Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that affects about 1 percent of 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 This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.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. 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.
If you think you or someone you know may have schizophrenia, contact us for a free psychiatric assessment.
For more information on schizophrenia, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.