Schizophrenia is a rare but serious chronic brain disorder that affects less than 1% of the population, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The disorder usually emerges in the adolescent or young adult years and is characterized by hallucinations, a disconnect from reality, disorganized thinking and speech, abnormal body movements, and an inability to concentrate or function in daily life.
Due to its highly visible symptoms, many people who live with schizophrenia find themselves isolated and may experience stigmatization and loneliness. Untreated, schizophrenia can be a debilitating condition, but treatment for the disorder is often highly effective. There are several treatment options. Medication is often recommended and effective, along with therapy and rehab services. Psychotherapy and rehabilitation services are often also employed.
Having a strong network of community and family support is vital. Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America is a valuable resource for people living with schizophrenia as well as for those who care for them.