Schizophrenia affects 24 million people worldwide. Living with undiagnosed schizophrenia is a scary prospect. Without a diagnosis, patients have trouble accessing the resources and specialists they need.
The presence of a mental health disorder doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Please continue reading below to learn more about schizophrenia and its symptoms. You will also learn how to get a schizophrenia test.
Schizophrenia includes a combination of five main symptoms. These symptoms can present in varying degrees of severity.
- Delusions: Delusions are false beliefs that the person accepts despite contrary evidence.
- Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that are not there. In schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations, like hearing voices, are common.
- Incoherent or Disorganized Speech: Schizophrenia patients speak in confusing and disorganized ways. They are hard to understand.
- Unusual Movements: This can include catatonic or coma-like dazes. Unusual movements are sudden or upset. A schizophrenia patient might also exhibit excessive movement without reason.
- Negative Symptoms: Negative symptoms refer to a decrease in previously present behaviors. This could include a decrease in facial expressions and emotions. It can include decreases in voice and hand gestures. It might also include a decrease in motivation.
- Other Symptoms: Schizophrenia patients may also experience insomnia and social isolation. They also suffer from paranoia, depression, or anxiety.
Unfortunately, there is not one way to definitively test for schizophrenia. However, a mental health professional can use different techniques to reach a diagnosis.
Medical history is important to understanding a patient. Schizophrenia sometimes runs in families. A personal and family medical history can provide key information.
A safety evaluation reveals if a patient suffers from suicidal ideation. It will show if they have plans to self-harm. Safety evaluations can determine the severity of other symptoms like delusions and hallucinations.
A neuropsychological evaluation provides insight into a patient’s abilities and behavior. A mental health professional administers these evaluations. These evaluations often include self-reports, interviews, or other psychological measurement devices.
A neuropsychological evaluation can expose the signs and symptoms of a psychiatric disorder. These include substance abuse, anxiety, or depression.
Cognitive evaluations screen for cognitive impairment. In schizophrenia patients, cognitive impairment presents difficulty with memory and learning new things. Language and judgment can also be affected.
MRI and CT Scans
MRI scans help rule out physical abnormalities in the brain. Specific physical brain abnormalities can cause schizophrenia-like symptoms.
CT scans also rule out any underlying structural issues in the brain. Tumors can press on brain tissue. This can cause delusion, hallucinations, or other schizophrenia symptoms.
Where to Get a Schizophrenia Test
Are you experiencing schizophrenia symptoms like hallucinations and delusions? Consider getting a schizophrenia test. Schizophrenia tests can give a patient and their family peace of mind.
A diagnosis offers direction for schizophrenia treatment and management. Diagnosis is the first step towards living a better life.