people and try writing poetry".

The bad news is, it can run away with you if you let it. Anger and violence are a bad combination that can get you into a lot of trouble. You've got to get control of your "smack somebody" impulses.

The worse news is, while everyone has been telling you to "go see a headshrinker", that's actually bad advice. Headshrinking is a largely-discredited psuedo-science, like "voodoo witch-doctory", and if you go to a headshrinker, he or she will burrow into your mind like a deertick, whilst attacking the symptoms of your problem (i.e., you hit your sister) rather than the causes of your problem (i.e., why are you so angry?).

Your best bet at solving your problem is to take a time-honored approach to problem solving.

(1) Understand that there is a problem. You've gotten past that, which is a significant hurdle.

(2) Understand what the problem is. This is the symptoms of your problem, which you've catalogued, so you've done pretty well here.

(3) Understand WHY the problem is. What causes you your trouble? This is where you need to go next. Why smack your sister when you annoy her with questions that she considers foolish? Why is hurting people your first reaction to people angering or disappoing you? Why do you think that people are talking smack about your behind your back? These are not things that take place in a vacuum. You are most likely emotionally unstable, thanks to your body chemistry, but being emotionally unstable doesn't make you irrational.

(4) Do what you can to resolve the cause of your troubles, rather than the symptoms. I can't tell you much about how to do this, because I don't know what the causes of your behavior are, other than hormones are making you crazy.

I hope my diatribe was helpful. I have been down a similar path. If, as I suspect, you're the oldest brother, things are going to get worse before they get better.

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Peter
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P, even at 15, talking with anyone usually helped me figure stuff out. just talk with someone, anyone, and just ramble. let everything out. even if it's completely off topic, it can't hurt to get it off you chest. The only thing you must remember:

make it someone you trust. someone who's thoughts are important to you. whether you follow their advice or not is up to you (obviously) but at least listen to what they say.


-Disclaimer-

This is what i would (and did) do. It may not work for you

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Dagonee
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quote:
The worse news is, while everyone has been telling you to "go see a headshrinker", that's actually bad advice. Headshrinking is a largely-discredited psuedo-science, like "voodoo witch-doctory", and if you go to a headshrinker, he or she will burrow into your mind like a deertick, whilst attacking the symptoms of your problem (i.e., you hit your sister) rather than the causes of your problem (i.e., why are you so angry?).
Would you care to share any of the wonderful sources you must have for discrediting an entire branch of medicine? Or should we just take your word for this?

Your analysis of the situation with regards to the anger may be right. But here's the thing: you don't have all the information. Not only might someone not post all the details, he might not know what things are important.

Let me reiterate something you either don't know or have chosen to ignore: Untreated bipolar and schizophrenia can both result in death. The earlier caught, the earlier treated.

You are f*&^ing around with someone's life. Unsubstantiated insults aimed at psychiatry are not just your typical internet forum ignorance-spouting. Your ignorance could cause someone to not take necessary life-saving action. At least have the responsibility to cite the scientific foundation for your dismissal of psychiatry.

Dagonee

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Palliard
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Dagonee:

My free advice is worth as much as anybody else's. Which is to say, nothing.

My unsubstantiated insults aimed at psychiatry are based on my personal experience with psychiatrists. In my personal estimation, and as far as I can tell, there is no science to the arcane art they practice. They certainly haven't been terribly helpful to me. They were more like a hazard that had to be carefully negotiated.

For the record, in case anyone's keeping one, I'm a "paranoid schizophrenic with sociopathic tendencies".

In the course of encouraging me to get with the program, you invoke life and death a lot. Please be assured, I do take such things seriously, and I would not give anyone anything I believed to be bad or inaccurate advice. But I am only human.

=Palliard

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Dagonee
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If you related your personal experiences w/ therapy, you would have provided useful information. Instead, you generalized from one bad experience to universal advice.
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The_Prisoner
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ShadowPuppet: It does help to know that it's happened to someone else who has gotten through hit.

Palliard: That's a good way to start. I'll try it.

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