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Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
- Receive earlier treatment to stabilize their symptoms
- Decrease the risk of suicide
- Decrease alcohol and substance abuse
- Reduce the chance of relapse and/or hospitalization
- Reduce the possibility of social conflict or isolation
- Reduce the decline in functioning and long-term impairments commonly associated with schizophrenia
- Initial evaluation—Your doctor will ask about your medical and family history and perform a physical examination.
- Blood and urine tests—Laboratory tests will be taken to rule out possible medical causes of the symptoms. For example, commonly abused drugs (such as amphetamines or cocaine) may cause symptoms resembling bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Some metabolic illnesses or infections may also cause psychotic episodes. These drugs and conditions can be tested for in blood or urine samples.
- Psychiatric evaluation—A psychiatrist will conduct a psychiatric interview to evaluate you for any psychiatric disorders that could be causing your symptoms.
Carson RC, Butcher JN, et al. Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life. 11th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon; 2000.
Keshavan MS, Roberts M, et al. Guidelines for clinical treatment of early course schizophrenia. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2006;8:329-334.
MacDonald AW, Schulz SC. What we know: findings that every theory of schizophrenia should explain. Schizophr Bull. 2009;35(3):493-508.
McCormick LM, Flaum M. Diagnosing schizophrenia circa 2005: how and why? Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2005;7:311-315.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Early onset schizophrenia. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By%5FIllness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=103175. Updated July, 2010. Accessed August 18, 2010.
National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov.
Stern TA, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2013
- Update Date: 02/30/2013