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What happens during a psychotic episode for people with schizophrenia?

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During a psychotic episode, your loved one with schizophrenia may not know what’s real and what isn’t. He could see and hear things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or believe something is controlling his thoughts (delusions). He might think that you’re plotting against him.

Most of the time, it doesn't happen suddenly. You’ll probably notice signs leading up to a psychotic episode. Symptoms vary, but common ones include:

  • Mistrustful or suspicious beliefs or ideas
  • Unexpected outbursts
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Noticeable mood changes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bizarre behavior

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions: Schizophrenia.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia.”

Center for Addiction and Mental Health: “Schizophrenia: An Information Guide.”

World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders: “Warning Signs of Illness, Managing a Crisis, Risk of Suicide.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on August 6, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions: Schizophrenia.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia.”

Center for Addiction and Mental Health: “Schizophrenia: An Information Guide.”

World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders: “Warning Signs of Illness, Managing a Crisis, Risk of Suicide.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on August 6, 2020

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When should someone with schizophrenia call their doctor?

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