The earlier you receive treatment the greater the chance that you will respond and be able to regain your previous level of social and occupational functioning, so it is important to seek a medical diagnosis as early as possible.10,14,15 If your schizophrenia is not treated rapidly and effectively, your condition can quickly decline, making hospitalisation more likely.16 Untreated symptoms can also have a negative effect on your well-being, and that of your family and friends.3,17
If you experience any symptoms of schizophrenia, or a decreased response to your medication, you should consult your doctor.
How do I find out if I have schizophrenia?
The best way for your healthcare team to understand the symptoms you have been experiencing is by talking to you. They ask a number of questions in order to get an idea of:
- Your personal and medical history
- Your symptoms and how they first expressed themselves
- When your symptoms began
- If symptoms have changed over time, and how
- If you know of any triggers for your symptoms
Your healthcare team will also want to talk to people who are close to you, in order to find out more about your experience with the condition, background and medical history. They may also conduct a number of tests, which may include x-rays, brain scans and blood tests. This is to check on your general health and see if there is an identifiable cause for the symptoms you have been experiencing. Your healthcare team may also carry out some psychological tests to gain more information about your personality and your brains’ functional level.
How your symptoms affect your daily life is important, and your healthcare team will want to understand your social situation, work or education, financial situation and relationships with your family, friends and acquaintances.