Schizophrenia Stages: What to Know About Progression

Schizophrenia Stages: What to Know About Progression
Posted on Jan 05 2024
Psycom
For many people, a key point in the progression of schizophrenia is known as the first episode of psychosis and tends to occur between ages 16 and 30. While the episode may trigger medical intervention and a psychiatric evaluation, an early-in-life psychotic episode does not always merit a diagnosis on its own, according to Christine Crawford, MD, MPH, NAMI associate medical director. “Prodromal symptoms can occur way before a person starts to develop the typical (active stage) symptoms that we tend to talk about when it comes to schizophrenia,” says Dr. Crawford. During this period, people tend to experience what are referred to as “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia. They become more withdrawn socially, wanting to spend more time alone, or they are unmotivated to do things that they typically enjoy, says Dr. Crawford. They may tend to be less vocal or not speak as much, or not express emotions in the same way as they typically would, or they seem more emotionally flat, she says.