What is Schizophreniform Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Schizophreniform disorder is a form of psychotic disorder, and it’s close to a brief psychotic disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is schizophreniform disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Schizophreniform Disorder? 

Schizophreniform disorder is like schizophrenia that impacts how you think, act, perceive reality, share emotions, and relate to others. Unlike schizophrenic condition, its symptoms last in the short term roundabout 1-6 months, instead of for the rest of your life.

It’s like any other form of mental illness called psychosis where you can’t differentiate between what is real and imagined. It makes people believe in things that are opposite to reality, and have sensory experiences that others can’t experience. For instance, they would see or hear things that aren’t there. They would also experience paranoia, low motivation, and depression.

According to an estimate, schizophreniform condition prevails from 0.4% to 1% of the population. A study in 2017 showed that the condition is very low among the Chinese population. Out of 5719 people who participated in the study, 130 people had the diagnosis of psychotic disorder, and one person had the schizophreniform condition.

31 studies were conducted by Meta-Analysis in 2019 on homeless people and 51925 people participated in it. Out of which 10.29% of the people had schizophrenia and 2.48% of the people had a schizophreniform disorder. Studies have shown that the condition is more common among homeless people rather than in the general population.

Schizophrenia versus Schizophreniform Disorder

Both of the conditions are almost similar, and the only difference is the time duration of signs and symptoms. Research studies have shown that three conditions exhibit similar types of symptoms. Your doctor would make the final diagnosis based on how long these symptoms last;

  • Brief Psychotic Disorders: signs last for less than one month
  • Schizophreniform Disorders: the symptoms last for one to six months
  • Schizophrenia: the symptoms last for more than six months

Symptoms of Schizophreniform Disorder 

Some of the main symptoms of the schizophreniform disorder are as follows;

  • Exhibiting strange and odd behaviors like writing consistently, walking in a circular motion, or pacing
  • Disorganized speech like jumping quickly from one topic to another, using nonsensical words, your statements and sentences aren’t making any sense
  • Hallucinations like feelings, hearing, smelling, and seeing things that aren’t there in reality
  • Delusions like believing in false beliefs that aren’t based on reality, and not giving up your false beliefs even when the factual information is before you
  • Other symptoms like withdrawing from social activities, gathering friends and family, losing interest in the pleasurable activities of life, poor grooming and hygiene habits, lower energy, and limited emotional expression

Causes of Schizophreniform Disorder 

Researchers don’t know the exact and precise causes of schizophreniform disorder. Some of the main factors that would cause the development of the condition are as follows;


Schizophreniformic conditions may have hereditary and genetic traits and it passes down from parents to children. That’s why it amplifies your probability of developing this condition as compared to the general population. However, it doesn’t guarantee that the children would definitely have it if parents are experiencing it

Brain chemistry

If a person has a schizophrenic or schizophreniformic condition, then it suggests an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Such chemicals comprise neurotransmitters, it’s a substance that assists the nerve cells in sending the message to the brain. However, such an imbalance of chemicals would disturb the flow of signals and messages, and it results in the form of exhibiting symptoms


Some particular environmental factors would trigger the development of schizophreniformic condition among people that has a hereditary tendency of this condition. They’re like experiencing the highly stressful events and poor social interactions

Treatment of Schizophreniform Disorder 

The objective of the treatment plan is to stabilize your mind and protect you from exhibiting its symptoms. It comprises psychotherapy, medication, or both in combination. Your doctor would refer to the hospitalization in case of severity of symptoms. They’re as follows;


The objective of the therapeutic approach is to recognize your illness and set a daily goal to deal with the issues relevant to the condition. It helps you to manage your distressful feelings and allows you to challenge your thoughts that aren’t true and based on reality. Family therapy could be effective if one of the family members is experiencing a shizophreniformic condition, and the collective approach would help the person to exhibit better results.

After making improvements in your symptoms, you should follow the treatment plan for the next 12 months. Your doctor would decrease the dosage of medicines and carefully evaluate your improvements.


In order to deal with the symptoms of disorganized thinking, hallucination, and delusions, your doctor would prescribe antipsychotic medicines. Some of the antipsychotic medicines are as follows;

  • Lurasidone
  • Asenapine
  • Paliperidone
  • Iloperidone
  • Olanzapine
  • Ziprasidone
  • Quetiapine
  • Clozapine
  • Risperidone

Conclusion: What is Schizophreniform Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is schizophreniform; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that the condition could badly impact your life. In order to make the exact diagnosis of the condition, you should consult with the doctor.