Can Schizophrenia Symptoms Develop After Age 30?

Feb 14, 2023
Can Schizophrenia Symptoms Develop After Age 30?
You may have learned that most people with schizophrenia are diagnosed as teens or young adults under 30. So if you or a loved one exhibit symptoms after age 30, could schizophrenia still be the cause? Keep reading to find out.

Did you know that about 3 million Americans get diagnosed with schizophrenia every year? Most people diagnosed with this serious mental health condition are teenagers or young adults under 30.

If you or a loved one are over 30 and are exhibiting signs of this condition, including hallucinations, delusions, disconnected thinking, and more, you might wonder if schizophrenia could still be the cause.  

At Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness in Woodbridge, Virginia, and virtually for patients in Maryland, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC, board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner Nola Ayoola-Yussuf, PMHNP-BC, offers expert schizophrenia diagnosis and management for patients of every age.

Keep reading to learn more about schizophrenia, when the disorder can manifest, and the ways our team can help you manage the condition.     

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that changes your ability to interpret reality. It triggers severely disordered thinking and behavior. This makes carrying out normal daily activities very challenging. 

The disorder involves cognition (thinking) problems, behavioral challenges, and emotional issues. Symptoms can vary between individuals but often involve:

  • Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • Delusions (false beliefs not based in reality)
  • Disordered thinking or speech (ineffective communication)
  • Abnormal movements or behaviors
  • Inability to function normally  

Schizophrenia symptoms can come and go, or they may always be present. In general, schizophrenia typically appears in the teen years or early adulthood (between ages 15-30). 

Researchers are still investigating the causes of schizophrenia, but they believe some factors may increase your risk of developing the disorder, including family history, environmental factors (e.g., exposure to viruses; nutritional deficiencies when in utero), and physical differences (e.g., brain structure).

Can schizophrenia manifest later in life?

Yes! While most schizophrenia cases get diagnosed earlier in life, it’s possible for some people to develop symptoms after age 30. In fact, recent research shows that about 25% of people with the condition don’t develop symptoms until after 40 — and some not until after age 65. 

Women seem to develop symptoms later than men, with some women not developing symptoms until after menopause. Researchers aren’t sure why most men get schizophrenia earlier than women. Some studies point to differences in DNA and brain development; others show a link between estrogen and the way the disease develops. 

How is schizophrenia treated?

It’s important to understand that, at present, there’s no cure for schizophrenia. However, different treatments exist to help you manage your symptoms. 

Before beginning schizophrenia treatment at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness, Nola first assesses your symptoms and history to provide you with an accurate diagnosis. 

The earlier you get diagnosed after exhibiting symptoms — no matter what age they manifest — the easier it is to manage your condition. Schizophrenia treatment typically involves a combination of antipsychotic medications, psychotherapy, self-help strategies, and family and community support services.   

If you’re concerned about schizophrenia, don’t wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Nola at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness.