Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and lack of motivation.
Genetics and early environment, as well as psychological and social processes, appear to be important contributory factors. Some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication. Counseling, job training and social rehabilitation are also important in treatment. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self or others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary.
Symptoms begin typically in young adulthood, and about 0.3–0.7% of people are affected during their lifetime.
The disorder is thought to mainly affect the ability to think, but it also usually contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion.
People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders, social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are common. The average life expectancy is ten to twenty five years less than the average life expectancy.
Vera Marschall, Mónica Hidalgo, Sandra Kesselmeier.