The aim of this paper is to review the literature on the recognition of the early warning signs of schizophrenia. The occurence of psychotic relapse is characteristic of schizophrenia. Preventing psychotic relapse is important in the treatment for patients with schizophrenia. Identifying early warning signs can reduce the incidence of psychotic relapse. It is important to make a clear conceptual distinction between early warning signs and psychotic symptoms. Studies indicate that between 5 0% to 70% of people experience early warning signs over a period of one to four weeks prior to a relapse. Early warning signs of schizophrenia show a mixture of psychotic and non-psychotic symptoms. Early warning signs were identified as hallucinations, suspiciousness, change in sleep, anxiety, anger-hostility, disruptive inappropriate behaviour, depression, suicidal ideas, nervousness, increased tension, cognitive inefficiency. Systematic monitoring of early warning signs is an important part of the treatment strategy. The time interval between the first early warning signs and psychotic relapse is long enough to give sufficient opportunity to apply early intervention strategies.
Early warning sign, schizophrenia, psychotic relapse