Gradual or sudden onset?

i was diagnosed recently with schizoaffective disorder. however even before schizophrenia I was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (or maybe it was prodromal stage), so i was always on that spectrum. so i think it was gradual & sudden too. gradual because schizotypal is sometimes considered as mild schizophrenia & because symptoms were getting worse little by little and i had some small irrational ideas,for example: reference etc. which later became stable delusions & sudden cos suddenly hallucinations & delusions started appearing many together.

I was always odd & eccentric. had magical thinking & ideas of reference before schizo…
what was your life before sz?
were you always on that spectrum? or you were living a pretty normal life before the sudden appearance of symptoms?

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Mine was pretty much sudden onset but I look back at my “normal” years and realize there were some warning signs like magical thinking and the like.


I was a loner in high school and college. I had zero friends and associates. I spoke to no one. I only had my boyfriend, who was seven years older than me. I married him. And he kept me isolated. I became psychotic in nursing school at the age of 23. It was very sudden. Happened one day on the first day of nursing school. I’ve been psychotic pretty much on and off ever since.


i was always very eccentric and had some peculiarities in perception. I think i fit the bill for schizotypal but was never diagnosed as that, probably owing to my age and aspergers diagnosis

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Sudden/rapid onset in my case, I had prodromal schizophrenia but it is often difficult
to spot prodromal schizophrenia.


Gradual onset. 1515151515

Insidious onset. Slowly slid into psychosis.

I went predromal for a few years, then became sick.

I’ve had symptoms for as long as I can remember. My first memories at age 3 are of hallucinating. I had my first delusion at 5 that lasted for about 8 years. I’ve always lived in two worlds.

I think I had more sz like symptoms until I hit 12 and then it was just pure anger and emotional flatness until 17 when I started getting really nuts.

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I became paranoid and avolitional over a period of months. Early signs in prep school-cognitive difficulties. I made no friends in college.I was having difficulty with forming an identity. The onset was sudden. I collapsed one afternoon.

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I had my first acute psychosis in the second grade at about age 8. I had had psychotic auras as early as 3 years old. Dealt with phobias and general hypersensitivity to stimuli at an early age. At the time just thought I was a fearful kid.

Recovered from that first psychosis in about 6 months however still had ocd symptoms up to age 13.

Intense acute schizo-ocd type psychosis in 2015 at age 19. Went totally ■■■■■■ batshit insane after a two year prodrome. Symptoms were extremely mild during the prodrome.

Here I am a year later, still struggling with mini relapses and breakthrough symptoms several times a week. No major relapses though yet. Am stable on high doses of medication.

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“I’ll take gradual onset for $200, Alex.”

I got diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was 19. A few years after that my mother told me that she thought something was wrong with me in high school but she didn’t know what it was.

my father had told me that something was wrong with me since adolescence but when he finally heard the verdict- sza, he wasn’t pleased. :slight_smile:

if you are diagnosed with asperger you can’t be diagnosed with schizotypal.

I understand how he feels but it wasn’t your fault. I don’t think anyone is pleased to hear the diagnosis, neither the person who has it nor their family.

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it’s not my fault, right. nobody’s fault. just happened.


Yes, that’s true.

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I had increasing paranoia for about three years before the night of the time change when I became full blown psychotic.

i had increasing confusion, delusions, weird behaviour, thinking & mental sensations, until I had my first episode.