Schizophrenia : How to check if you have Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness in which reality is seen by sufferers differently. Schizophrenia may include hallucinations, delusions, and severely irrational thinking and behavior, which can make it difficult to go about daily activities and be incapacitating.

Schizophrenia patients require ongoing care. Early management may help keep symptoms under control before serious problems develop and may improve the long-term prognosis.


While the exact aetiology of schizophrenia is unknown, experts think that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environment may play a role in the disorder's emergence.

Schizophrenia may get worse if there are issues with some naturally occurring brain chemicals, such the neurotransmitters glutamate and dopamine. 

According to neuroimaging studies, people with schizophrenia have unique brain and central nervous system morphologies. Although experts are divided on the significance of these changes, they clearly imply that schizophrenia is a brain condition.

How to check if you have Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia sufferers frequently are unaware that their problems are caused by a mental illness that has to be treated. So, it frequently falls on family or friends to seek assistance for them.

If you think someone you know could be exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, talk to them. Even while you can not compel someone to get assistance, you can encourage them, support them, and assist them in finding a skilled medical or mental health expert.

You may need to contact emergency responders for assistance so that your loved one may be assessed if they represent a risk to themselves or others or cannot provide for their own food, clothes, or shelter.

Emergency hospitalization may be required in several circumstances. For further information, get in touch with community mental health organizations.

Schizophrenia patients frequently experience suicidal ideas and actions. Make sure someone stays by a loved one who is thinking about suicide or has attempted suicide.  Call your local emergency number right away. Instead, if you believe it to be safe to do so, transport the patient to the emergency department of the closest hospital.

Risk Factors

Although the exact origin of schizophrenia is unknown, several variables, such as the following, appear to enhance the chance of schizophrenia development or occurrence:

  • A history of schizophrenia in one's family
  • Many issues that might affect the development of the brain during pregnancy or after delivery, such as malnutrition or exposure to chemicals or viruses
  • Using medicines that change the mind, such as those classified as psychoactive or psychotropic, while an adolescent or young adult


Schizophrenia is characterized by a wide range of problems with behaviors, emotions, and thinking (cognition). 

Although there are many different signs and symptoms, they entail delusions, hallucinations, or slurred speech and indicate a reduced capacity for function. Some signs might be the following:

Delusions. These are false beliefs that are not grounded in reality. You can believe that you are being threatened or tortured, the focus of certain actions or statements, renowned or talented, in love with someone else, or that a major catastrophe is going to occur. Delusions are seen in the majority of schizophrenia patient cases.

Hallucinations. They frequently include hearing or seeing intangible objects. For a person with schizophrenia, a typical experience has all of its vitality and relevance. 

Unorganized thoughts. Disorganized speech implies chaotic thought. Answers to questions may be partially or entirely unconnected, which might hinder effective communication. Word salad, the practice of stringing together unclear words when speaking, is occasionally possible.

Extreme disarray or unusual activity. This may manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from naiveté to irrational agitation. When behavior is not goal-focused, activities are challenging to complete. Resistance to commands, odd or unsuitable postures, a complete lack of reaction, or unnecessary and excessive movement are all examples of behavior.

Negative signs. This term denotes a decreased or nonexistent ability to do normal chores. The person could, for instance, abandon personal hygiene or behave emotionlessly. Also, the individual may cease finding enjoyment in ordinary duties, retreat socially, or lose their ability to have fun.

The kind and severity of symptoms may alter over time, sometimes getting worse and sometimes going away. Certain symptoms could always be present.

Men with schizophrenia frequently experience symptoms between the ages of 20 and 30. Women often experience the first symptoms in their late 20s. Young people and those over the age of 45 are substantially less likely to have schizophrenia diagnosed.

Symptoms in adolescents

Although juvenile schizophrenia symptoms are comparable to those in adults, they may be more challenging to diagnose. 

Several of the early signs of schizophrenia in teens are typical of adolescent growth, including:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • A decrease in academic achievement
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability or a downbeat attitude
  • A lack of drive
  • Moreover, recreational drug use—including marijuana, methamphetamine, or LSD—can occasionally result in comparable signs and symptoms.

Teenage symptoms of schizophrenia may resemble adult symptoms in the following ways:

  • Less inclined to be delusional
  • More prone to experiencing visual hallucinations


Although there is no surefire way to stop schizophrenia, adhering to the prescribed course of therapy can help stop relapses and the worsening of symptoms. Researchers also expect that gaining a better understanding of schizophrenia risk factors would enable earlier detection and treatment.


Even when the symptoms of schizophrenia have faded, therapy is still necessary for life. The illness can be managed with medical care and psychological counseling. Hospitalization may be required in specific situations.

Usually, a psychiatrist with knowledge of schizophrenia oversees treatment. In order to coordinate care, the treatment team may additionally comprise a psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, and potentially a case manager. The full-team strategy could be offered at clinics with experience treating schizophrenia.


The most often prescribed drugs are antipsychotics, which are the mainstay of schizophrenia treatment. They are thought to affect the symptom-regulating brain neurotransmitter dopamine.

The goal of antipsychotic medication therapy is to successfully manage signs and symptoms at the lowest practicable dose. 

The psychiatrist may experiment with various medications, dosages, or combinations gradually over time to produce the desired outcome. Antidepressants and anxiety medications, for example, may also be helpful. Many weeks may pass before symptoms start to improve.

Due to the potentially serious side effects of medications, people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to use them. The choice of medication may depend on how eager a patient is to engage in therapy. For instance, a patient who has trouble consistently taking their medication could need injections rather than tablets.

Enquire with your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of any prescription drugs.

Antipsychotics of the second generation

As opposed to first-generation antipsychotics, these more recent, second-generation drugs have a decreased chance of major adverse effects, making them the preferable option. The following are second-generation antipsychotics:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • (Rexulti) Brexpiprazole
  •  Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Olanzapine, Iloperidone, Lurasidone, and Clozapine (Clozaril, Versacloz)
  • Paliperidone (Invega)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Ziprasidone with risperidone (Risperdal)

First developed antipsychotics

The common and sometimes serious neurological adverse effects of these first-generation antipsychotics include the potential for the emergence of a movement problem (tardive dyskinesia) that may or may not be curable. Antipsychotics of the first generation include:

  • Chlorpromazine
  • Fluphenazine
  • Haloperidol
  •  Perphenazine

When long-term therapy is required, the cost of these antipsychotics might be a crucial factor. They are frequently less expensive than second-generation antipsychotics, especially generic ones.

Long-acting antipsychotics for injection

Certain antipsychotics can be injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Depending on the drug, they are often administered every two to four weeks. Inquire with your doctor for further details about injectable drugs. If somebody has a preference for this then this may be an option.

Drugs that can be administered through injection include:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify Maintena, Aristada)
  • Decanoate of fluphenazine
  • Decanoate of haloperidol
  • Paliperidone (Invega Sustenna, Invega Trinza)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal Consta, Perseris)

Behavioral and social interventions

Psychosocial (psychosocial) therapies are crucial once psychosis has subsided, in addition to keeping up with medication. They may consist of:

Individual counseling. Thought patterns may be normalized through psychotherapy. People with schizophrenia can better manage their condition by developing coping mechanisms for stressful situations and recognising early warning signals of recurrence.

Socialization instruction. This focuses on enhancing social relationships, communication, and participation in everyday activities.

Family counseling. This offers families struggling with schizophrenia assistance and information.

Rehabilitation for the workforce and assisted employment. This emphasizes aiding schizophrenia patients to prepare for, find, and maintain employment.

The majority of people with schizophrenia need assistance with daily tasks. 

Programs to assist persons with schizophrenia with employment, housing, self-help groups, and crisis circumstances are available in many places. Finding resources can be assisted by a case manager or a member of the treatment team. Most persons with schizophrenia can control their disease with the right care.


Hospitalization could be required to guarantee safety, enough nourishment, sufficient rest, and fundamental cleanliness during crisis situations or times of severe symptoms.

Electroshock treatment

Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) may be an option for individuals with schizophrenia who do not respond to medication therapy. For someone who also experiences depression, ECT could be beneficial.

Complications of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia may cause serious issues that impact every aspect of life if it is not addressed. Schizophrenia may lead to or be linked to a number of complications, including:

  • Suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal thoughts
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Abuse of nicotine, alcohol, or other substances
  • Being unable to work or go to school
  • Homelessness and money issues
  • Social isolation 
  • Medical and health issues
  • Becoming a victim


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Page last reviewed: Apr 17, 2023

Next review due: Apr 17, 2025

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