What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental and behavior disorder affecting how one thinks, feels, and acts. People with schizophrenia can have a problem recognizing reality from fantasy, expressing and managing normal emotions, and making decisions. Thought processes, depending on the type of this disorder, are usually disorganized and the motivation to engage in life’s activities is often blunted. Those with the condition may hear imaginary voices and believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them.
Most people with schizophrenia suffer from symptoms either continuously or intermittently throughout life and are often severely stigmatized by people who do not understand the disease.
Contrary to popular perception, people with schizophrenia do not have “split” or multiple personalities. However, the symptoms are terrifying to those afflicted and can make them unresponsive, agitated, or withdrawn. People with schizophrenia attempt suicide more often than people in the general population, and estimates are that up to 10 percent of people with schizophrenia will complete suicide in the first 10 years of the illness — particularly young men with schizophrenia. While schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, it can be treated with medication, and psychological and social treatments, substantially improving the lives of people with the condition.