What is schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness.1 People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. What are the symptoms of schizophrenia? The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. Positive symptoms Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. Negative symptoms Cognitive symptoms Rehabilitation.
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