Do I Have Schizophrenia?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have noticed an increase in many symptoms associated with Schizophrenia over the last year of my life. Hello, I’m a third year university student (age 20) and have noticed that I experience an unnervingly large amount of symptoms attributed to schizophrenia on a day to day basis.

Here’s the list of symptoms

-paranoid delusions (constantly think people are looking at me and talking about me)
-tactile hallucinations (could just be me misinterpreting itches, but I can feel them move)
-auditory hallucinations (hearing white noise and the creaking of wood occasionally, regardless of setting)
-difficulty to speak (slurring and derailment of speech)
-loss of interest in life
-low energy
-avolition
-disorganized thinking
-difficulty expressing thoughts
-poor memory
-social isolation

Over the last year I’ve noticed each of these appearing (in the case of hallucinations), or notably increasing in the case of symptoms like poor memory, wanting to be alone, or loss of interest in life which honestly could just be normal personal traits.

This isn’t a: “oh, I’m a bit off, and this seems to fit what I’m feeling” situation that I’m just experiencing today. About 6 months ago I did search around when I noticed some of the symptoms and have been taking note any changes to them since. After 6 months they have appeared or become more noticeable (this could of course be explained by me being on the look out for them).

Obviously I’ve looked into it and learned that the diagnosis of schizophrenia is hardly by way of a multiple choice quiz, or urine sample, so I know I’ll eventually have to go in for an actual ‘appraisal’ with a psychiatrist if it’s deemed necessary. What I’d like to ask is if you feel it would be necessary, or rather, do my symptoms seem like they be would be caused by schizophrenia or another mental disorder. I’d also appreciate any recommendations for dealing with the issue if you believe they’re caused by something else.

Any help would be appreciated.

A. Some of your symptoms could be characteristic of depression. For instance, you described having a poor memory, wanting to be alone, having a loss of interest in life, all of which are signs of possible depression.

You also listed other symptoms which include difficulty expressing your feelings, disorganized thinking, difficulty with speech, and several others but you did not detail the way in which you are experiencing these symptoms. For instance, what do you mean by “difficulty with speech?” Are you making up new words? Are you nervous in front of new people? Did you struggle with a public speaking engagement? “Difficulty with speech” has many meanings but you didn’t describe what you meant by that expression.

I would need much more information to know whether or not you have schizophrenia or any mental health disorder.

To answer your question directly, yes, a psychiatric evaluation is warranted. Self-diagnosis can be inaccurate and is generally not recommended. It is always wise to be evaluated by a mental health professional to determine whether or not a psychiatric diagnosis is appropriate. Please consider writing back and letting me know how the evaluation goes. I think you will feel much better after meeting with a trained professional and receiving a more definitive answer. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Dec 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Do I Have Schizophrenia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/21/do-i-have-schizophrenia/