Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to schizophrenia:
- Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. A person has difficulty telling the difference between real and imagined experiences, thinking logically, expressing feelings, or behaving appropriately.
- People with schizophrenia may hear internal voices and experience hallucinations. They may have trouble organizing their thoughts and expressing themselves.
- Schizophrenia is a complex illness, and no single cause has been found. Theories about causes include heredity, brain chemistry, brain abnormalities, and complications during pregnancy and birth.
- Early symptoms may include mild feelings of tension, inability to sleep or concentrate, and a loss of interest in school, work, or friends.
- As the illness progresses, people with schizophrenia experience symptoms that include hallucinations and illusions, delusions, disordered thinking, lack of emotional expression, and inappropriate reactions.
- Schizophrenia is treated with a wide variety of medications that include antipsychotic drugs, as well as with electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapy, family support services, and rehabilitation programs.
- Although the illness cannot be cured, most people go on to lead independent, satisfying lives.