Anxiety/worry about "going crazy"

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted Yesterday 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Figure since I am new to this community, I will give you some background/history about myself.
- 26 year old male
- Pursuing Ph.D. in psychology (nearly complete)
- History of unspecified worrying since early adult years
- I work with severely psychologically disturbed individuals across all age groups, mostly kids and adolescents
- My major anxieties were in social situations where I was being evaluated (meeting with supervisor for supervision, giving class presentation, etc.) but never in meeting new people
- Several years ago, I got a ******* during spring break. Following this incident, I thought I contracted HIV. Read TONS of literature about the HIV virus and its tranmission. Developed symptoms (e.g. rash, aches) as I read all these symptoms (psychosomatically). All evidence suggested HIV has nominal chances of being contracted orally (as saliva inhibits the virus). Undettered, I took 2 HIV (ELSA) tests, both of which came back negative before my anxiety was finally quelled.
- For past year, I worry I might be developing Schizophrenia. Again, my profession has exposed me to this very distressing, upsetting, and disabling condition, and I am knowledge about the condition and its prodrome (period of time before the full fledged onset of the disorder). I spent a year apart from my fiancee (as I was completing my internship in another state) which went well. However, since my return, I lack a desire to hang out with my friends whom I once spent every weekend with. Part of this is just because I find them boring and uninteresting. In my mind, I would much rather spend time with the wife-to-be than with friends who mostly drink or have pointless, meaningless conversations.
-While away as an intern, I worked as a bouncer at a club/bar. I found myself having an extremely hard time fitting in with the other staff and patrons. I felt uncomfortable. Didn't know what to say, didn't want to "toot my own horn" about being a Ph.D. candidate, didn't care to cheat on my fiancee, etc. I quit that side-job after 2 months, and was much happier since.
- I don't have a lot of friends, especially in comparison to how many I had when I was in undergraduate studies. I only consider myself as having 2-3 close friends (one of which is in the state where I did my internship) and 2 back home; of these 2, I only speak to one of them regularly when we meet up to work-out. I am VERY close to my fiancee.
- I feel my lack of close companions qualifies as "social withdrawal", a symptom of Schizophrenia.
- At work, some days are better than others. I work full-time hours at a hospital. Most of my co-workers are female, who LOVE to mingle and chat daily. While some days I too enjoy conversing openly, being charming/charismatic, the majority of my days I'll chat a bit (the routine "how are you","nice haircut","how was your weekend","any plans for this weekend") but enjoy spending the time focused on treatment with patients assigned to me, completing required paperwork, etc. Again, I view the "off" days as "social withdrawal." --->WORRY
- Its like a cycle for me. about 2/3 of the month I worry I might have Schizophrenia prodrome. I worry I am withdrawing socially, and worse, that I don't care to catch up with old friends, prefering instead to spend time with my fiancee. During these periods, I am extremely hyper-vigilant; I often do these mini tests to see if my attention/concentration is still present. For example, I re-read things to make sure I read them properly, worry if I don't pick something up during a TV program, etc. Additionally, I worry my affect is blunted (a sign of Schizophrenia). When with friends, I use to be quite impulsive, joking a lot, and "present". Nowadays, I feel more relaxed, composed, intelligent but at the same time emotionally removed, if that makes any sense. I do care about them. I feel as though my previous personality as the "jokster" is no longer being fulfilled, and that I am not as fun. That said, I do make occassional funny comments and maintain good conversations with my close friends and acquaintances.
- I am an excellent worker. I work hard for my money, my patients speak very highly of me, and my manager always praises my work. Maybe I set the bar too high for myself, but I don't know if that will change my worry. Everytime I read these websites and DSM about Schizophrenia, I worry more. I also worry about finding the "right word" when speaking with people. I sometimes praise myself on my vocabulary, and attempt to use "big words" and phrases when speaking with people. During these periods, my thoughts might stop while I search for the right word to interject (see, there is a perfect example, since I could have just said "use"). I worry that in searching for a proper word in my vocabulary, this might be classified as thought blocking, another  symptom associated with Schizophrenia.
- NOTE: It should be mentioned I do not experience any of the positive symptoms of Schizophrenia (e.g. hearing voices, seeing 'things', ideas of grandeur, reference, delusions), only negative ones (social withdrawal, affective flattening, etc.). All of my symptoms can be classified as neurotic.
PHEW! Okay, I know I typed a lot, but believe it or not, my anxiety was mollified, even if just briefly. If anyone read all this, please let me know your input. I joined this community to help others, and hope that other members will offer their advice/insight about my situation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 82
   Posted Today 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
You sound like a busy person with a lot on your plate.....have you ever thought about being evaluated? Maybe you might want to stop reading your books for awhile, or take some time off if you can. Pick up a little extra support at this time of your life. I know when I was having a difficult time extra support was important. I'm in the mental health field and sometimes I become what I do......and have to back of for a while. Be kind to yourself and patient if you can. Maybe someone else will come along with better support than I. wish you the best take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 32
   Posted Today 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello!! I am a female 32 with 4 children. I also thought I had Schizophrenia or a brain tumor or something HORRIBLE. I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, ocd and depression. From this I suffer Derealization and some Depersonalization(sucks). I am on Zoloft 100mg.
Are you talking to anyone? Or on any medication? You deal with and know alot about these problems so its adding to your anxiety. Although it is probably a good thing to notice symptoms but bad all in one!! I am so sorry you are going through this and hope you feel better soon.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 429
   Posted Today 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I am going through the exact same thing as you at the exact same time, except I'm 24 yrs old but still around the same age.  I didnt really feel the total withdrawal from friends really happening up until my severe headaches and anxiety hit me about 2 months ago.

Before that I was in softball leagues during the summer with friends and going out with them on weekends and drinking and things like that.  Have always kind of felt nervous around new people but was starting to feel nervous around my good friends which was weird.  The two weeks before I developed the severe headache, depressive thoughts, sleepless nights...I was going out drinking almost every night with my friends just to find something to do to not sit around my house.
I don't know if that can be a prelude to skizophrenia, if thats how people normally act before it hits them?  All I know is that I can't sleep for my life for the last 2 months, and I used to so enjoy taking 2 hour naps almost everyday for the last couple of years, now I can't do that and cannot even sleep at night.  Not to mention constantly thinking that Im losing it and going crazy.  Sense of humor and emotions have pretty much gone down the sh***er as well.
Doubt this really helps you much as to knowing if you are or aren't, but I am someone else out there who's going through the same thing.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted Today 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gekbi,

Welcome to HW and our Anxiety-Panic Forum. It also seems to me that you have a lot on your plate and I know how difficult it is to keep the Health Anxiety and Anticipatory Anxiety at bay when you have so much medical knowledge swimming around in your head. Those "what ifs" really add up after awhile.

What have you been doing to help combat your feelings of anxiety? Have you tried any CBT or possibly some Breathing and Relaxation Exercises? I know that these techniques, along with a strong peer support system, like the wonderful members here at HW, has helped me tremendously over the past year to get a little bit of myself back again :)

Anyway, welcome to this wonderful place of healing, and I hope that you can conquer all that your facing right now!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted Today 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Gekbi! i can relate to alot of things you mentioned. I also use to be a very outgoing person who loved to travel and be spontaneous. Every since i started having PA my social skills have diminished. When i first started suffering with PA i could still hang out and be the social butterfly that i was use to being, as long as i had alcohol. Then i slowly started regressing and developed agraphobia. Now i no longer travel because my panic attacks are too severe even with medication and alot of times when i'm in social situations whether it's people i know or dont know i often have feelings of derealization and nervousness. I use to be the life of the party. Now i'm usually the most lifeless one at the party. I no longer drink only on occassion but even when i do drink it usually doesn't change anything. I have been having PA for at least 10 years now and have been on a zillion different meds. Some have helped but none has ever helped enough to where i totally feel back to my old self. I just try to live life day by day and pray to God for some kind of breakthrough, I dont know if you believe in God but i will pray for you too.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/29/2009 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your responses. Reading your feedback has really calmed my anxiety, and I left this site feeling significantly better.
I still have periods of "normal" behaviour, ocassionally interupted by fear of losing it. I notice my fears occur less frequently than they did in the past, but are still present.
One thing I find that works for me is focusing on the present and reviewing my life accomplishments. I think about completing my schooling, work, friends, fiancee, and then my intrusive thoughts leave me. However, its hard to keep them at bay.
Thank you all again for the feedback.
"To cross the ocean, you must first lose sight of shore."
                                                  - Christopher Columbus

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