Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms.
  • Hallucinations - Hearing or seeing things that do not exist
  • Delusions - Unusual beliefs not based on reality which often contradict the evidence
  • Confused thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions
  • Changes in behaviour

People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders.



Changes in thinking and behavior are the most characteristic signs of schizophrenia. These include:

1) Hallucinations: A hallucination is when a person experiences a sensation but there is nothing or nobody there to account for it.

2) Delusions: A delusion is a belief held with complete conviction, even though it is based on a mistaken, strange or unrealistic view.

3) Confused thoughts (thought disorder): People experiencing psychosis often have trouble keeping track of their thoughts and conversations.

4) Changes in behavior and thoughts: Behavior may become more disorganized and unpredictable, and appearance or dress may seem unusual to others.



The exact cause  of schizophrenia is unknown. It is suggested that a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors can make people more likely to develop the condition.

Risks factors:

Genetics: Schizophrenia tends to run in families, but no individual gene is found responsible.

Neurotransmitters: These are chemicals that carry messages between brain cells. There is a connection between neurotransmitters and schizophrenia because drugs that alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain are known to relieve some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Pregnancy and birth complications

  • Bleeding during pregnancy, gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
  • Abnormal growth of a baby while in the womb, including low birth weight or reduced head circumference
  • Exposure to a virus while in the womb
  • Complications during birth, such as a lack of oxygen (asphyxia) and emergency caesarean section

Stress: The main psychological triggers of schizophrenia are stressful life events, such as  bereavement, losing your job or home, a divorce or the end of a relationship, or physical, sexual, emotional or racial abuse.

Drug abuse: Certain drugs, particularly cannabis, cocaine, LSD or amphetamines, may trigger some symptoms of schizophrenia, especially in people who are susceptible.


No tests are available.Generally diagnosis is based on presenting symptoms  .

The treatment of schizophrenia is with antipsychotic medications, often combined with psychological and social support  .

Medication: The first-line psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication, which can reduce the symptoms   in about 7–14 days.

Psychosocial: A number of psychosocial interventions may be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia including:

  • Family therapy
  • Assertive community treatment
  • Supported employment
  • Cognitive remediation


  • LAST UPDATED ON : Sep 23, 2015


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