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The acute phase of schizophrenia is characterized by psychotic symptoms and often by agitation. Affective symptoms such as depression and mania also may occur. The severity of symptoms may vary widely, requiring careful evaluation to determine the most optimal treatment setting and management strategy. The decision to hospitalize a patient usually is based on whether the patient has the ability to care for him- or herself or whether he or she poses any risks of harm to self or others. Regardless of whether treatment is provided in a hospital or in an outpatient setting, acute psychosis requires use of antipsychotic medication.

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