During a medical history for
schizophrenia, the health professional asks many
different questions. The health professional will ask some general questions,
How are you feeling?
recently noticed changes in the amount of energy you have or in your appetite
Have you recently had changes in daily habits, such as
changing from the day shift to the night shift? Does your work require that you
Have you had unusually high stress lately (for
example, due to events such as the death of a loved one, a change in job,
getting married or divorced, or having a baby)?
Have you had any
recent exposure to irritating chemicals or toxins?
recently changed the amount of medicine you take or started a new
Have you had any periods of time when you have lost
track of time, such as you "woke up" and didn't know what had happened? Have
you had any times when you were in a stupor?
The health professional will ask some questions specifically about
unusual experiences, such as:
Do you ever hear voices (or see things) that
other people do not hear (or see)?
Do you ever think that you are
being given a special message, are supposed to do a special project, or have
been selected to be someone special?
Are you having confusing
thoughts that are hard for you to understand or follow?
Do you get
Do you think that you are in
Do you think about hurting yourself or someone
Do you think that you are being followed, that someone is
controlling your thoughts, or that someone else knows what you are about to do
The health professional may also ask other questions to see whether a
person has symptoms of other conditions, such as
anxiety, or heavy alcohol or illegal drug use. The
health professional may specifically ask about the use of illegal drugs known
to cause the same symptoms as schizophrenia, especially phencyclidine
hydrochloride (PCP), methamphetamine, and cocaine.
The health professional will also ask questions about family history,
including any history of schizophrenia or other mental illnesses.
The health professional may also ask to interview one or more family
members. During these interviews, the health professional may ask the family
member(s) to describe the actions and behaviors of the person who has symptoms
that may be caused by schizophrenia.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry