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How does schizophrenia begin?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Schizophrenia begins differently for each person. Some people may have a sudden psychotic episode, and symptoms of schizophrenia begin in a matter of days. Others may have a slow onset of the disease, occurring over a period of several years. In order to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the symptoms must cause great difficulty in one's life. The disease must affect one's work, social relationships, or ability to take care of one's self. People who experience symptoms that come on quickly and suddenly may recover more easily than those who have a slow onset of the illness. Their ability to recover from the disease will be especially good if they were functioning rather well before they became ill.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.