Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by hallucinations (auditory, visual, olfactory, or tactile) and delusions. It is usually treated with a combination of antipsychotic medications and psychotherapy.

Schizophrenia and PsychosisThroughout history, the disorder we now know as schizophrenia has been a source of bewilderment. Those suffering from the illness once were thought to be possessed by demons and were feared, tormented, exiled or locked up forever.

In spite of advances in the understanding of its causes, course, and treatment, schizophrenia continues to confound both health professionals and the public. It is easier for the average person to cope with the idea of cancer than it is to understand the odd behavior, hallucinations or strange ideas of the person with this condition.

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As with most mental disorders, the causes of schizophrenia are poorly understood. Friends and family commonly are shocked, afraid or angry when they learn of the diagnosis. People often imagine a person with psychosis as being more violent or out-of-control than a person who has another kind of serious mental illness. But these kinds of prejudices and misperceptions can be readily corrected.

This disorder is better understood as a mental illness that requires ongoing — often lifetime — treatment. Demystification of the illness, along with recent insights from neuroscience and neuropsychology, gives new hope for finding more effective treatments for an illness that previously carried a grave prognosis.

A part of the Schizophrenia Education Guide

Schizophrenia is characterized by a broad range of unusual behaviors that cause profound disruption in the lives of people suffering from the condition, as well as in the lives of the people around them. This condition can strike anyone without regard to gender, race, social class or culture and is typically first diagnosed
in a person’s 20s.


Schizophrenia TreatmentADHD Treatment
Schizophrenia can be treated, although finding the right treatment that works for you can sometimes take time.
Psychotherapy & Other Treatments for Schizophrenia
Getting HelpGetting Help for Schizophrenia
Effective treatment for schizophrenia is just a click away. You can find a local treatment provider, check out our online support group, or review other online resources.
Living with SchizophreniaLiving with Schizophrenia

While no two people experience hallucinations or psychosis in exactly the same way, it helps to know that you are not alone. These articles help people who are living with this condition in their lives.
Schizophrenia & Substance Abuse
Blog: Life with Schizophrenia
Blog: Of Two Minds
Helping Someone With Schizophrenia
Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has this disorder? Here are some ways to help.
Helpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family Members
Illuminating 13 Myths of Schizophrenia
When Someone Has Schizophrenia
Additional Schizophrenia ResourcesFrequently Asked Questions
What are the basic facts about this condition? Where can you go to learn the
answers for people’s most commonly asked questions?
Frequently Asked Questions about Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia & Genetics: Research Update


Materials in this section are based upon academic, professional and government sources,
which are listed below.

    American Psychiatric Association
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    Archives of General Psychiatry
    Psychiatric Services
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    Journal of Psychiatric Research
    Harvard Review of Psychiatry
    Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
    Journal of the American Medical Association
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology