Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness described by a variety of symptoms, including ?loss of contact with reality, bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking and speech, decreased emotional expressiveness, and social withdrawal.? Usually only some of these symptoms occur in any one person.?
More than any other mental illness, schizophrenia has a devastating effect on the lives of the people who suffer from it. A person with schizophrenia may have difficulty telling the difference between real and unreal experiences, logical and illogical thoughts, or appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Schizophrenia seriously impairs a person?s ability to work, go to school, enjoy relationships with others, or take care of oneself.
In addition, people with schizophrenia frequently require hospitalization because they pose a danger to themselves. Once people develop schizophrenia, they usually suffer from the illness for the rest of their lives. Although there is no cure, treatment can help many people with schizophrenia lead productive lives.
Schizophrenia usually develops in late adolescence or early adulthood, between the ages of 15 and 30. Much less commonly, schizophrenia develops later in life. The illness may begin abruptly, but it usually develops slowly over months or years. Mental health professionals diagnose
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