Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects more than 1% of the population (i.e. more than 1 out of every 100 people develop schizophrenia at some point in their lives). It is a psychotic disorder, in that people who suffer from it can lose touch with reality at times through experiencing false beliefs, muddled or jumbled thinking, or false perceptions (such as hearing things which aren’t actually there).
Anyone can get schizophrenia. In men, psychotic symptoms often begin in the teens or 20s. In women, psychotic symptoms often begin in the 20s and 30s.
Symptoms of the illness can include delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration and lack of motivation. Often, people with schizophrenia may not recognize that they are unwell and this can make treatment difficult on occasions.
However, with treatment, a large number of people with schizophrenia will greatly improve over time and can recover.