Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects about 2 million Americans. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help. Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.
WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Hallucinations- seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling something that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. "Voices" are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia.
Delusions- false beliefs often about unusual methods of communication, that other are out to harm them, or that they are a famous historical figure.
Lack of social interaction and increasing isolation.
Speaking in a garbled manner or stopping mid-thought.
Trouble understanding information and using it to make decisions.
Trouble executing everyday tasks, such as personal hygiene.