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Should I talk to my doctor about schizophrenia symptoms?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
You should talk to your doctor about your symptoms of residual schizophrenia. If you shift between catatonic symptoms one day and paranoid symptoms the next, you might have residual schizophrenia. Talk to your doctor about any long-term changes you may be experiencing and about available treatment options.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Schizophrenia symptoms may be scary, disturbing, and stressful. They include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there), disorganized ways of talking, and delusions. Symptoms also include alogia, which is also called poverty of speech. People with alogia will tend to respond to questions with very short answers. If you are experiencing cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, you may find that you have problems with focusing or concentration, or that your memory is bad. Any of these symptoms could mean that you have schizophrenia, but they also could be due to many other conditions or diseases.

If you think you may have symptoms of schizophrenia, talk with your doctor right away. He or she will ask you questions, do any tests that are needed to rule out other reasons for your symptoms, and if needed, refer you to a mental health professional, often a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will be able to determine if you do have schizophrenia, and if so, can help you get the appropriate treatment.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Absolutely. We all know it can be hard to admit that we’re not perfect. Who wants to admit they have weird spots or excessive hair growth? Despite how uncomfortable and embarrassing it may seem, it is incredibly important to talk to your doctor about symptoms, especially if they relate to your mental health. For example, if you are feeling depressed or a bit anxious, you may choose to take care of yourself without seeing a doctor. But what if you hear voices speaking to you, even when you are home alone? Maybe you see strange things that no one else can see? If this happens to you, you may have a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia. If your family or friends are concerned that you are acting oddly or have strange ideas, definitely make a date with your doctor and dish the details. Your doctor may tell you that you are fine, but if you do have a mental illness, like schizophrenia, you can benefit greatly from an early diagnosis.

If you're having symptoms of schizophrenia, you likely will not be able to communicate with your doctor. However, if you know someone who you think has schizophrenia, you should encourage that person to see a doctor. People with schizophrenia can be dangerous to themselves, as well as to those around them. Doctors can prescribe medications that can lead to a better life and a safer environment. Be prepared for the appointment by keeping a list of symptoms and questions.

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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.