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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I was told it is possible I could be suffwring from schizophrenia.

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I was told it is possible I could be suffwring from schizophrenia. What is the procedure for diagnosing this condition and how long should it take?
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

How long ago were you told this, and by whom? Was it the psychiatrist and if so, why didn't he suggest the need for a fairly long term monitoring and assessment plan to decide this for sure?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was initially told by my GP who sent me to see a psychiatrist. I've seen the psychiatrist for 6 months now and had 3 appointments. I was expecting him to give me an answer by now?
Have you ever had the same symptoms and problems you are seeing the psychiatrist for in the past e.g., in your late teens, and 20s? I ask this because as one approaches the age of 40 or so, the incidence ("new" cases) of schizophrenia decrease very rapidly because the period of risk is much earlier.

Also, are you now on any medications for the condition?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have not had any symptoms in the past. I started taking anti-depressants at age 32 due to stress. I am not on medication for the condition. I am however on Mirtazapine 30mg currently as I suffer from an social anxiety
Well to answer your question:

Usually, the evaluation for schizophrenia is reasonably straightforward because the person is in the midst of an episode that often involves seriously disorganized speech and thinking (i.e., one idea literally does not logically follow from the next, and there is no meaningful continuity of a 'train' of thought during conversation); and the person experiences delusions and/or hallucinations. Here are the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia:

The diagnosis is made through a combination of interviews with the patient and others close to him/her and behavioral observation. There is no medical test for the disorder (e.g., blood or urine test). The diagnosis task can take just a few minutes, if symptoms are very obvious and apparent, to several weeks or months i.e., if it appears the person has had an episode involving the symptoms in the past, and the doctor is waiting to see if they will start to show the symptoms again in the future.

There are forms of clinical depression that can include some of the features of schizophrenia, but this occurs in very severe cases of clinincal depression.

The flow of your writing in your posts suggests that your thinking is clear, logical and coherent---at least based on this small sample. Such writing would not be consistent with someone experiencing an episode of schizophrenia at this time.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I have overlooked anything in providing this response.

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