Health experts are increasing their research efforts on the study of the characteristics, causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for schizophrenia. All of these are done in an effort to gain more knowledge about this condition, such that patients are properly diagnosed and the best treatment plan be recommended for them.
Sadly though, this is not always a successful attempt each time. In fact, there has been several cases of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed schizophrenia in the past. Make sure you read more below to find out how this happens and how you can prevent it.
Overlooked Causes of Schizophrenia
Diagnosing schizophrenia is indeed a tough challenge given the several layers of symptoms to look out for. You need to evaluate the behavioral symptoms, analyze their physical stimuli responses, and cognitive functions before you can come up with a diagnosis.
However, it is also important to evaluate the potential causes for schizophrenia to be able to truly finalize diagnosis. Hereditary causes to schizophrenia is one of the most commonly overlooked causes out there, especially since it is not readily evident unless upon closer examination. The number of genes present in one’s genetic makeup could determine their susceptibility rate to developing this mental disorder.
Possibility of Developing Complications
Why is it so important to diagnose schizophrenia in the soonest possible time? This is because the patient could manifest any of the following complications or behavioral patterns:
• Violence (toward self or others)
• Tendency for substance abuse
How do you determine whether a given thought is merely a different point of view or a product of your delusional thoughts? Surely, a patient suffering from schizophrenia is incapable of telling the difference between the two. However, the analysis of this particular symptom becomes more complex when you factor in the idea that not all people who are suffering from paranoid beliefs have schizophrenia.
In fact, mental health experts cite other possible diagnosis for those with paranoid personality, which is totally different from that of schizophrenia. These conditions include paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal, schizoid, among other mental disorders relating to symptoms of paranoia.
Common Reasons for Undiagnosed or Misdiagnosed Schizophrenia
Misdiagnosis is a more interesting aspect in dealing with schizophrenia out of the two. Experts point out several factors that could lead to this condition being misdiagnosed despite the fact that health experts have been trying their best to spread information about its symptoms.
One reason cited by experts is that social stigma that exists in society, thus instilling that fear in the patient’s mind. They feel embarrassed to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, such that they would rather have it to be some other mental condition or be left undiagnosed at all. As a result of denying the existence of this condition, they also deny treatment.
Another factor to consider that makes coping with schizophrenia a bit more tricky is the fact that most patients are not aware that the “voices” they are hearing out of their hallucinations or delusions are not real. This often comes as a result of their distorted view of reality, such that they cannot tell apart what is real or not. As a result, they end up accepting as real whatever it is they perceive around them.