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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Do I Have Schizophrenia?

A woman on another blog asked the question: "Do I have schizophrenia?" She admits to drinking a lot and having confused thoughts and anxiety that someone will break into her house. While drinking she often says bizzare things and lies to family and friends. I replied:

I am not a doctor, but if I were you I would contact a psychiatrist for further investigation. The book, The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia is a very helpful text that I frequently refer back to for information, and is where I gathered the information I am about to share with you.

Schizophrenia and mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, are commonly mistaken. You can find a psychiatrist through your local chapter of Nation Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the yellow pages, or your family doctor.

A diagnosis of schizophrenia depends on a number of factors including the age of the onset, how long you have been experiencing symptoms, and your level of functioning.

Some symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions- paranoid, grandoise, reference, control
  • Decreased facial and vocal expressiveness
  • Alogia
  • Lack of motivation or energy
  • Anhedonia
  • Difficulty learning and concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Catatonia

When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia I was experiencing hallucinations and delusions. I heard voices and was the victim of extreme paranoia. At first the doctors were hestitant to label me a schizophrenic because I had only experienced symptoms for what seemed like a few short months, but later I would discover I encountered symptoms for a few short years. I think my symptoms started in high school, because that is when I thought I could see angels; this was a grandoise symptom of delusions.

When the psychiatrist interviewed me they asked me questions such as:

  • Do you sometimes have jumbled or confused thoughts
  • Is it hard for you to pay attention for long periods of time
  • Is it hard to have a conversaton
  • Do certain colors bother you-do they seem too bright or intense
  • Do you hear voices that nobody else can hear
  • Does your food or drink taste like it has been poisoned
  • Do you catch glimpses of someone following you
  • Do you have special powers or knowledge
  • Do you isolate yourself from others
  • Have people told you that you don't show emotion in your face or voice

The interview lasted about an hour. I was interviewed several times by different health professionals. Family members were also interviewed.

Have you ever wondered if you or loved one has a mental illness?

1 comment:

Pasifik said...

Hmm never heard about this disease before. thanks for the info!

peace,

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