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Schizophrenia and Being Nervous About Having Fun

concertI’m nervous, honestly I’ve been a nervous wreck for a couple days now.

Two days ago A girl (a friend, but a friend I’m really attracted to) asked me if I wanted to go to a Fourth of July concert. Nervously, I agreed.

Here’s the thing, I know that there will be tons of people there and I know that at some point during the night I’m going to get paranoid. Add on to that the nerves of going to do something with someone you like and it occurs to me that I might just lose my wits tonight.

The running dialogue in my head has been shifting somewhere in between the phrase “Don’t do anything weird, Mike” and “I hope I don’t freak out”.

I haven’t been to a concert in several years simply for the fact that crowds kind of bother me and I no longer binge drink or smoke pot so the magic of the experience has waned.

Here’s the thing though, I know it will be fun, I know that if I allow myself to relax I’ll have a good time.

There’s the problem though, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to relax.

This has been the crux of my thinking surrounding anything fun as of late, the notion that I won’t be able to enjoy myself for fear of paranoia and illness coming on.

In the last few years I’ve taken to more quiet pursuits to have fun, hiking in the woods, writing really intriguing stories and taking photos with my camera. These have been the ways I’ve found pleasure and I’ve largely avoided more public affairs like concerts and festivals and street fairs.

The point is, I’m terrified of what people think of me and being around a mass of people has the same effect on me as drowning.

I think it’s ok though to be nervous.

That’s what I’ve been telling myself. That and the idea that after the initial shock, I’ll get used to it, ease into it and be able to relax a bit.

I think that’s true for anyone or anything that has the potential to cause panic and anxiety, it hurts for a little while and then slowly you get used to it. That’s at least been the case in other situations for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to prep and I’m going to take my meds and I’m going to make sure I’m comfortable before anything happens but I’d be lying if I said the fun things in life didn’t usually involve a little bit of risk, a little bit of discomfort.

I think I’ve been shielding myself from anything like that simply because I’m afraid of the paranoia but I need to remember, as does anyone else who suffers with this kind of anxiety that it’s perfectly ok to be nervous, it’s perfectly ok to be anxious and if we get too uncomfortable it’s perfectly ok to remove yourself from the situation for however long you need to catch your breath.

I think instead of running from a situation that makes me uncomfortable, as I have a tendency to do, it’s best to wait it out and see what happens, maybe the anxiety will fade, maybe I might even have fun. Who knows, I may even sing or dance.

Of course I’m nervous, and terrified and anxious but I’m going to try my best to have fun. Maybe the loud music, combined with the fact that I’m there with someone who knows my anxieties will be enough to drown out any negative aspects or notions that pop up in my head.

I’m hoping for the best.

Schizophrenia and Being Nervous About Having Fun

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). Schizophrenia and Being Nervous About Having Fun. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Jul 2015
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