Schizophrenia or Something Else?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I know that you cannot do a diagnosis online. I am concerned i might have schizophrenia or OCD. I often talk to myself, but i do not hear voices or anything of that nature. I admit i do not have a lot of friends. I live in a state with out family, so i tend to feel lonely a lot, and depressed, although, i am not suicical. I tend to obsess over things a lot and worry about things a lot. I also tend to rub my hands together a lot. I know I need to go in and see a doctor, and possibly was thinking of getting on Prozac, or Zoloft. I was hoping you could tell me if the signs i am showing are signs of schizophrenia, or something else. Thank you for your time. Have a great day.

A. Based on the limited information that was provided it does not seem as though you are exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia hear voices, have hallucinations and believe in things that are not real (delusions). You stated that you do not hear voices. You often talk to yourself but many people, if asked, might also report doing the same. They may not literally talk to themselves out loud or in public but having an ongoing running dialogue “in their head” is quite normal.

Your symptoms seem more in line with an anxiety or depressive disorder. Rubbing one’s hands together is not a specific symptom of any particular mental health disorder but it may be a sign of anxiety. It may also be a sign of a specific type of anxiety disorder called obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Depression is also a possibility. You report feeling lonely and depressed. Depression and anxiety disorders commonly co-occur. This means that many people who have one often have the other. They tend to go hand in hand.

I am glad that you recognize the need to see a doctor. Having a psychiatric evaluation is what is needed. It is the first step in understanding the problem and accessing the appropriate treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is currently one of the best treatment approaches for depression and anxiety. Many mental health professionals advocate adding an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication as an adjunct to therapy. Combining therapy and medication is a comprehensive approach for the treatment of many mental health disorders. I hope that you are able to receive the help that you want. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 May 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Schizophrenia or Something Else?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/25/schizophrenia-or-something-else/

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