How is schizophreniform disorder treated?

The goal of treatment for schizophreniform disorder is to protect and stabilize the patient and relieve the symptoms. Treatment generally consists of medication and psychotherapy (a type of counseling). People with severe symptoms or who are at risk of hurting themselves or others might need to be in the hospital until the condition is stabilized.

  • Medication — The primary medications used to treat the psychotic symptoms of schizophreniform disorder—such as delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking—are called anti-psychotics. A group of newer medicines, called atypical antipsychotics, are most commonly used. These include:
    • Risperidone (Risperdal®)
    • Clozapine (Clozaril®)
    • Quetiapine (Seroquel®)
    • Ziprasidone (Geodon®)
    • Olanzapine (Zyprexa®)
    • Iloperidone (Fanapt®)
    • Paliperidone (Invega®)
    • Asenapine (Saphris®)
    • Lurasidone (Latuda®)
  • Psychotherapy — The goal of therapy is to help the patient learn about the illness, establish goals, and manage everyday problems related to the disorder. It also can help the person manage the feelings of distress associated with the symptoms. Family therapy can help families deal more effectively with a loved one who has schizophreniform disorder, enabling them to contribute to a better outcome for the person

After the person’s symptoms are better, he or she should continue treatment for 12 months. This includes gradually reducing the dosage of medication and carefully monitoring the person for signs of relapse (return of symptoms). Also, it is important to educate the person and the person’s family to help them cope with the illness and to detect early signs of relapse.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/21/2014.


  • Shelton RC. Chapter 17. Other Psychotic Disorders. Schizophreniform disorder. In: Ebert MH, Loosen PT, Nurcombe B, Leckman JF. eds. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry, 2e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2008. Accessed 4/21/2014.
  • Schizophreniform disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated; 2013.
  • Rowney, R. Psychiatry and Psychology. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. 4/21/2014.

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