There are no tests for schizophrenia. The doctor will gather information to reach a diagnosis. Steps may include:
Schizophrenia is diagnosed when certain symptoms are present for several months and other causes have been ruled out. Symptoms will be different for each person. Diagnosis is not made on specific symptoms but the full picture of symptoms. For example, the American Psychiatric Association requires some or all of the following to be present for a diagnosis:
The medical team will also look for problems in day to day life with:
Holder SD, Wayhs A. Schizophrenia. Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(11):775-782.
Schizophrenia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115234/Schizophrenia. Updated November 29, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2019.
Schizophrenia. Mental Health America website. Available at:
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Accessed August 15, 2019.
Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml. Updated February 2016. Accessed August 15, 2019.
Last reviewed December 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 8/15/2019