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How is undifferentiated schizophrenia diagnosed?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
To diagnose undifferentiated schizophrenia, your doctor will conduct a series of lab tests and physical exams to rule out other causes for your symptoms. He or she will then perform psychological exams to see if your symptoms fit into one of the categories of schizophrenia. These categories include paranoid, catatonic, or disorganized schizophrenia. If your symptoms do not fit into one of these categories, you may be diagnosed as having undifferentiated schizophrenia.

Before someone can be diagnosed with undifferentiated schizophrenia, a doctor must make sure that the person's symptoms are not being caused by something else, such as depression, illegal drug use, or another physical problem. Using the criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a psychiatrist will find that a person has schizophrenia but that their symptoms do not fit any specific type of schizophrenia. Symptoms need to be experienced for at least six months and create significant problems in the person's life. Doctors will likely also take a family and medical history, conduct blood tests to rule out other disorders, and may have an MRI or CT done.

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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.