The Basics: Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a group of serious brain disorders in which reality is interpreted abnormally. Schizophrenia results in hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. People with schizophrenia often withdraw from the people and activities in the world around them, retreating into an inner world marked by psychosis.
You Should Know
- More than 2.7 million Americans have schizophrenia.
- Three-quarters of persons with schizophrenia develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age. Initial onset before age 14 and after age 30 is unusual.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several types of schizophrenia, so signs and symptoms vary. In general, schizophrenia symptoms include:
- Beliefs not based on reality (delusions), such as the belief that there’s a conspiracy against you
- Seeing or hearing things that don’t exist (hallucinations), especially voices
- Incoherent speech
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Lack of emotions
- Emotions inappropriate to the situation
- Angry outbursts
- Catatonic behavior (a muscular rigidity and lack of response to the environment)
Sources used in this article: "About Schizophrenia" (T. Tunner), Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America
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