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DrThomasMD
DrThomasMD, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 64069
Experience:  MD, BA psychology, Emphasis on addictions, depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc.
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So by looking at a medical website, it states that in order

Customer Question

So by looking at a medical website, it states that in order to be diagnosed with schizophrenia:
"Although the above symptoms must be present for at least one (1) month, there also needs to be continuous signs of the disturbance that persist for at least six (6) months. During this period, the signs of the disorder may be present in a milder form, for instance as just odd beliefs or unusual perceptual experiences. During this 6 month period, at least two of the above criteria must be met, or only the criteria of Negative Symptoms must be present — if even just in milder form."
Heres my story. Around 2005 I smoked some marijuana and had little sleep that week, and started having delusions. Voice hearing was probably present but honestly if it was it was more of a sound of something like an animal trying to make sounds. There was no english or anything. Mostly it was delusions from what I was seeing on TV late at night that went on to delusions wherever I was such as the hospital the following day or so. After that I was in a hospital for about 2 to 3 weeks in which about a week of it I had delusions. The rest of the time was spent with high anxiety. After I was released I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and on meds. Thats a total of about 3 weeks.
This medical website says it has to persist for a month and then signs of it for 6 months. This was not the case.
But then a year and a half later I had delusions again from little sleep and I was trying to get off the antipsychotic medications which brings on withdrawal. Withdrawal is said to include the very symptoms of schizophrenia even though it doesnt mean you have schizophrenia.
Again I was in a hospital and had delusions for a week tops. Afterwards high anxiety again and then released and on meds.
In 2009 after trying to stop the drugs again I had withdrawal and ended up manic but not delusional and when I explained my life story they put me in a nicer hospital where most of the people were not experiencing psychosis but were manic or similar. I was there for about 2 weeks or less doing group therapy and what not.
So what I get from this is that each of those occurences was stretched to about a year or more and in those time frames I had symptoms for only 3 weeks at most.
Doesnt this mean I was wrongly diagnosed? My mother was never on my side through these times so she never advocated for me and I was so upset by the way I was first treated and the stigma it put on me that I felt it was hopeless to try to get another opinion.
I now live in another state and have been to a psychiatrist who after I told my life story and had recieved my records from the other state diagnosed me with schizoaffective disorder. I havent done anything to change that diagnosis. I'm wondering if I should and if it would help with anything. For instance if I have withdrawal that causes delusions again could I be treated as someone who does not have schizophrenia and as a result be given medications that are not antipsychotics which I currently do not want to take becuase of the side effects and risks?
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  DrThomasMD replied 1 year ago.
HII don't know what medical website or where you got that from.You actually want to look at the DSM4 or 5 to see the criteria. OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the website: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/schizophrenia-symptoms/
Expert:  DrThomasMD replied 1 year ago.
OKWhat is your question
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I dont understand my question was already posted. If you want to answer it based on DSM5 then feel free. Doesnt it operate under same standards?
Expert:  DrThomasMD replied 1 year ago.
None of these criteria means that you can not have an immediate diagnosis.There are criteria that allow that, such as one month, one category of symptoms if pronounced.Medical history and other factors also come into play.Yes, you should question the diagnosis.You should even get a second opinion from an independent psychiatrist. OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.