Schizophrenia is one of the most chronic (long-lasting) and disabling of mental health disorders. People with schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities. It is a disorder that causes symptoms of psychosis, such as:
- Hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things that don’t exist)
- Delusions (bizarre thoughts of being persecuted, cheated, poisoned, or harassed and other thoughts that are not based on truth or fact)
- Disordered thinking
- Social withdrawal
Although equal numbers of men and women are affected with this disorder, women with schizophrenia may have more depressive symptoms, paranoia, and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices or things that don’t exist) than do men.
Some people with schizophrenia have only one psychotic episode. Others have many episodes during a lifetime, but lead relatively normal lives in between episodes.