Early Signs Of Schizophrenia and When Do Symptoms Usually Start?

Last Update on April 1, 2022 : Published on April 2, 2022
Early Signs of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the serious mental disorders which need to be taken care of as soon detected or tested. Schizophrenia interrupts the ability to think or manage emotions, make wise decisions and live life positively. Schizophrenia is more complex than it looks as it is a long-term mental health disorder.

Since it is difficult to measure or detect, it is really important to learn about early signs of schizophrenia so that you can detect them early and get them treated as soon as possible. The fact to be remembered about Schizophrenia is that it can happen at any age, it can occur in a teen, adult, or woman of any age.

Mostly schizophrenia occurs in the late 20s to early 30s in females. Additionally, it is quite impossible to diagnose or detect schizophrenia in a younger person than age 12. However, it is conceivable to live with schizophrenia, it is also important to manage the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia.

In this blog, let’s discuss what are the early signs of schizophrenia and when they usually take place.

When do Symptoms of Schizophrenia Usually Begin?

According to research, men experience signs of schizophrenia slightly earlier than women. The report shows that men usually get diagnosed in their late teens while women get diagnosed in their late 20s. Additionally, it is quite impossible to detect schizophrenia before the age of 12 and after 40.

The basic turning point of schizophrenia occurs during adolescence.  It happens due to some interaction between genes and the environment. Things like malnutrition or exposure to a virus might also result in the onset of schizophrenia. Additionally, extreme use of cannabis can also result in the development of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

Related Read: Three Phases of Schizophrenia

Common Early Signs of Schizophrenia

1. Associative problems

Associative problems are the most common signs of schizophrenia. In associate problems, people face difficulty in understanding the cause and effects of relationships.

2. Changes in Behavior and Personality

People who experience schizophrenia show different types of behavioral and personality changes in the early stages. These changes basically occur in the first psychotic event.

3. Drugs or Alcohol Abuse

People experiencing schizophrenia at early stages are likely to be involved in drug or alcohol abuse. They get involved in such intakes because it helps in easing their anxiety or other symptoms.

4. Disorganized thinking

Disorganized thinking is the other early common sign of schizophrenia. People experiencing schizophrenia experience difficulty in solving problems or comprehending information.

5. Disorganized speech

The most common early sign of schizophrenia is troubling speech. The person might get confused while having a conversation. If your teenager is not able to put words in the proper sentence or not able to write a proper essay, you must start looking for the other signs as well.

6. Expressionless or flat stare

You are likely to find that people experiencing schizophrenia at an early stage always have a flat or blank expression on their face always.

7. Hallucination and delusions

Hallucinations and delusions are the most common signs of schizophrenia which are completely episodic but do stay for a longer time. Hence, it is really important to get diagnosed and treated for this serious mental illness.

8. Inappropriate Social Behavior

If you find your teen or young adult having difficulty in the social environment, you must start taking a deep look. Inappropriate social behavior revolves around the difficulty in holding a conversation with mates, making inappropriate comments to strangers, and more.

9. Late or delayed development

Late or delayed motor development, disorganized thinking or speech, and slow social development highly show that your teen or young adult might be having the onset of schizophrenia.

10. Mood swings

Mood swings are another most common type of symptom wherein a person might look depressed and look happy in the next moment.

11. Struggling with school

As schizophrenia is related to social withdrawal, slow or delayed development, or disorganized speech, your teen or young adult is likely to struggle with their school days due to low grades, less communication, and no friends.

12. Suspiciousness

If your teen or young adult is always suspicious about others or their motives, you must start looking for other symptoms as well.

13. Slow movements

Schizophrenia is associated with movement disorders like catatonia or uncoordinated movements.

14. Social withdrawal

A person experiencing schizophrenia is likely to lose interest in friends or other activities that connect us with a social environment.

15. Unmaintained personal hygiene

Another most common early sign of schizophrenia is a decrease in the maintenance of personal hygiene.


If you feel like you or your loved one might be having or experiencing early signs of schizophrenia, please understand that it is important to look for a mental health professional ASAP so that it can be diagnosed and treated.

You can also connect with a certified and experienced mental health professional.

Additionally, there are various centers that help in the early onset of schizophrenia. You can find them via online sources. I hope this blog helps you with the early signs of schizophrenia.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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