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Avatar universal

Fear of having schizophrenia or other disease/illness

Hey guys, hate that I’m back here. Hate that I even have to question this. I feel so silly and slightly stupid for asking. But here it goes ...

Backstory. My brother was diagnosed with psychosis when he was 18 I think. I don’t know my father but according to my mom no one in his family has ever had schizophrenia or any mental health issues. My brother however in middle school got with some bad friends and started using cannabis daily and told my mom his hallucinations started when he tried crystal meth a couple times. He got better with treatment but regressed at age 24 when he stopped taking Latuda. He went into full blown psychosis. I blame myself because I should’ve seen the signs. He would tell me that there was an option on YouTube where the people could talk to you. Or that he didn’t like watching movies because people were talking to him. It has had such a toll on me. So much anxiety and hurt because I feel that I could’ve done more. And I’ve cried and cried for him but after 4 years I’m doing what the police officer at the house told me to do. Move on and live my life.

Back to me :

Lately I’ve had a hard time with intrusive thoughts. I had them once when I was young and woke up at summer camp in a panic and feared killing myself. Then once when I went to see my gf in San Diego and I found them strange since they only happened when we were alone. Fears of me hurting her or myself ect. So I developed a phobia of being alone with someone I’m dating. Fast forward DONT have them for a long time then I start loving with my gf. Don’t have them at all until 2 years into our relationship when I actually start loving her and not being a typical duche. I’m reading a book about them now and realize that anyone can have them and that they are in fact ironic because they contradict themselves. Because they attack what you love the most. So if you love god they blaspheme God, if you love your gf you have intrusive thoughts about that. If you love your dog you picture yourself killing your dog. Ect. Except with people that worry we tend to focus on these things and argue with them but that only makes them worse. I’m practicing mindfulness to help this and just observe the thought and not even interact with it.

Anywho me and my gf recently went on a trip to Mexico. This caught me by surprise because I wouldn’t have gone if I knew we’d were going there. I thought we were only going to a resort. Reason why is when I Was younger I went to Honduras and it was so depressing for me. I was 16 and missed home and felt so lonely because I had no one to talk to for two weeks. Me and my little sister would do skits for fun. So going to Guadelajara brought back many of those feelings of loneliness and despair and anxiety. I communicated them to my gf and she did her best to comfort me. I had intrusive thoughts the whole time and I wasn’t informed on them at the time so I was panicking and just feeling like I was going crazy. And since my brother has psychosis or schizophrenia you can only imagine the thoughts of fear going in my head. Any who being over there all panicky brought back so many childhood traumas like when I was abused as a 9 year old. And all the stupid thoughts I’d have back then.( I would often feel like everytime I would wake up I’d be on a different planet “age7” ) until one night I told myself that was stupid and never thought it again. Then when I was 15 I would obsess over girls but so much to the point where I would create imaginary convos with them in my head (omg sounds so stupid) and would only do things that “cool boys”do.      I had an ocd where I would have to flick the light on and off. And didn’t associate with anyone because I was afraid that I was “secretly gay” because of what happened to me as a child.  I had ocds generally when I would think of my childhood trauma or being “gay” and I would act on impulses like stealing or doing real “guy” things to make me feel better. Like watching porn girl on girl. Or something.

Fast forward to now. I wasn’t worrying at all or having any anxiety or intrusive thoughts a year and a half ago but then I slept with someone who told me she might have had a sex virus. That sent me into full blown panic and for the next year I was in the hospital telling doctors I must have something even though I didn’t. And it’s like since then I have thought I’ve had something. (Aids at first, then that I would die at age 25. Then that I had a tumor. Then that I had cancer. Or MS. Now that I have schizophrenia.) and it sucks because I see myself indulging in these “thoughts of fear” by looking up symptoms but I don’t want to anymore I’m sick of it. I’m not suicidal and I’m a real loving person. No one else in my family has ever had schizophrenia but it just makes me feel so scared at times it paralyzes me. I thought I could face my fear  and travel but it ended up being too much for my first time. On top of it there’s research that suggest that marijuana causes schizophrenia and I think to myself (WELL IVE DONE IT!). And the first time I did it I had a panic attack. Did it when I met my girl and never had a bad reaction until after Mexico when I was already panicked. The research does both ways saying it causes it and doesn’t. But I’m just tired tbh. Mentally. Physically. At times I feel great when I’m not thinking or worrying but other times it just comes like “I haven’t had that thought in a while then boom! I’m anxious. I don’t want to worry and I know It might be a mixture of anxiety and ocd and past childhood trauma but I just want an expert opinion. I’ve been seeing a counselor but he suggest I see a therapist.

Please if you know anything professional comment, if not please don’t but I need guidance. I’m currently meditating and it helps. Reading a book by sally Watson on intrusive thoughts. It helps but when I become anxious man do I become anxious.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I also forgot to mention. As I grew up and got actual friends and dates around like age 17 I started promoting at clubs and socializing I started to overcome all my phobias and ocds. And they didn’t bother me at all anymore. Except now and then again focusing on negative thoughts
Avatar universal
I think you're describing a lot of stuff here, some of it accurate and some of it stuff you've read on the internet that probably isn't true but you've internalized it.  Marijuana doesn't "cause" schizophrenia.  Although nobody knows how it's caused, it's believed to be an illness we're either born with or we're not.  Marijuana can, however, bring out of us things that are buried inside us.  It can be a very introspective drug.  Because of that it often makes people very anxious.  Meth obviously causes whatever is inside your head to go a lot faster, so for your brother it was a very poor choice.  PCP can do this too.  So if you already have a psychosis, taking any drug that profoundly affects the brain and our thoughts can make it a lot more vivid.  That's not you.  You sound like someone who apparently suffered some trauma early in life, and that can have lasting consequences or not depending on the person.  We all have our individual personalities, and some of us are a lot more affected by things than others are.  That's just how it is.  What it sounds like to me is you're suffering from a pretty chronic anxiety disorder.  Probably prone to phobias, given you've had trouble traveling.  Might be some depression in there.  But coming on this forum for professional help is the wrong place to look.  We're mostly anxiety sufferers on this forum and some on here are here because they know anxiety sufferers, but this isn't a forum where mental health professionals hang out.  For that you're going to actually have to see mental health professionals, and a psychologist for therapy would be a great place to start.  If you ask you'll get a professional diagnosis and a treatment plan.  If the therapist believes you're ability to function is not very good they will suggest seeing a psychiatrist for medication, and will probably give you some recommendations of ones they work with.  Don't expect a quick solution, because you sound like you've been going through this off and on for a long time, so it will take some work and some time to get over it.  Meditation is a great idea.  But don't get so hung up on what you're reading -- it's very hard to tell when research you find on the internet is done properly or not.  Marijuana is very difficult to research, because there are people out there who are almost religiously in love with it doing research and those who are pathologically opposed to it doing research, and both kinds of people produce bad research.  Illegal drugs are very hard to research because most people won't talk about using them and don't report problems they have with them to avoid getting in legal problems, making it impossible to tell how good for you they can be and how bad for you they can be.  Also, there's no such thing as "ocds."  OCD is a variety of anxiety disorder, and the fact you've had some quirks here and there isn't OCD.  When you have it you have it all the time and it's quite debilitating.  Don't try to self-diagnose, and don't use colloquial usages of mental health terms if you suspect you actually do have mental health problems because you'll only talk yourself into things you don't have.  So you know you get anxious about things, you know you seem to often try to find health problems you have, and you've had some experiences with your brother and alleged abuse you suffered when young and some thoughts you don't like having.  Know that every living person has intrusive thoughts, and anyone with a mental illness has them a lot, so don't give them more power by giving them a name and qualities.  In short, don't talk yourself into getting worse and worse, accept yourself and the fact we all have our quirks, and concentrate on fixing only the things that are making your life difficult to navigate.    
10 Comments
As far as OCD as a child I believe I had it. Like I would think to myself on the bus in 3rd grade that I had to hold in my spit. Or that I would have to go a certain way to youth group in the train. As I grew up though I developed better mechanisms and told myself “one step at a time” and would go a different route to youth group. Or I wouldn’t give in to the ocds. And I eventually let them go and now those don’t even bother me. But sometimes I do think things like if I do this action this negative thing will happen. But I don’t give In cause I think it’s just dumb. But going traveling to a foreign country just made me feel like that isolated child again who had no friends and all these problems. Even though I know I’ve progressed and become a stronger person. I have years when I become unstoppable but then since I started obsessing over having aids it’s been a roller coaster. I give too much thought to these Intrusive thoughts “you’re gonna be like your bother, if not you’re family members will be, if your brother ever comes to his senses he’ll suicide how will you handle it? Suicide?” And when I feel turmoil I usually in the past have resorted to masturbating, sleeping with women or stealing. And now that I want to break past that I’m running into this wall. IAnd I’m stuck wondering, why did I go through that I’m my childhood? Why was I so weird? I’m engaged and I’m just trying to be a more healthier person but .. it’s so hard. And it saddens me. i hate that I believe things so easily and end up looking online for comfort. I just hate that it’s gotten to the point where it bothers me daily that if it’s ain’t this it’s another thing. I’m trying to fight my way through it but it’s so hard.
Thanks for your advice it’s much my appreciated
You're very very hard on yourself.  Most people masturbate.  Who doesn't like having sex?  Now, the stealing, that's a different story.  But it's not so much what you're doing as how you're thinking.  I think, given you've had a lot of success dealing with things in the past, that therapy and you would make a good team.  But on your own, there are things you can do, and have done, to ease this some in the meantime.  One is, the things we do and think when we're very young are not the same as adult mental illness.  Kids do all sorts of very strange things, which is one of the great things about being a kid actually.  So I wouldn't dwell on the fact that when you were, say, 3 you did some odd things.  All kids do odd things and it doesn't equate to what you're going through now.  Nor does it label who you are now.  All the best.
Yeah about mental illness, it’s just my brother has it and ever since then I haven’t ever worried that I’d get it. But then I started investigating and did the mistake of googling why people get it and one of the things was weed like I said. And my brother did plenty of that, he said he started having hallucinations and hearing things when he did meth but my worried mind thinks “we’ll what if it was the weed!” And I’m like gaahhhh I’ve done that. I don’t want to focus on that but when I’m alone and have nothing to do that’s what I think about. I’ll literally spend hours online to convince myself otherwise. And it eases it until next time. I’m practicing mindfulness and not to focus on the negative and shift my attention to my blessings. It’s just hard rn cause I e created a habit of worrying that when I don’t worry my mind is like wait what?
Mindfulness is great.  It's more than just meditating, though, that's just a part of it.  How far you want to take it is up to you.  But if you take it a bit farther, it's a Zen Buddhist practice, and Buddhism stresses that there really is no negative or positive, that every experience has value and it's the judging that makes us suffer.  Now, I don't really believe that myself, there does have to be some sense of right and wrong so we don't hurt others, but acceptance is great if you can get there.  But again, weed doesn't cause schizophrenia, and I don't know where you're getting that.  It is a disease you are either born with or you're not born with.  Getting hallucinations from drugs is possible, though meth isn't one that is especially noted for that, it's more that those who use meth don't sleep and if you don't sleep for awhile you will eventually get pretty weird.  But getting hallucinations doesn't mean you are schizophrenic.  Again, you can induce them in a number of ways, including having a high fever, not sleeping for a long time, taking certain drugs, etc.  Drugs can cause a lot of problems in people who have a bad experience, but if your brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia doesn't mean you will.  Does every member of your family have it?  Thought not.  
I do agree with much of what paxiled has said here except wanted to add something about OCD.  There are people that do not display symptoms all the time.  When they begin to go through a more anxious period, the symptoms of OCD resurface including washing, counting, etc.  This dissipates at a more peaceful time in their life.  That is not uncommon.  This is also similar to those who have tics due to anxiety.  They are worse at some times than others and at times, not noticeable at all.  Then, BAM. Someone can be back in the thick of it and have many tics.  I highly encourage you to stay on track with therapy.  
Mom, I'd say if that's the case, the person doesn't have OCD, they have anxiety that brings out strange behaviors.  It's not that important except that the treatment for OCD and often the drugs that are prescribed are different if you're diagnosed with that than if you aren't, and if you don't actually have it that will possibly impede recovery.  Unfortunately, OCD is way overdiagnosed and even more over-worried about having.  When I had agoraphobia only, I had a lot of things that bad psychiatrists would call OCD, but they weren't.  After my Paxil debacle, I got OCD, and it's really different having it and having other forms of anxiety.  Again, not really important, but you do want an accurate diagnosis of that one because it really alters treatment.  
@specialmom well the ocd I’m working through and finding peace but the only thing that tries t rip me apart with anxiety is thoights that come and I think like. What if I get my brothers mental illness one day? I’m 27 basically and he got diagnosed at age 17 but it’s just disturbing thoughts and they feed off my anxiety and give me panic attacks.
And it all started when I thought to myself I wonder how he feels..
I’ve always been very emphatic towards people and always have allowed myself to feel their pain. But this is just too much tbh ..
If you're 27, you're almost home free.  Chronic mental illness most often hits by age 30.  As for being too empathetic, I was like that as well.  When I was young, my brother broke his collar bone and I suffered more than he did.  It did go away, though.  Having a lot of empathy makes for a great human being but also means feeling things more deeply.  I don't know how much more we can offer that will convince you that schizophrenia is pretty rare, and you can't just catch it.  Now, it's true, generalizations have exceptions, and so some people do get depressed or anxious later in life, it happens.  But they don't suddenly get schizophrenia.  If you're afraid of drugs, don't take them.  So I don't know if telling you at your age you'd know if you were going to manifest schizophrenia settles it for you, but maybe if you do some real homework in medical texts it might help some.  The thing about using drugs is, and this includes pharmaceutical products, some people are going to have extremely bad reactions to them, and they can lead to permanent problems.  Marijuana is generally associated with bringing out anxiety in people, though if it's used on a daily basis for a long time it probably changes the brain.  Meaning, this isn't really your problem, your problem is supporting your brother and being a loving brother, not suffering too -- he wouldn't want that.  Peace.
454863 tn?1208310579
Alot of things can result from childhood trauma.  Another thing that plays a big roll in our lives is our sexuality and sexual tendencies.  Have you ever heard of Nofap? It's an act of not viewing Pornography, masturbating, and and/or having orgasms.  It's a way of seeing into yourself more.  It aint easy, but it makes it alot easier to understand things alot better.  Ever since I've been doing it, I've been finding out alot about myself, being careful of toxic people to hang out with, getting closer with God, more at peace, etc.... Theres alot of videos on youtube about Nofap, give it a look, I think it wouldn't hurt.
2 Comments
Yes I’ve heard of it and I’ve been praying to God to help me get rid of the addiction and come to find out, I masturbate when I’m anxious or have like an OCD “itch” and can’t get my mind off a topic. My counselor has been telling me instead of doing something negative while to ease your mind or “suffering” why not go to the gym or clean or do something positive? And lately I’ve been wanting to become a better me to my gf to my friends, stop smoking weed. But it all seems so unfamiliar cause I’m so used to doing things a certain way.
Just to say, to say masturbating is negative is very judgmental.  To say not having orgasms is a good thing is a spiritual choice that comes from Taoism, but the reasoning behind it is not factually true, which is that ejaculation weakens a man (but not a woman -- curious, eh?).  Again, the poster here is judging himself all the time.  A little acceptance might not be a bad thing.  I just wanted to put here that religious or moral judgments about things that have no victim are up to every individual to make, but it's impossible to see them having anything to do with an anxiety disorder except those who suffer from anxiety and depression tend to blame themselves for things others don't.  As long as we're not harming others, it's a good practice to be kind to ourselves, if we're able.  Peace.
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