Schizophrenia Diagnosis And Tests

 

Schizophrenia Test: Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental health disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. It affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking, speech and behavior that impairs daily functioning.

Individuals with schizophrenia may hear voices that are not there. Some may be convinced that others are reading their minds, controlling how they think, or plotting against them. Sometimes, individuals may not be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality. This can distress patients severely and persistently, making them withdrawn and, at times, frantic. It can also impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood or through the disruption of studies.

Schizophrenia Diagnosis And Tests

Blood Test For Schizophrenia

If symptoms are present, your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests — such as MRI or CT scans or blood tests — to rule out physical illness as the cause of your symptoms.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, healthcare professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for schizophrenia. The doctor or therapist bases his or her diagnosis on the person’s report of symptoms and his or her observation of the person’s attitude and behavior.

The doctor or therapist then determines if the person’s symptoms point to a specific disorder as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the standard reference book for recognized mental illnesses. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is made if a person has two or more core symptoms, one of which must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech for at least one month. The other core symptoms are gross disorganization and diminished emotional expression. Other DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia include:

  • Level of work, interpersonal relations, or self-care is significantly below what it was before the start of symptoms.
  • Signs of disturbance that have lasted at least 6 months.
  • Schizoaffective disorder and depressive or bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms have been ruled out.
  • The disturbance is not caused by substance abuse or another medical condition.

Schizophrenia Test Online

The Schizophrenia Test and Early Psychosis Indicator (STEPI, Version 2011.1) for Prodromal Syndromes and Psychosis is designed as a simple screening quiz to help identify symptoms of the schizophrenia prodrome before an individual becomes fully psychotic. Unlike other schizophrenia screening tests on the internet, the STEPI takes account of both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia while also testing for mitigating factors that can preclude a diagnosis of schizophrenia altogether.

Completing this Psychological Screening Test for Schizophrenia

This screening test consists of 17 questions about experiences that you may have in your daily life. For the most accurate results, you must be entirely honest in your response to all 17 questions in this test. (Please be sure to check the Additional Information and Note on Validity below.)

To answer the questions, please choose the button which corresponds to the answer that best describes your response to the statement. You should focus on your beliefs, feelings, and experiences during the last 6 months.

Take the Schizophrenia Screening Quiz

Please note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each one of the questions. Please also check our disclaimer on psychological testing and our psychological testing privacy guarantee.

1. I have trouble speaking the words I want to say, or I am able to speak but other people have told me that what I say is incoherent.

2. I see or hear things that other people cannot see or hear.

3. I have had the experience of being completely unable to speak.

4. I sometimes have trouble distinguishing whether something I experience or perceive may be real or may only be part of my imagination or my dreams.

5. I have heard two or more voices conversing with one another in voices that other people would not be able to hear.

6. I think other people can sometimes read my mind, or I can read other’s minds.

7. I sometimes find that something interrupts or controls my thoughts, feelings, or actions.

8. I believe that someone may be planning to cause me harm, or may be about to cause me harm in the near future.

9. I believe I have special or supernatural gifts beyond my natural talents.

10. I sometimes feel completely unresponsive emotionally, as if I don’t feel anything.

Schizophrenia Self Test

To get an official diagnosis of schizophrenia, a person has to show at least two of the following symptoms most of the time for a month, and some mental disturbance over 6 months:

  • Delusions (false beliefs that the person won’t give up, even when they get proof that they’re not true)
  • Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • Disorganized speech and behavior
  • Catatonic or coma-like daze
  • Bizarre or hyperactive behavior

How to Get a Diagnosis

The first step is to see a primary care doctor or psychiatrist. Tell them what you have noticed, and ask them what steps you should take, especially if the person isn’t interested in getting help.

The first thing the doctor will do is a psychological evaluation and a complete medical exam. They’ll want to know about people in the family with schizophrenia, how the person’s been behaving lately, and if they’ve ever been hospitalized for a mental condition. The doctor will track the person’s symptoms to rule out other conditions, like bipolar disorder, and other possible causes.

Tests Used to Diagnose Schizophrenia

The doctor may also want to do a urine or blood test to make sure that alcohol or drug abuse isn’t causing the symptoms. Tests that scan and take pictures of the body and brain, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT scan), might also help rule out other problems, like a brain tumor.

They’ll also do tests to measure how much the person understands (they might call these cognitive tests), personality tests, and open-ended tests like the inkblot test (you might hear a doctor call it the Rorschach test).

Getting the diagnosis as early as possible will improve your loved one’s chances of managing the illness. If they get proper care, which will probably include medication and psychotherapy, a kind of talk therapy, they are likely to do better.

Prodromal Schizophrenia Test

Schizophrenia Self Test

To diagnose schizophrenia, one has first to rule out any medical illness that may be the actual cause of behavioral changes.

The doctor’s initial role is to ensure that the patient doesn’t have any medical problems. Certain neurological disorders (such as epilepsy, brain tumors, and encephalitis), endocrine and metabolic disturbances, infectious diseases, and autoimmune conditions involving the central nervous system can sometimes cause symptoms that look like schizophrenia. The doctor takes the patient’s history and performs a physical exam.

Laboratory and other tests, sometimes including brain imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, are performed. Physical findings can relate to the symptoms associated with schizophrenia or to medications the person may be taking. Psychological testing can also be used to further explore the symptoms of schizophrenia. These tests can include cognitive testing, personality testing, and open-ended or projective testing such as the Rorschach (inkblot) test.

Bipolar Schizophrenia Test

Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Symptoms of schizophrenia can start suddenly for some people, while others find that they develop gradually over time. Each person’s experience of schizophrenia is unique to them. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are often classified into three categories:

  • Positive symptoms – Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors that are not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may lose touch with some aspects of reality. They may experience hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders (unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking) and movement disorders (agitated body movements).
  • Negative symptoms – Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. Symptoms can include: flat affect (reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone), reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, difficulty beginning and sustaining activities, and reduced speech.
  • Cognitive symptoms – For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more severe and patients may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking. This can include poor executive functioning (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions), trouble focusing or paying attention as well as problems with working memory (the ability to use the information immediately after learning it).

There’s no simple test to find out if an individual has schizophrenia. It is a severe mental illness that is very hard to diagnose. Diagnosis of schizophrenia involves ruling out other mental health disorders and determining whether or not symptoms may be due to a medical condition. Physical exams and tests and screenings may be used to determine this. A doctor or mental health professional may use the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to make an official diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is not a terribly common disease but it can be a serious and chronic one. Worldwide, around 1% of the population has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and approximately 1.2% of Americans (3.2 million) suffer from the disorder. In 2010, there were approximately 397,200 hospitalizations for schizophrenia in the United States. Around 88,600 (22.3%) of these cases were readmitted within 30 days. In terms of the onset of schizophrenia, three-quarters of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age.

What are the early signs of schizophrenia?

The most common early warning signs include:
  • Depression, social withdrawal.
  • Hostility or suspiciousness, extreme reaction to criticism.
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene.
  • Flat, expressionless gaze.
  • Inability to cry or express joy or inappropriate laughter or crying.
  • Oversleeping or insomnia; forgetful, unable to concentrate.

How do you test for schizophrenia?

Tests Used to Diagnose Schizophrenia

Tests that scan and take pictures of the body and brain, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT scan), might also help rule out other problems, like a brain tumor.

What are the four types of schizophrenia?

What are the 4 main types of schizophrenia?
  • Paranoid schizophrenia: The person’s paranoia may be extreme, and they may act on it.
  • Catatonic schizophrenia: The person shuts down emotionally, mentally, and physically.
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia: The person has various vague symptoms.

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