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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I just took a DSM-IV online and my top problem was Schizophrenia,

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I just took a DSM-IV online and my top problem was Schizophrenia, so I took it again same result, not really surprised. My question is how would I bring something like that up to my doctor? I don't know what to do about this or how to approach it? Should I trust the site I took it from, psyweb.com?
Hello,

Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today.

I can understand the desire to understand any symptoms you might be experiencing, and the temptation to try to self-diagnose those symptoms using information you've researched online. While online information can be a good starting point, I just want to caution you against taking any information you've learned too seriously in the beginning. Diagnosing a mental health disorder is just like trying to diagnose any other health condition, in other words, it's not really possible to "do it yourself," even though there are a lot of reputable websites (like psychweb) that can be helpful -- but for informational purposes only. Plus, many times, there are other conditions that can mimic certain symptoms (such as the us of certain medications or other medical or psychiatric disorders). That being said, if you're concerned (and it sounds like you are right to be) and you scored the same results on the self-test, it's worth your while to get a referral to see a psychiatrist (if you need one, or just make an appointment to see a psychiatrist if your health insurance company doesn't require one or you're paying out of pocket, for example.) You can first talk about your concerns with your regular doctor in any case, of course -- just let him or her know that you've been experiencing certain symptoms (explain what's happening, for how long and whether there's any history of mental illness in your family) and let him or her know that you'd like to see a psychiatrist. General practitioners are not really schooled in advanced mental health diagnosis, so that's why it's a good idea to see a psychiatrist. They specialize in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of serious mental health disorders, so if you do, in fact, have schizophrenia, then they will not only be able to give you a proper diagnosis, but they will also be able to help you with treatment.

I hope that helps, and I wish you luck.
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