Symptoms and Signs of Schizophrenia

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a life-long mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation. Signs and symptoms may include disorganized thinking and speech, delusions, hallucinations, abnormal behavior and movements (silly acting to agitation, useless and excessive movements or postures, for example), may neglect personal hygiene, may lack emotions and become socially withdrawn. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are fairly common with schizophrenia – these constitute an emergency. The disorder is mainly diagnosed in an age range from teens to age 45.

The causes of schizophrenia are unknown. Risk factors for the development or trigger for the disease include family history, having an autoimmune disease, elderly father, pregnancy and birth complications, malnutrition, any toxin or viral infections that effect brain function and taking mind-altering drugs as a teen or young adult.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.