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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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i was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia some 30 years

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i was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia some 30 years ago. i worked throughout my life and retrained twice with extensive certification programs. prior to diagnosis i earned a bachelor's degree. now, at age 57, i live on disability. i have lost much motivation and believe i've lost alot of focus to accomplish things i want to do. i achieved quite alot during my working years but seldom received recognition -- certainly no security from it. what can i expect now? will i enter a new phase of symptoms, for instance -- more the negative type, and do i need to combat those? i've become more isolated and suspicious of others and things don't look good into the future for me. plus low income. perhaps i exagerate: have caring family support and housing security -- but wondering about my mind, you know?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 6 years ago.
Hi. I'm glad you posted this. There is considerable ongoing debate regrading ongoing deterioration in Schizophrenia. There certainly isn't enough solid evidence to predict deterioration and given that the illness is syndrome rather than a discreet illness prognosis is extremely difficult. As there is no clear answer I can only offer my opinion based on my understanding of the research to date - no, I don't think you should be expecting deterioration per se. However, Schizophrenia is well known to 'change' over time. There is actually as much evidence to suggest improvement over time (when the illness is managed well) as there is to suggest deterioration. Schizophrenia, like any chronic illness, renders people more susceptible to any of life's' problems or challenges. So, if life is becoming more challenging then it is completely understandable for a person diagnosed with Schizophrenia to have difficulty. If you have been able to manage the illness well I would see no reason to expect deterioration. It is entirely possible that there may be sympXXXXX XXXXXes and you will need to respond to this if it happens, but I would imagine you have had to deal with this before. As long as you are monitoring your health and have access to support when needed then you are handling the situation well. If you becoming increasingly concerned about sympXXXXX XXXXXes then consult with your Psychiatrist and review your management plan. I hope this has been of some help, if you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask. Best of luck!

Edited by Dr John B on 8/1/2010 at 10:03 AM EST
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