Every time I go to a psychiatrist they say I have schizophrenia. However, I’ve been diagnosed with a lot of other things. The disorders include: generalized anxiety disorder, schizoid personality disorder, major depression, OCD, and a phobia of driving. OCD has recently been taken off of my “list.” I’m either a lot “sicker” than I realize or something is off about all these diagnoses. I actually agree with most of them, except for schizophrenia. I’ve heard colloquially that people with schizoid personality disorder can have brief psychotic episodes. (I’ve definitely had psychotic issues in the past.) I had one particularly bad couple of years in the past which led to the whole schizophrenic thing, but I’m wondering if it is possible that I don’t have schizophrenia. Is it possible that my psychotic states are a symptom of the other disorders?
Psychotic episodes are a main symptom of schizophrenia, but as you noted they are also associated with other disorders. Yes, it is possible that you don’t have schizophrenia, but it seems clear that you have a psychotic disorder.
The trouble with diagnosis, is that it’s not an exact science. It’s not uncommon for an individual to receive varying diagnoses. That experience is more the norm than the exception.
There are two schools of thought on this matter: one is that finding the right diagnosis is essential in determining the most appropriate treatment. The second is that psychiatric diagnosis is inexact; it is not necessary to have an exact diagnosis in order to determine the most appropriate treatment. I tend to agree with the latter.
Your goal should be finding mental health professionals whom you trust. Ideally, you should be working with both a psychiatrist and a therapist. Choose a psychiatrist who is willing to work with you to find the right medication. The best therapist will be the one who helps you feel better with each session.
Searching out the “right” diagnosis hasn’t worked thus far. Consider my suggestion and you might finally gain control over your symptoms and control over your psychotic episodes. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Is It Possible I Don’t Have Schizophrenia?
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Is It Possible I Don’t Have Schizophrenia?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/25/is-it-possible-i-dont-have-schizophrenia/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 May 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.