is a chronic, disabling mental illness characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including:
loss of contact with reality
It is strongly linked to an increased risk of suicide attempts and completed suicides.
Among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, an estimated 20% to 40% attempt suicide. From 5% to 13% actually complete the act of suicide. Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a...
Often believe some things that aren't true (delusions).
May think that some people are trying to harm them (paranoia).
With treatment, they may come to understand that these experiences aren't real but are a problem with how their brains work.
Some people with schizophrenia have paranoid thinking, which causes them to have frightening thoughts, to believe that people or forces are trying to harm them, and to hear voices. Some people think that schizophrenia is the same as a "split personality" (dissociative identity disorder), but that is a different mental health problem.
Living with schizophrenia can cause many challenges. It's a difficult disease. It changes your life and the lives of your family. But you can live a full and meaningful life if:
You are willing to work at helping yourself.
You get professional help.
You have the support and understanding of your family.
What causes schizophrenia?
Experts don't know what causes schizophrenia. It may have different causes for different people.
In some people, brain chemistry and brain structure aren't normal.