Delusions + auditory hallucinations =?

Is this combo always schizophrenia or can it occur in other situation also? Like other mental illnesses, neurological disturbances, medical conditions etc?

Is the main criteria for sz that is has go have been going on for more then 6 months?

I was officially diagnosed with SZ about 1.5 months after my first manic break. I took my first prescription drug and it all went downhill from there… :-1:

Have the meds effected you negatively?

Also, do they just give sz diagnosis that easily?

That’s about right, six months of combined delusions and voices usually means schizophrenia. If you are lacking one or the other but have other negative symptoms such as significant cognitive deficits then you may also qualify. Auditory hallucinations other than voices are a bit borderline.

Basically sz is diagnosed according to a list of symptoms, as I understand it, with voices especially negative ones as a kind of “supersymptom” that often indicates sz.

But this is the doctors view. For every medicalised sz sufferer there are 3-4 undiagnosed voice hearers in the community who don’t consider their voices to be a problem, according to the research of Marius Romme a number of years ago.

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Full blown delusions and hallucinations that aren’t recognized as such do not have to persist for over 6 months to warrant a sz diagnosis. Only 1 month of such pronounced symptoms is required, and even less if treatment has taken care of them within this 1 month period. As I understand it, there is a requirement of a 6 month period where such symptoms, or others like negative symptoms, are present in an attenuated form. Thus, unusual beliefs and perceptions that do not qualify for full blown delusions and hallucinations because of the lesser degree with which they are endorsed. Also, the 6 month period may include only negative symptoms such as social withdrawal. This is based on the DSM V criteria.

Sometimes, you might find DSM IV based criteria on the web, I took the information from this discussion of the differences between the two versions, especially the table on page 3 is helpful:

Also you should be aware of what is used as a standard by national associations where you live, for example here in the Netherlands the DSM V is not recognised and they use the DSM IV instead.

What is the difference?

Maybe it is the same they use in Scandinavia also.

They are different books of symptom categories, the DSM V for instance is about one and a half times as thick as the DSM IV and contains many new types of mental health condition.

There are also diagnostic manuals maintained by other organisations. You should look up the psychiatric society of the country where you live, they will be able to tell you what standard they use.

Yes, meds make me low-functioning & irritable, almost angry. And yeah, they gave the SZ diagnosis that easily b/c I was hallucinating visually & audially despite having zero drug history.

I was having only voices (auditory hallucinations) and some tactile experiences, and they have stuck with a diagnosis of psychosis not otherwise specified. So the lack of delusions and cognitive deficits has basically meant no sz diagnosis for me yet, although we have discussed it.

But it’s now nearly four years on, and I haven’t been able to get off meds, so who knows what will happen.