Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Screening Test
Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Screening Test
Oct 25, 2010
To get a true diagnosis, your doctor will need administer a schizophrenia screening test and other studies prior to treatment.
Category: Health & Fitness
Classroom: Causes, Types & Symptoms Of Schizophrenia - Pictures





Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Screening Test

Schizophrenia, a brain disorder characterized by symptoms of auditory and visual hallucinations accompanied by delusional thoughts, is a debilitating chronic disease. One of the main contributors to this illness is an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. To get a true diagnosis, your doctor will need administer a schizophrenia screening test and other studies prior to treatment.

Schizophrenia

Diagnosis and screening test:

Health history and physical examination:

Your health care provider will ask a series of questions about your overall health. You will be asked about the health of your immediate family members. Schizophrenia has a genetic component that tends to run in families.

Your doctor will also perform a thorough physical examination, looking for any abnormalities that may exist. These will include taking your vital signs, such as blood pressure, respirations, pulses, and temperature, as well as listening to your lungs and abdomen.

Laboratory Tests:

While there is no blood test for this disease, it is used to help rule out other causes. A complete blood count (CBC) is done in addition to checking for drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse is known to cause the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Diagnostic Imaging:

Your doctor may order MRI and CT scanning of the head to rule out brain anomalies, such as a brain tumor or other brain injury.

Should testing be negative for underlying diseases causing the symptoms, your physician may then refer you to a mental health professional for further screening, such as psychological testing.

Psychological Evaluation:

An important part of getting to a diagnosis is to discuss your symptoms with a mental health professional. Your thoughts and feelings, as well as how long they have been occurring and the severity will be discussed. Family and friends can be most helpful in giving you doctor as much information as possible.

Diagnosing schizophrenia may take some time due to it's ability to mirror other diseases. This is why testing is so extensive. Every other possible reason for schizophrenic symptoms must be ruled out in order to receive the proper treatment, which is important for reducing symptoms and allowing the patient to function in society.

Treatment options include:

  • Antipsychotics

  • Antidepressants

  • Group and individual talk sessions with qualified mental health personnel

  • Rehabilitation in a hospital setting or as an outpatient.

When schizophrenia symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be necessary until symptoms are under control. Once this has been accomplished, the patient can be discharged to home in the care of family members. However, treatment will most likely last for the rest of the patient's life. There is no cure for this illness, but can be successfully managed when the patient adheres to the treatment plan.

If you have been having symtoms of schizophrenia for more than 30 days, make an appointment with your doctor to begin testing and treatment.

by Barb Hicks, RN


The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases


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