According to a dictionary definition, schizophrenia is a mental disorder whose symptoms include a withdrawal from reality into fantasy. The disease has been present for generations and because of the anti social nature of the symptoms sufferers were often incarcerated in institutions away from the general public.
The modern perception of the disease is still not clearly understood and the reaction by many is one of distancing themselves from the sufferer as behavioral symptoms can be very distressing. The two main catagories of schizophrenia can be summarised as positive, where the symptoms include delusion, hallucination, distorted behavior and vocal extravagance and negative, where the symptom is withdrawal from reality into a world of their own.
There are several types of schizophrenia but the main ones and the most distructive in terms of behavioral effects are paranioa, a condition where a person wrongly believes that others want to harm them or that they are very important and catatonia, a condition where a person experiences both periods of near unconsciousness and periods of over activity.
Modern science still does not know how and why a person becomes a victim. However drug abuse, a stressful family upbringing and heriditary history are possible triggers. Children below the age of 10 do not seem to be affected. It is usually diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood and it affects both men and women, although usually later in women.
Persons suffering from schizophrenia may always suffer the effects of the disease throughout their lives. Their inability to interact socially and their inability to hold down a job will in most cases not qualify them for a place in society. They will require medical treatment, care and counseling all their lives.a