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Am I Going To Do This?

Question:

Sometimes I have a fear that I am going to kill someone or hurt someone severely, I am a paranoid schizophrenic, and there is often no one to talk to. What do I do?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

There is no way I can predict the answer to your question without knowing you. However, the fact that you carry a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia means that you are having delusional thoughts about people wanting to hurt you. Delusions are thoughts that are not based on reality. Paranoia has to do with delusional beliefs (false beliefs) that someone or something wants to harm you. It is possible and probable that you hear voices that tell you there is danger out there. It is true that if paranoid thoughts and auditory hallucinations (voices) are strong and frightening enough you could be convinced to hurt someone, especially if you are convinced that someone is determined to cause you harm. If you drink alcohol or smoke marijuana or use other street drugs, your symptoms could worsen and put you in more danger of harming another person.

What you must do to protect your self and feel better is see a psychiatrist. If you do not have one please go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital and tell them both your psychiatric diagnosis and the thoughts you are having and they will start you on medication. They may not hospitalize you if they are sure you are in control of your self. They will also set you up with a mental health center where you can continue to get medication and therapy.

There is no doubt that medicine and therapy help control the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and help you feel and function better. There is no cure for this illness but there is very real help.

Hallucinations and delusions can be very frightening but that is why I am strongly urging you to get help immediately.

Please keep in mind that with schizophrenia there is also a danger of suicide because the illness carries a lot of depression with it.

Best of Luck

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