Jul 27th 2023
Schizophreniform disorder is a psychotic disorder that impacts the way you think, act and express emotions.
It lasts for between one and six months, and following the conclusion of the sixth months, a patient is typically diagnosed with schizophrenia if they still demonstrate symptoms. 
A person with schizophreniform disorder may present symptoms in myriad ways. Common to all these presentations are a delusional mindset, jumbled communication, and a warped sense of reality.
A fictional example reads as follows. John, a 25-year-old professional, begins to experience significant changes in their thoughts, emotions and actions. The following behaviors are indicative of the potential presence of schizophreniform disorder.
As a result of these symptoms, John may withdraw away from his friends, family and colleagues. His performance at work may suffer, and those close to him might encourage him to seek help. Following a consultation with a mental health professional, John is diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder.
Further consultation and observation are required to establish the appropriate treatment plan  for John. Treatment plans are usually comprised of a combination of antipsychotic medication, other drug treatments and psychosocial therapies. 
If symptoms resolve, John will continue his treatment for a further 12 months, whilst being closely inspected for any return of psychotic symptoms.  If symptoms persist, a diagnosis of schizophrenia may be issued.
The symptoms of schizophreniform disorder are similar to those experienced by sufferers of schizophrenia, however they persist for a shorter duration.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the diagnostic criteria for schizophreniform disorder include the following symptoms: 
It's important to remember that a person’s experience with schizophreniform disorder may vary, and a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.
Currently there is no known way to prevent schizophreniform disorder. The cause of the disorder has not yet been verified, though it is considered to arise from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Genetic factors may play a role, as there is some correlation between familial ancestors having schizophreniform or schizophrenia and diagnoses in successive generations. However, having a family history of schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder does not guarantee that an individual will develop the condition.
Environmental factors, such as prenatal complications, exposure to certain viruses or infections during pregnancy, and psychosocial stressors, may also contribute to the development of schizophreniform disorder.
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