Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Psychosis etc..

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QUESTION: Hi! I'm 25 year old male. I have this ongoing anxiety that I'm going to go insane (psychosis, schizophrenia etc.), that I'm going to lost the sense of reality or something like that. This started about 3-4 years ago when I used to smoke cannabis alot. And it has persisted ever since at some degree... depending on the situation I'm in.
Now I smoked a joint in the weekend first time in maybe 3 years and the anxiety got worse almost to a level that it was 3 years ago. Is it possible that I could go insane or to a psychosis and still realize it or fear that it has happened? Or is this just me obsessing?
I have to add that I have had ocd from maybe teenage and I have thought that maybe all this fear of insanity is just ocd? What do you think? So can I have a psychosis or schizophrenia or is it just ocd/anxiety?

Thanks and sorry for the unclear description.

ANSWER: Hi, tomas, thanks for your question. Well, the vast majority of people who "go insane", never believe or fear it, so your chances are slim. It is possible that you may have some symptoms of derealization (literally, feeling 'unreal'), which is a pretty common symptom to have. It does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from any mental illness, tho.

Use of marijuana can cause some people to be anxious, fearful and/or paranoid, so it's possible that this is affecting you.

OCD symptoms are caused by feelings of anxiety, and are one way that the mind tries to reduce those unwanted feelings.

Psychosis / schizophrenia almost always include hallucinations (you hear or see things that you believe are real, but no one else does), as well as delusions (beliefs that cannot be true, such as that you are Jesus Christ). In addition, and most troubling to the patient, the patient's language skills fall apart, with, for example, an inability to put together a paragraph of thoughts. You, here, have adequately demonstrated your intact language skills, so I would guess that you do not have schizophrenia.


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QUESTION: How long can this derealization feelings last? I forgot to mention that I used to have a panic disorer aswell and these panic attacks gave me these unreal feelings, and that was really scary 'cause I thought that I was going to change somehow and go insane.
Thats also one of my fears that I start to hear or see something that ain't real or that I start to believe in something that is completely absurd. I usually have to go through this mental obsessing process trying to convince myself that "this aint true", 'cause I fear that I start to believe in it. Does this sound more like Ocd?

Answer
Sounds like counseling would be the appropriate venue to get complete and accurate answers to these questions, tomas, as well as relieve your suffering. Anxiety and Panic problems can be easily resolved using cognitive behavioral treatment, so do yourself a favor and go to counseling, before these problems become a lifelong habit!

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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