Diagnosis

Diagnosis of schizophrenia involves ruling out other mental health disorders and determining that symptoms are not due to substance abuse, medication or a medical condition. Determining a diagnosis of schizophrenia may include:

  • Physical exam. This may be done to help rule out other problems that could be causing symptoms and to check for any related complications.
  • Tests and screenings. These may include tests that help rule out conditions with similar symptoms, and screening for alcohol and drugs. The doctor may also request imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT scan.
  • Psychiatric evaluation. A doctor or mental health professional checks mental status by observing appearance and demeanor and asking about thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, substance use, and potential for violence or suicide. This also includes a discussion of family and personal history.
  • Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. A doctor or mental health professional may use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Oct. 11, 2016
References
  1. Schizophrenia. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Schizophrenia. Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  3. Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  4. Fischer BA, et al. Schizophrenia: Clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  5. Fischer BA, et al. Schizophrenia: Epidemiology and pathogenesis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  6. Stroup TS, et al. Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Acute and maintenance phase treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  7. How to cope when a loved one has a serious mental illness. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/serious-mental-illness.aspx. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  8. Supporting a friend or family member with mental health problems. MentalHealth.gov. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/friends-family-members/. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  9. Bustillo J, et al. Psychosocial intervention for schizophrenia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 23, 2016.
  10. Hales RE, et al. Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Aug. 2, 2016.
  11. Schak KM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 7, 2016.