Schizophrenia typically follows a predictable pattern, which usually develops within the first 5 years of illness. Before that, psychotic episodes may be difficult to predict. The pattern of illness often stays the same throughout your lifetime, although it can change.
Some people have only one or two psychotic episodes. Others have psychotic episodes throughout their lives.
Many people have short relapses. A few have severe symptoms all the time.
Some people have relapses only during stressful times in their lives.
Some have more psychotic episodes as they grow older. Some have fewer.