Mental health services: SchizophreniaSkip section navigation
Symptoms and diagnosis of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia often starts with changes in behavior. It can develop slowly, over time.
If schizophrenia comes on quickly and severely, it is known as acute.
Symptoms of schizophrenia
Psychosis — being unable to tell what is real and what is not real — is a common condition.
Different behaviors may occur with schizophrenia. You may seem distant or deep in thought, anxious, alert or move around a lot. Or, you may sit motionless and not move for hours.
Other symptoms of schizophrenia can include:
Suicide rates among people with schizophrenia are higher than among the general public.
Some people only have one psychotic episode (hallucinations and/or delusions) while others may have many.
Diagnosis of schizophrenia
The health care provider must first rule out other illnesses or medical conditions. He or she may:
Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality.
Call your health care provider or mental health professional if you or a member of your family experiences psychosis. If there is any concern about safety, immediately take the person to the nearest emergency room to be seen by a doctor.
Hallucinations involve sensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind.
Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Schizophrenia, mh-ahc-12505
Information adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov)
Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department
First Published: 09/01/2006
Last Reviewed: 09/01/2006