Skip to content

Schizophrenia Health Center

Font Size

Schizophrenia - Exams and Tests

Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and your mental health and about any odd experiences you may have had, such as hearing voices or having confusing thoughts. You also will have a physical exam.

Your doctor also may suggest tests to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms or to diagnose other schizophrenia disorders. These tests may include blood tests and a CT scan or MRI. The CT scan or MRI will check the size, structure, and function of your brain.

Recommended Related to Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia and Suicide

Schizophrenia is a chronic, disabling mental illness characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including: abnormal thinking loss of contact with reality hallucinations It is strongly linked to an increased risk of suicide attempts and completed suicides. Among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, an estimated 20% to 40% attempt suicide. From 5% to 13% actually complete the act of suicide. Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a more than...

Read the Schizophrenia and Suicide article > >

If your doctor thinks you are depressed or are thinking about suicide, a suicide assessment also may be done.

Schizophrenia is diagnosed when:1

  • You have had at least two of the following symptoms and they lasted for at least 1 month. One of your symptoms must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech.
    • Hallucinations
    • Delusions
    • Disorganized speech, such as not making sense to others when you talk
    • Very disorganized or catatonic behavior, such as sitting or standing in unusual positions for a long time
    • Negative symptoms, such as having no emotion, not being able to feel pleasure, or having a hard time focusing
  • You have had milder symptoms, such as odd beliefs or confusion, for at least 6 months.
  • You have problems doing your job right or dealing with other people or problems in other areas of your life.
  • Your symptoms aren't caused by other mental or physical health problems, a medicine you're taking, or substance abuse problems.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    69X75_Depression.jpg
    Article
    Mental Health Psychotic Disorders
    Article
     
    Schizophrenia Medications
    Article
    bored man resting chin on hands
    Article
     
    10 Questions to Ask Doctor About Schizophrenia
    Article
    brain scan
    Slideshow
     
    Schizophrenia What Increases Your Risk
    Article
    mother and daughter
    Article
     
    male patient with doctor
    Article
    romantic couple
    Article
     
    colored pencils
    Video
    businesswoman working at desk at night
    Article