Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
It’s characterized by several symptoms, the most common being hallucinations or delusions that have no connection to reality, but feel real to the person experiencing them.
This schizophrenia quiz is for anyone who wants to see if they may have symptoms commonly associated with schizophrenia or a related condition. It takes most people less than 2 minutes to complete and will provide instant results.
This online screening is not a diagnostic tool. Only a trained medical professional, like a doctor or mental health professional, can help you determine the next best steps for you.
Common symptoms of schizophrenia
You may be diagnosed with schizophrenia if you experience 2 or more of the following symptoms for at least 1 month:
- incoherent speech, or speech that quickly switches from topic to topic with no thread between them
- severely disorganized or catatonic behavior
- any of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia has two main types of symptoms: positive and negative.
Delusions and hallucinations are the main characteristics of schizophrenia. These are positive symptoms.
A delusion is a fixed belief that doesn’t change, even when a person is given evidence the belief isn’t based in reality. An example of a delusion is that “everyone is out to get me.”
Hallucinations involve seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there. Examples include hearing voices that aren’t your own, or seeing people that aren’t actually in the room.
Hallucinations and delusions are called positive symptoms because they represent additional behaviors not generally seen in people without the condition. Negative symptoms can be seen as behaviors that are missing or underdeveloped.
Negative symptoms include:
- lack of emotional expression
- an inability to experience happiness
- difficulties planning or sticking with an activity like grocery shopping
- social withdrawal
How is schizophrenia treated?
Schizophrenia is often managed with a combination of treatments, including medications and psychotherapy.
Symptoms of schizophrenia are often effectively treated with antipsychotic medications. Since there are many types of these drugs, you should reach out to your doctor about your options, their pros and cons, and how to manage any side effects that may occur.
Psychosocial treatment is also often recommended. This includes talk therapy and social skills training.
You may want to reach out to your doctor about programs in your area, and assistance in getting enrolled. Most insurance companies, if you have insurance, will cover some of these services.
Support groups can be another great way to get started and learn about additional resources. For example, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a weekly support group for people with mental health conditions. You can find a group in your area on the NAMI homepage.
What causes schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition. Its exact causes are unknown, but several things may play a role, including:
- environmental triggers
- structural or chemical brain changes
- complications before or during birth
Most people develop schizophrenia in their late teens or early 30s.