Alternate Names : Schizophrenic Disorder
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which a person loses contact with reality. It causes a decline in the person's general ability to function, as well as abnormal thinking, speech, and behavior.
What is going on in the body?
About 1% of people in the US are affected by schizophrenia at some point in their lives. It usually starts in the teenage years or early adulthood, but it can occur at any age. The first signs are often confusing or even shocking changes in the person's behavior, thoughts, or manner of speaking. The course of schizophrenia is often unpredictable. Many people are affected for the rest of their lives.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
No single cause can account for this condition. It may be caused by a combination of inherited factors and the person's environment. Changes in the chemistry of the brain may also trigger it. A person with an affected relative is more likely to have schizophrenia. It is equally common in males and females.