Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder, of which the primary symptoms are auditory and/or visual hallucinations, and difficulty staying in touch with reality. Paranoia, delusional behavior, feelings of persecution, chaotic speech and unorganized thought, and dysfunctions in interpersonal and professional relationships are also common. Patients have significantly higher suicide rates than the general population. Schizophrenia typically sets in during early adulthood, and while no specific cause has been identified, it is believed that genetics, environmental influences and substance abuse play significant roles. The condition cannot be cured, but antipsychotic medications and intensive therapy can improve the quality of life for patients and control symptoms.