Schizophrenia Guide

For Those with Schizophrenia & Their Caregivers

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by the presence of hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, and a lack of emotional expression. When left untreated, it significantly impacts a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, usually to the point of being unable to function in major areas of their life (such as relationships, taking care of themselves, work, or school).

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech must be present and the symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months in order for a mental health professional to be able to make a diagnosis. Most people with schizophrenia are first diagnosed in young adulthood (18 through 28 years of age), but a person can be diagnosed with this disorder at any age as an adult.

Schizophrenia is misunderstood by many and often misportrayed in popular media, such as television shows and movies. It is a common disorder to reference in such media when they want to suggest that someone is “crazy” or “unhinged.” Sadly, such portrayals reinforce stereotypes about people with this disorder.

The reality is far more complex. Many people with schizophrenia lead fairly ordinary, “normal” lives, because they keep the symptoms of the disorder under control with treatment (most often, antipsychotic medications). Some people with this disorder are homeless, while others find themselves in trouble with the criminal justice system. Still others live in group homes or with their extended family, who help with everyday activities that might otherwise seem overwhelming or challenging. In short, if you’ve met one person with schizophrenia, you’ve met just one person — it is nearly impossible to generalize about people with this diagnosis.

We’ve developed this guide of the most valuable articles we’ve written about this serious mental illness. If you still have questions after reading through the guide, it is suggested you speak to a mental health professional — such as a psychologist or psychiatrist — about your concerns. Only a mental health professional can make a reliable, accurate diagnosis of this condition.

Understanding and Giving Support to Someone with SchizophreniaUnderstanding & Giving Support to
Someone with Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia? How do you help someone with schizophrenia? This article describes the common symptoms of schizophrenia and gives some tips for people to help those with schizophrenia.
Do you have schizophrenia? Take the test


13 Myths of Schizophrenia13 Myths of Schizophrenia
There remain many misconceptions about this condition.


7 Things That Help in Managing Schizophrenia7 Things That Help in Managing Schizophrenia
Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia TreatmentSchizophrenia Treatment
What does modern, state-of-the-art treatment for schizophrenia look like?


Long-acting Treatments for SchizophreniaLong-Acting Treatments for Schizophrenia
What are long-acting treatments? How do they differ from traditional treatments?


Join the Psych Central Support Group for SchizophreniaJoin the Psych Central Support Group
Help and treatment for schizophrenia is just a click away. But you have to make the choice to do so — nobody can make it for you. You can also search for a treatment provider.


Living with SchizophreniaLiving with Schizophrenia
While no two people experience schizophrenia or psychosis in exactly the same way, it helps to know that you are not alone. These articles help people who are living with schizophrenia or psychosis in their lives.


Expert Q&A on SchizophreniaExpert Q&A on Schizophrenia
What do our experts say in answering your questions about schizophrenia?


Helping Someone With Schizophrenia
Where do you begin in helping someone who has schizophrenia?


Helpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family MembersHelpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family Members
Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?


Managing Schizophrenia: 9 Things Every Caregiver Should KnowManaging Schizophrenia: 9 Things Every Caregiver Should Know
Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia Quick Fact SheetSchizophrenia Quick Fact Sheet
What are the basics of schizophrenia?


Frequently Asked Questions About SchizophreniaFrequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most frequently asked questions about schizophrenia? We provide the answers!


Top 10 Signs of SchizophreniaTop 10 Signs of Schizophrenia
What are the top signs and symptoms of schizophrenia?


What Causes Schizophrenia?What Causes Schizophrenia?
Is it purely genetics, or do the environment and other factors come into play?


When Someone Has SchizophreniaWhen Someone Has Schizophrenia
When someone has schizophrenia, what does it mean? How can you help?


Questions to Ask Your DoctorQuestions to Ask Your Doctor
What are the important questions you should ask your doctor about schizophrenia?





American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Beck, A.T., Rector, N.A., Stolar, N. & Grant, P. (2011). Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2019). Schizophrenia Guide. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 18 Jul 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 18 Jul 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.