How is paranoid schizophrenia diagnosed?

Doctors must run several tests and exams - both physical and mental - in order to diagnose paranoid schizophrenia. In performing these exams and tests, doctors will try to rule out other conditions, such as drug abuse, that can cause similar symptoms. First, a doctor will often conduct a general physical exam with lab work. Next, you will generally be asked to talk with a psychologist about your beliefs and thoughts. Doctors use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose paranoid schizophrenia. To have the disorder, according to the manual, you must hear things that are not there (usually voices), and spend much time engaged in your delusions.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
If your doctor suspects you may have paranoid schizophrenia, he or she will run a serious of lab tests and physical exams to rule out other causes for your symptoms. The doctor will then conduct a psychological exam by asking you about your thoughts and feelings and behavior. He or she will ask you to describe your symptoms, including when they started, how bad they get, and how they impact your life. To get a complete picture of your symptoms and behavior, your doctor may also talk to your family and close friends.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.