Schizophrenia symptoms usually develop slowly over months or years. Sometimes you may have many symptoms, and at other times you may only have a few.
People with any type of schizophrenia may have difficulty keeping friends and working. They may also have problems with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
At first, you may have the following symptoms:
As the illness continues, problems with thinking, emotions and behavior develop, including:
Symptoms can vary, depending on the type of schizophrenia you have.
Paranoid schizophrenia symptoms may include:
Disorganized schizophrenia symptoms may include:
Catatonic schizophrenia symptoms may include:
Undifferentiated schizophrenia symptoms may include symptoms of more than one other type of schizophrenia.
People with residual schizophrenia have some symptoms, but not as many as those who are in a full-blown episode of schizophrenia.
There are no medical tests to diagnose schizophrenia. A psychiatrist should examine the patient to make the diagnosis. The diagnosis is made based on a thorough interview of the person and family members. The doctor will ask questions about:
Brain scans (such as CT or MRI) and blood tests may help to rule out other disorders that have similar symptoms to schizophrenia.
Leucht S, Corves C, Arbter D, Engel RR, Li C, Davis JM. Second-generation versus first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2009;373:31-41. Epub 2008 Dec 6.
Freudenreich O, Weiss AP, Goff DC. Psychosis and schizophrenia. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 28.
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