By Ben Renner | 25 April 2019
STUDY FINDS — A significant number of people declared schizophrenic by their doctors may be misdiagnosed. New research concluded from a small study of schizophrenia patients referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC) found that about half didn’t have the disease at all.
Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic mental disorder typically characterized by disordered thinking, emotions, and behavior. The study showed that most misdiagnoses of these referrals were of patients battling anxiety or other mental conditions, with many wrongly classified for reporting that they heard voices.
Hopkins researchers say the results call for second opinions at specialized schizophrenia clinics after the initial diagnosis. This could reduce the risk of misdiagnoses and ensure fast and appropriate patient treatment.
“Because we’ve shined a spotlight in recent years on emerging and early signs of psychosis, diagnosis of schizophrenia is like a new fad, and it’s a problem especially for those who are not schizophrenia specialists because symptoms can be complex and misleading,” says Krista Baker, manager of adult outpatient schizophrenia services at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in a statement. “Diagnostic errors can be devastating for people, particularly the wrong diagnosis of a mental disorder.” […]