What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health difficulty that can disturb someone’s thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviour. It affects about 1 in every 100 people worldwide and usually starts when you are a teenager or young adult, although it can also occur later in life.

People with schizophrenia can sometimes find it difficult to tell the difference between what is real and unreal. It may be difficult to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others and deal with everyday life.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The earlier schizophrenia is detected and treated, the better the chances of recovery.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

Some common symptoms of schizophrenia are listed below. Having one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have schizophrenia. Diagnosis is a long process and can only be done by mental health professionals.

Symptoms are divided into two groups:

  • active symptoms – also referred to as ‘positive’ or psychotic symptoms, and
  • passive symptoms – also referred to as ‘negative’ symptoms.
Here we explain both types.

Types of supports for schizophrenia

The treatment for schizophrenia can include a combination of: 

  • social supports like family support or group support,
  • psychological therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT),
  • other talking therapies, and
  • medication.

Your doctor will be able to help you find the best treatment for you. Go to our recovery page to learn more.