Guide Diagnosis: Schizophrenia

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It is a very good idea to start writing these observations down. The following are all features that the doctor will be interested in 7 :. Withdrawal: has the person become withdrawn from friends and family?

Diagnosis of schizophrenia

Do they spend all day in their room and refuse to spend time with the family? Strange ideas: has the person expressed strange ideas about being spied on or persecuted or strange religious ideas or ideas about aliens? Do they relate things that happen in the world news to themselves? Risky behaviours: has the person started to drive dangerously or started to harm themselves? Have they become sexually disinhibited?

Have they been getting in trouble with the police? Emotional Responses: Does the person appear afraid or agitated for no reason? Do their responses appear blunted emotionally or do they make paradoxical responses, appearing happy when something bad happens and sad when something good happens?

Changes in activity: Has the person given up studying or work for no apparent reason?

Childhood schizophrenia versus autism

Do they stay up at night and then sleep during the day? Have they started to attend church frequently or spend lots of time shopping? Have they been spending lots of money on things they do not need?

Performance: has the persons performance at work or college suddenly fallen off? Have they become lax with personal hygiene or obsessive about it? Have they become very forgetful? Do they forget about appointments and arrangements they have made? These are just some examples. The more evidence you are able to give the doctors the more likely they will be to intervene.

There are four conditions that must be met for a diagnosis of schizophrenia to be made 8 :. The person must have at least one clear symptom that is characteristic of schizophrenia such as hearing voices. The symptom must have been present for at least one month and the disturbances to their life must have been evident for at least six months.

Other conditions that may cause the symptom such as use of street drugs must have been ruled out.


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It is vital that the doctors should be told how the patient has changed since they started to become unwell. After all, going to church frequently is not necessarily a symptom of serious mental illness nor is getting into trouble with the police but if someone suddenly starts to frequent churches or gets into trouble when they have previously been very law abiding then these changes in their behaviour should start to ring alarm bells.


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Whether you are a patient or a relative of someone who is experiencing mental health problems the issue of the diagnosis will be one of the biggest challenges you will face. Getting your problems correctly diagnosed can open up the path to a true and lasting recovery and enable you to be able to eventually put all of your distressing experiences behind you.

Schizophrenia - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

It is true to say that for most people a diagnosis of schizophrenia will be one of the most significant things that will ever happen to them but remember that a correct diagnosis is vital to successful recovery. Living with schizophrenia was set up by people who have direct personal experience of the condition using their own personal funds and relies on donations to continue its work.

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Contact Us. How is Schizophrenia Diagnosed? What does a diagnosis of schizophrenia mean? Schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder: what is the difference? What information does the doctor need? The following are all features that the doctor will be interested in 7 : Withdrawal: has the person become withdrawn from friends and family? What are the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia? There are four conditions that must be met for a diagnosis of schizophrenia to be made 8 : 1.

The onset of symptoms tends to be gradual, building in severity over time. When social and work or school functioning is impaired it may be helpful to consult with a doctor. Noticing that a pattern has developed can be a signal to consult with a professional. It can be challenging for people with schizophrenia to reach out to a doctor or other health professional about their concerns. This can be particularly tough for people who may be experiencing symptoms that leave them feeling suspicious of others.

Reassurance from people they trust can be helpful in encouraging and prompting someone to speak with a doctor or other mental health professional. Schizophrenia is a complex diagnosis with a lot of symptoms and variables to consider. What makes things more complicated is that there are also several closely-related conditions that involve psychosis. Some of the conditions that are to be ruled out can include:.

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Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Tandon R. Indian J Psychol Med. Schizophrenia: overview and treatment options. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses. Cognition and schizophrenia: is there a role for cognitive assessments in diagnosis and treatment?

Psychiatry Edgmont. Clinical Symptoms. Psychiatric Assessment. Other Diagnostic Considerations. When to Consult a Doctor. Closely-Related Conditions. View All. Positive Symptoms. Delusions Hallucinations Disorganized speech Disorganized behavior. Disorganized Speech. Disorganized Behavior. Negative Symptoms. Flattened affect Anhedonia Reduced speech Lack of initiative.

Flattened Affect. Reduced Speech.