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Dr. S
Dr. S, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  MD Attending Psychiatrist
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Hello. I have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia back in 2004.

Customer Question

Hello. I have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia back in 2004. When I was first diagnosed I was under alot of negative stress. I actually felt I was being hunted by the government and escaped to the ER. I felt detached from the world and was in tears, making accusations about the government, made no eye contact, hardly would speak and when I spoke was very soft. Never gotten that way since then. But noticed since then when I get under alot of stress, I start thinking I am being toyed with. Government (again), higher power, or alien is tricking my mind and notice people looking at me as if to see my reaction to the experiment. I can't stop feeling this way and once again I am under undo stress and my mind is slipping towards that direction. Is this common for stress to intensify Schizophrenia? I don't hear voices though, so I don't know what to think.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. S replied 4 years ago.
Hi I am a psychiatrist and i can help. I am sorry to hear of your difficulties. To answer your question, yes, stress can definitely exacerbate symptoms. Not only symptoms f schizophrenia but also mood disorders (depression, mania and anxiety). As such part of my treatment plan with most of my patients is to include stress reduction, and enhance coping methods. In terms of diagnosis, you do not need to hear voices in order to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is best understood not as a single disease, but rather as a group of related psychiatric disorders. Each of these is characterized by various combinations of the following symptoms: "positive" or psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions;
"negative" symptoms such as apparent lack of emotion ("flat affect") and motivation (" passivity");
cognitive impairments such as problems with working and short-term memory. That being said, you can have perceptual disturbances or paranoia in various psychiatric conditions including depression, mania, schizoaffective disorder. If you are confused about your diagnosis, i would recommend having an in depth discussion with your treating psychiatrist regarding your diagnosis, differentials, symptoms and treatment recommendations.

I hope this helps. Please click the ACCEPT button as this is the only way I will be credited for my answer. Feedback is also welcomed and appreciated. Thank you and good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so much for the response. I do have terrible short term memory but not sure if this is due to the medications I'm on or the condition. I can't seem to hold down complex jobs and currently working part time as a pizza delivery driver. Nothing hard about that. I do feel flat most of the time, numb, and hate being around alot of people. My psychiatrist recommend puzzles for mind stimulation, getting out and meeting people my age, and regular exercise. Everyone of her suggestions I hate doing. I also don't like my routine disrupted. Sound more like Schizophrenia too? I am in the middle of switching psychiatrists since she was doing me no good.
Expert:  Dr. S replied 4 years ago.
Not a problem. I am happy to help. In terms of the memory, in my experience some antipsychotics can be sedating which would have an effect on memory. abilify however should be less sedating though. Social withdrawal and isolation can be seen as one of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, but could also be seen in other disorders. If you are not satisfied with your doctor a second opinion would be good. I would first discuss the reasons why you are not satisfied with her first. Thank you and good luck.

If I was helpful, please click ACCEPT. Good luck!
Dr. S, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience: MD Attending Psychiatrist
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