Let me first start out this post by saying, I'm new here and I think this is a great place. I like all the many sections where people can vent their frustrations, concerns, and ramble about whatever they want.
For periods of time, I've been wondering if my actions are any indication that I might have a mental illness or schizophrenia, specifically.
Let me go on to say that my brother is a schizophrenic. He began to have delusions of other people talking about him, to the extent that he dropped out of high school 3 months before graduation. He would be in constant fear that people were talking poorly about his hygiene and he would take 3 or more showers a day, as a result of this.
When he was finally diagnosed in his 20's, after much yelling and fighting to try to get him to see a psychiatrist, I read a little booklet that the doctor gave him so that I could better understand his illness. One of the facts that I got from it was incredibly disheartening. It said if you have a sibling who has the condition, you have a 10% chance of developing it yourself. This percentage also increases if you have parents who have the condition or relatives. I also have a aunt, my fathers sister, who has the condition. This already has me worried that I might develop this illness because it also said that it seems to affect males earlier on in life and I'm turning 21 this September.
Now, let me get to the point, as a child I would talk to the TV. I would comment on how stupid a show was or basically narrate things for the show out loud.
From early teenage years 13 or so till about now, I've been talking to myself out loud. I also have arguments with myself sometimes. Sometimes I get really angry at how someone else is acting and seeing no way to release it, I talk to myself to release the anger. Sometimes I talk to myself to plan things.
I see it like this, I'll be thinking of something in my head like "hey, I got lunch today at work I wonder if I should make me a sandwich or buy something?" than answer out loud like "dude don't buy any more food, you can't afford to be wasting money"
Other examples are like, when I'm frustrated with someone and I say out loud "F this person" then immediately afterwards I say out loud "Don't say that, you care about XYZ"
Another example, I can think of is when I'm organizing stuff. Sometimes I'll just say out loud "I need to go to the bank today" or "I wish this guy in front of me would drive faster."
I really don't know what this all indicates. I've been able to talk to people more, and have been able to hang out with people or talk to them on the phone about anything that's bothering me so it's not like I don't get to vent my frustrations to real people instead of making people up. I don't know why I talk to myself. I catch myself doing it and immediately force any thoughts back into my head, especially in public. People can be so cruel to label things that they don't understand and immediately label me as crazy, which is a hurtful word. There are, however, times where I don't realize I'm talking to myself. I'm so caught up in the moment of doing it that I don't realize it. It tends to be when I'm alone or I think I'm alone. I usually realize when I'm talking to myself when there's someone with me or nearby.
I don't know what this all means. Could this all mean I could be developing schizophrenia? Is this all normal? It doesn't bother me as much when I talk out loud because it helps me organize ideas but when I have conversations with myself or refer to myself in third person "he (me) wouldn't like that" it has me wondering, what's wrong with me?
I want to take the right precautions because if this really is a mental illness than it would be wise to diagnose this early when there are more readily available treatments before it gets worse.
The worst thing I would fear if I were to develop this condition would be me losing my independence. I don't want other people to have to take care of me. I want to be able to do things for myself like any other grown adult would. I fear this even more so because my brother turned 37 this February and he's still living at home with my mom. My mom is still the one who washes his clothes, pays all the bills, and makes sure he takes his medication every night. He also asks her opinion about everything, such as what clothes he should wear for the day or where he should go on his days off from work. I don't want to become like that! I want to have the independence to make every decision for myself instead of seeing myself as a burden to family/friends.
I also don't want to lose my ability to communicate. The disorganized thinking associated with some types of schizophrenia makes it very hard for some people to understand you. I don't want to lose my ability to communicate, as first impressions mean everything. Looking it at it from an employment perspective, I could be a genius but if I'm not able to communicate my knowledge to the prospective employer because I can't organize my thoughts due to a mental illness, that impression would be cemented. The employer would think I don't have any communication skills and deny me the job, no matter how qualified I might have been.
Gah. I'm probably rambling at this point but having read this post, what do you guys think? Is there a possibility? Do you think I'm developing symptoms of schizophrenia or any other mental illness or am I thinking too much about this and letting my brothers condition affect my way of thinking and causing me to fear my behaviors?