First of all, we have the gene. My son was involuntarily committed in 2013 for one month, diagnosed with paranoid Sz. He gets a monthly injection of antipsychotic. Here is what led up to it. He had a diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder. Three years later he was committed. He had been punching holes in the walls, threatening to kill his dad and sister. He was driving at the time and would often leave the car on the side of the road, twice a major interstate highway! He had a delusion the cops all knew him as “Nate Dawg.” He threw everything away in the house: furniture, pots and pans, plates, cups and eating utensils, furniture. He would wander around the house at night naked! A few times he tried to leave the house naked! He was smelly, would not take a shower. He also had numerous fender benders with the car. Sometimes in the middle of the night, he would be caught just standing there in the dark. He had/has no interest in anything he used to do. He is on an AP now, so he doesn’t have the positive symptoms, but he has every one of the negative. Is he really paranoid schizophrenic? Could this be a misdiagnosis?
I cannot verify his diagnosis over the Internet. Generally speaking, schizophrenia is a realistic possibility. He’s had delusions and other symptoms consistent with that disorder. His symptoms also responded to antipsychotic medication, which suggests a psychotic disorder is present.
One of the most common psychotic disorders is schizophrenia. Others include brief psychotic disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and psychotic disorders induced by medical conditions or drug use. Mood disorders can also result in psychotic disorder symptoms.
If your son is willing, consider seeking a second opinion. It would help you to know if schizophrenia is the appropriate diagnosis.
You might also consider the fact that a diagnosis might be less important than treatment. When it comes to psychotic disorders, the best treatment tends to be medication. Finding the right medication or combination of medications can prevent future psychotic episodes.
It’s not uncommon for antipsychotic medication to treat only the positive symptoms. In fact, one of the side effects of antipsychotic medication can be negative symptoms. Report his negative symptoms to his prescribing physician. There may be additional medications he could take to offset the negative symptoms. Do not hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle