1. Definition >    2. Symptoms >    3. Associated Problems >    4. Misconceptions >

Not all patients with schizophrenia will display all of the following symptoms, all of the time, but doctors use them as a guideline for diagnosis:

  • Delusions -- false beliefs that patients steadfastly hold as true
  • Hallucinations -- like hearing voices or smelling or seeing things that aren't really there
  • Disorganized speech and thinking
  • Disorganized behavior
  • Loss of ability to feel normal emotions or take pleasure in things, reduced motivation in day-to-day life, withdrawal from normal activities
Symptoms of schizophrenia are severe enough to cause patients serious difficulty functioning at work and in their social life, leading to isolation and even to an inability to care for themselves.

Before a doctor will make an official diagnosis of schizophrenia, a patient usually must display two or more of the symptoms listed above for at least six months.