Schizophrenia is a severe mental condition that can cause people to interpret reality in an abnormal manner. It can detrimentally impact one’s social and personal life. It is vital to get timely treatment for this condition before any irreversible complications occur.
For effectively treating schizophrenia, it is important that the affected individual gets an early diagnosis. For a person to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, they will have to project at least two of the mentioned symptoms continuously for six months.
- Delusions – Being engulfed in false beliefs, even when they are proven wrong with ample evidence. Delusions are a pretty common symptom observed in people with schizophrenia.
- Hallucinations – Listening to or seeing things that don’t exist. Hallucinations can occur via a range of senses, however, typically patients claim to hear voices.
- Disorganized speech – Putting together jumbled words and sentences that are partially or completely unrelated to the conversation.
- Abnormal motor behavior – This symptom manifests in a number of ways. The person can act childishly or might get unreasonably livid. They might resist instructions, sit in a bizarre posture, stop responding, or make useless or excessive movements.
- Negative symptoms – This symptom basically refers to the inability to function normally or perform daily tasks. It might surface in the form of lack of emotion, disregard of personal hygiene, and reclusiveness.
It can be challenging to get a person showing signs of schizophrenia to see a doctor. In such cases, you should meet the doctor first and discuss their condition. The doctor can help get your loved one onboard for a complete evaluation and further treatment. This will also help the doctor rule out any other mental conditions including bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Tests used for confirming schizophrenia
To ensure that alcohol or drug abuse isn’t triggering this condition, the doctor will order for a blood or urine test. Also, a computed tomography (CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might have to be done to rule out any structural abnormalities or diseases of the brain.
Cognitive tests, personality tests, and open-ended tests such as the inkblot test might be done to get more insight into the person’s current state of mind and perception.
Getting an early diagnosis can help your loved one’s chances of managing schizophrenia properly with treatments involving antipsychotics and regular psychotherapy.