I have been diagnosed with MDD, but am worried I might be Schizophrenic. I have rather extreme anhedonia, I’ve lost interest in almost everything I used to like and I prefer to be by myself and spend all of my time outside of school by myself. I really dislike talking to people, not for any particular reason either, I would just prefer to not have to talk. I have no libido and this was actually a problem in my last relationship. I’m also very lethargic and am constantly tired, even when I have had enough rest (medically speaking). I also have inappropriate emotions. When I get really good news, I become very sad, and I find it extremely difficult to get emotionally attached to people. My grandmother recently died and I felt nothing. I’ve known the said grandmother all of my life and she’s played a big role and is very kind.

A. My presumption is that you were evaluated by a trained mental health professional who examined your symptoms and determined that you had major depressive disorder (MDD) and not schizophrenia. In addition, many of the symptoms that you have described are more characteristic of MDD than schizophrenia. There are some symptoms that are associated with both disorders, but there would also have to be evidence of psychosis for a schizophrenia diagnosis.

Psychosis involves having a break with reality. People who are psychotic struggle to know the difference between what’s real and what’s not real. Common symptoms of psychosis include hearing, seeing or believing in things that appear real but are not. They might, for instance, believe that the government is tracking their every move or that God or a higher power has commanded them to carry out a special mission.

I would recommend discussing this matter with your treating mental health professionals. They would be in the best position to answer your question. It might give you peace of mind to discuss it with them. You may also want to read about both MDD and schizophrenia. It might help you to understand the difference between the two. Thanks for your question. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle