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schizophreniform disorder diagnosis


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I have been told I have schizophreniform disorder. It doesn't seem like it is common to be given this diagnosis, even though from the dsm explanation, everyone with schizophrenia must have had schizophreniform disorder in the first 6 months they were ill. Does this diagnosis simply mean that the psychiatrist isn't really certain what's wrong with me (that is kind of how they explained it?)

I'm also wondering if other people tell their families etc about their diagnosis. I'm thinking I won't tell them, at least as long as it is "just" schizophreniform disorder which might go away or turn out to be something else? Even then, I don't know if I would tell my family as they would probably gossip and bitch about it and/or say that it is ridiculous as I "seem normal", or something like that. The only reason I can think of that I should tell them is in the hope that they might stop bitching and nagging at me to constantly go see them or do things for them and complaining if I don't call on their birthdays etc (this behaviour is really bothering me lately). However, telling my family that I have a mental problem could also result in them "trying to support me and be there for me", a thought which makes me want to throw up. Being hugged and told "not to keep my feelings bottled up" is sickening. I don't even like my family, apart from my husband my whole family could drop dead tommorow for all I care.

Haven't even told my husband about the diagnosis although he has some idea of what is going on. I guess I will probably tell him about it.

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Guest Vapourware

Sorry to hear about the schizophreniform dx. Although, I'm not sure where you read in the current DSM about people with schizophrenia having to need a schizophreniform dx before being diagnosed with schizophrenia. I had a look at the DSM too, and it seems to me that the schizophreniform dx is made when you have some schizophrenic symptoms and the symptoms have lasted longer than one month but less than 6 months. Not everyone with a schizophrenia dx started off with a schizophreniform dx. Some people are given a scz dx without the schizophreniform dx.

I think schizophreniform dx is made when you seem to have some issues that are related to schizophrenia, but it hasn't developed into full-blown schizophrenia as yet. According to the DSM, you currently meet criteria A, D and E of schizophrenia. Some people do go on to develop schizophrenia from schizophreniform, some people don't - so, from my knowledge at least, the dx tends to be a provisional one until the doctors have a better gauge at your symptoms.

Whether you tell others or not is up to you, and that would be informed by such things as your relationship to them, how you think they would handle the dx, etc. Having schizophreniform is a mental health issue and not something to be minimalised, and it might help your recovery if you were able to garner some support.

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The diagnosis is very scary at first - my initial reaction was "am I completely crazy?". And of course the correct answer is yes...and no.

It does get better with time though, as you and your loved ones get used to the diagnosis.

If you feel like you want to protect your privacy from your extended family, then by all means keep it quiet. I would recommend talking to your husband about it though, particularly if you can trust him and care about him.

The only downside with not telling people about your dx is that they cannot try to help you if they dont know. Ive told my whole family, and they have been pretty supportive with it, though I think a lot of the time they worry and dont know what to say.

Oh well, you cant have it both ways I guess.

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If you don't think your family would be supportive then it's probably best not to tell them. I do think you should tell your husband. My husband knows my dx and his mom, step dad and grandparents kind of know (they think I have bipolar) but nobody says anything about it. None of my family know, though I was hospitalized as a teenager-they refuse to believe I have anything other than depression. I can't say for sure how they would react, but I have a feeling they'd tell me I was being overly dramatic or making up symptoms or something. I don't want to deal with it. You know your family, so you have to do what's right for you....it's okay to not tell them.

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