In addition to the diagnostic criteria observed in patients with schizophrenia,
It is important to note that physical examination of patients with schizophrenia is sometimes characterized by:
Physical Examination: Be sure to examine the patient who has been admitted with symptoms of schizophrenia.
Not every person with schizophrenia will exhibit every physical finding. However, a few consistent signs have been identified. For example, patients often have abnormalities in the smoothness of their skin (such as wrinkles or goose bumps) or the way their bodies are proportioned. For example, they may seem disproportionately small given their height (i.e., having a long torso and short arms and legs). Such physical characteristics have been historically termed as “stigmata” of neuropsychiatric disorders associated with chronic use of neuroleptics, though this terminology is misleading as neuroleptic neuropathies are not specific to schizophrenia, and also occur in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies such as pellagra, and various forms of malnutrition.
People with schizophrenia sometimes experience problems with movement coordination, muscle control, and posture. Sometimes they show signs of Parkinson’s disease.
People with schizophrenia often have a narrow, blank stare and avoid making eye contact. They may also have a variety of physical abnormalities such as tremors or unusual facial expressions or mannerisms.
Most of the time, people with schizophrenia have symptoms that affect several areas of their lives. It is important to look for:
Acute Psychiatric Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
Your doctor may do an exam to check how you’re feeling. They may ask questions about your mood and sleep. They may also want to look at how you act and how you’re moving around, especially if you’ve been having problems with balance or muscle stiffness.
In addition to the diagnostic criteria observed in patients with schizophrenia, physical examination of these patients is frequently characterized by: