Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that distorts the reality of those who suffer from it by affecting the way that they think, communicate, express emotions and behave. Often schizophrenia is misconstrued to be a split personality or multiple personality disorder, whereas it is a psychosis that may include hallucinations or delusions among many other reality-altering symptoms. Those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia often have a difficult time functioning socially in school, at work, and at home as they usually have difficulty distinguishing the difference between what is real and imaginary.
What Is Schizophrenia?
One out of every hundred people develops schizophrenia, 2.2 percent of all Americans are diagnosed with schizophrenia. The development of the disease usually occurs after puberty, between the ages of sixteen and thirty. The severity and the symptoms vary immensely from patient to patient. Some patients may only experience one psychotic episode in their lifetime while others have psychotic episodes quite frequently, living ordinary lives between their episodes. Others may notice that their functioning decreases over time with minor improvement between episodes. Typical symptoms of schizophrenia can be broken into three categories, positive, negative and cognitive symptoms.