What Meds


The symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior (unresponsive to stimuli.) Schizophrenics may show less emotional expression, have restricted thought and speech, and limit goal-directed behavior.

Diagnostic Criteria for Schizophrenia

In Children or Adolescents

The onset of schizophrenia usually occurs between late teens and the '30s. Schizophrenia rarely begins in early childhood. In children, delusions and hallucinations may be less elaborate than those in adults may. Visual hallucinations and disorganized speech may be more common in children. Young schizophrenics may fail to reach expected levels of academic or occupational achievement.

Cultural Factors

Ideas that may appear to be delusional in one culture may be commonly held in another. In some cultures, visual or auditory hallucinations may be a normal part of religious experience. Catatonic behavior is relatively uncommon in schizophrenics in the United States, but is more common in non-Western countries. Individuals with schizophrenia in developing nations tend to have a more acute course and a better outcome than do individuals industrialized nations.


Schizophrenia is approximately equal in both sexes. Women are more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life, show more mood symptoms, and have a better prognosis.


Abstracted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), American Psychiatric Association.

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