Psychiatry & Psychology--General/schizophrenia question

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Question
1)If somebody often hears their own voice silently speaking in their mind, much like hearing their own thoughts except that it addresses them (e.g. referring to the person as "You"/ using their name), and talks to them (e.g. asking them questions/ giving them orders/ making statements etc), but is not an aggressive voice, could this qualify as an a symptom of schizophrenia or does the type of voice heard in schizophrenia have other characteristics?
2) If one hears a voice in one's mind for many months, must there be other symptoms apart from this for a possible diagnosis of schizophrenia to be made and if so, what other symptoms must be present?

Answer
Hello,

I am sorry for my late answer.
About your questions now:
1. Yes, the voice that you characterize could be a symptom of schizophrenia no matter if is aggressive or not.
2. Yes, there are also other symptoms apart from hearing voices for a schizophrenia diagnostic.  I will present shortly the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia (DSM IV). We have 3 characteristic clusters: A - core symptoms; B-Social/occupational dysfunction; C. Duration;
A. Characteristic symptoms: Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):
(1) delusions
(2) hallucinations
(3) disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence
(4) grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
(5) negative symptoms, i.e., affective flattening, alogia (poverty of speech), or avolition (lack of motivation) Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person's behavior or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.
B. Social/occupational dysfunction: For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset (or when the onset is in childhood or adolescence, failure to achieve expected level of interpersonal, academic, or occupational achievement).
C. Duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least 6 months. This 6-month period must include at least 1 month of symptoms (or less if successfully treated) that meet Criterion A (i.e., active-phase symptoms) and may include periods of prodromal (symptomatic of the onset) or residual symptoms. During these prodromal or residual periods, the signs of the disturbance may be manifested by only negative symptoms or two or more symptoms listed in Criterion A present in an attenuated form (e.g., odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences).

Wish you all the best,
Ileana

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Ileana Truica

Expertise

The type of questions that I am able to answer are those regarding depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, sexual disorders, relationship issues, anger management, post-traumatic disorders, addictions.

Experience

I am certified by the Romanian College of Psychologists as a clinical psychologist since January 2010 and I have competencies in clinical evaluation and psychological counseling. Since November 2010 I am studying Clinical Hypnosis, Relaxation and Ericksonian Therapy and 2 months ago I started my activities as a psychotherapist assisted by my supervisor, using hypnosis and other techniques.

Organizations
The Romanian College of Psychologists Romanian Association of Clinical Hypnosis, Relaxation and Ericksonian Therapy.

Education/Credentials
I have a BS degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology. 2 months ago I finished my first 2 years as a trainee in Clinical Hypnosis, Relaxation and Ericksonian Therapy and I am curently receiving supervision as a psychotherapist for the next 2 years.

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