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    How Do Doctors Know If Someone Has Schizophrenia?

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    Conditions With Similar Symptoms to Schizophrenia continued...

    Drug use. Hallucinogens or cocaine can cause hallucinations and delusions.

    Schizoaffective disorder . This is a mental illness that is almost identical to schizophrenia. But people who have it also have severe mood disorders (like mania or depression) along with their psychotic symptoms.

    People with schizophrenia may also have depression or abuse drugs. These problems can make the diagnosis unclear.

    People with schizophrenia commonly also have:

    Subtypes of Schizophrenia

    A psychiatrist may consider which subtype of schizophrenia someone has. These include:

    Disorganized schizophrenia:  

    • Erratic speech and behavior
    • Inappropriate emotions

    Paranoid schizophrenia:

    • Delusions that other people want to harm them
    • Hear things that aren’t there

    Paranoid schizophrenia tends to have a better outlook than other subtypes.

    Residual schizophrenia. Although a person’s symptoms have greatly improved, they still have mild symptoms or only symptoms such as:

    • Indifference (apathy)
    • Lack of energy and motivation
    • Blank look (minimal facial expressions)
    • Poor grooming habits

    Undifferentiated schizophrenia: The person doesn't meet the criteria of the other subtypes.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on August 18, 2015
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