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Schizophrenia

  • What is schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic (long-lasting) brain disease. Schizophrenia affects major areas of everyday life.

    Schizophrenia can cause you to hear voices or have thoughts that other people are trying to read your mind, control your thoughts, or cause you harm.

    Symptoms of schizophrenia can change over time.

    Schizophrenia occurs equally among men and women.

    • Men are usually affected in their late teens or early 20s.
    • Women are usually affected in their 20s to early 30s.

    Although rare, young children older than age 5 can develop schizophrenia.

    Medicines, psychotherapy or other treatments can help control and reduce the symptoms, but this disease needs life-long treatment.

    Causes of schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is not a split personality disorder (a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde switch in character). Schizophrenia is a complex disease of the brain.

    It may be caused by:

    • a disorder in development of the brain
    • a genetic link. Schizophrenia tends to run in families.