Schizophrenia

Back to Topics

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that makes people unable to distinguish the difference between real and fictitious experiences.  These moments of uncertainty are referred to as “episodes” and can be very disabling if left untreated.

Causes

The development of schizophrenia can be attributed to a number of factors, and therefore the exact cause of schizophrenia in individual cases cannot be determined.  However, most scientists are in agreement that schizophrenia develops due to a combination of genetic and environmental issues.

Symptoms

  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Frequent confusion
  • Abnormal movements
  • Illogical thinking
  • Short attention span
  • Issues with concentration

Am I at risk?

Some risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Having increases immune system activation
  • Taking psychoactive or psychotropic drugs during adolescent years

Schizophrenia At A Glance

  • Less than 1% of the population is diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Most people diagnosed with schizophrenia start to show symptoms in their early to mid-twenties.  It is uncommon for children and people over the age of 45 to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Schizophrenia, although not curable, can be successfully treated through the use of medication, psychological and social treatments, and therapy.