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Do I Have Schizophrenia or Something Else?

Hello, I think I may have schizophrenia or something similar. I hear voices and other noises and I see things that aren’t there. I have little to no motivation to do things and I feel depressed a lot. I used to think I had depression but now I’m not so sure. I also have disorganised speech and thoughts and I usually can’t stay focused on anything. Sometimes when speaking, I say things that do not make sense and it confuses other people. Also when people speak to me I sometimes can’t understand them even if I can hear them perfectly. I have a hard time expressing myself with words and that also confuses people when I try to explain. I also have trouble understanding my emotions and usually I don’t really feel emotions. Other say I’m cold and unresponsive because I don’t know how to react to most situations so I just don’t. I lack empathy and I don’t have very many close relationships and I really don’t want any.
This is interfering with my daily life and I am going to see a doctor soon but I would like to know if I’m on the right track or if there may be something else going on before I go in to the doctor so I don’t waste anyone’s time. Thank you so much. Have a great day.

You don’t need to know what’s wrong before you see the doctor. They are the ones who are trained to know what’s wrong. Your job is to be a good reporter of information; your symptoms, your feelings, etc. That will help them immensely.

You’re not wasting anyone’s time. As you noted, these problems are interfering with your life. You are doing exactly what you should be doing; seeking a professional evaluation. I congratulate you on your efforts thus far.

As for a diagnosis, they are impossible to provide over the internet. Some of the symptoms you have described are consistent with schizophrenia, such as hearing voices, but there could be other explanations. For instance, some people say they hear voices, but there’s a difference between hearing an internal voice and an external voice. The internal voice is likely your consciousness; everyone hears an internal voice and its normal. External voices, those that don’t sound familiar and seem to be coming from an external source, are more commonly associated with disorders such as schizophrenia.

A great deal of information will be gathered during your evaluation. The professional who interviews you, in-person, will be in the best position to definitively answer your questions. You’re on the right track. Once you have your first session, you will have a better idea about what’s wrong and most importantly, a treatment plan for curing it. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

from Ask the Therapist

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