Most people out there don't understand what schizophrenia is. But the reality is, schizophrenia is a lifelong medical condition that affects 1 out of 100 adults in the U.S.
Because each person is unique, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be very different from one person to the next. And because schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, symptoms can also change, or come and go in phases.
Schizophrenia is nobody's fault.
Some commonly reported symptoms include:
Schizophrenia affects the brain. This can change how people think, feel, act, and live.
It's important to remember that no one chooses to have schizophrenia or its symptoms.
- Hallucinations: sensing things that others don't, like hearing or seeing things
- Delusions: strongly believing something is true even when there's no evidence of it
- Altered emotions: having feelings that don't seem to fit what's going on, or having no feelings at all
- Withdrawal: no drive or desire to do the things you used to enjoy
- Lack of motivation: difficulty staying focused and doing tasks
- Disorganization: having disorganized thinking, speaking, or behavior
- Cognitive: such as attention and memory problems
Accepting help or treatment
It's really important to know that a lot of people with schizophrenia may not see there's anything wrong, because of a clinical symptom called “lack of insight.” The symptom can make people think there's no need for treatment or medication, which may make it hard for them to accept help from family and caregivers.