Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects how you think, feel and act. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary and may show signs of decline in ability to think clearly and emotional responsiveness. Schizophrenia is a complex, long-term medical illness that affects about 1% of Americans.

Overview and Symptoms

There is no single test that can diagnose schizophrenia. Your doctor will start with a medical history, physical examination and questions about your symptoms. To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, you must have two or more of the following symptoms occurring regularly:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech
  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • Negative symptoms such as social withdrawal, extreme apathy, lack of drive or initiative and emotional flatness


Treatments for schizophrenia focus on managing symptoms of the disease. This may include medicine, psychosocial therapies and noninvasive brain stimulation. You may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

Learn More

Our highly specialized team in the Department of Psychiatry is committed to caring for those suffering from psychiatric illnesses. We strive to create new knowledge about the causes of these illnesses and to create new and more effective treatments for them through breakthrough research.