Schizophrenia is an illness that affects a person's ability to think clearly, interact with others, and control emotions. It affects each person differently. The way others react to the disease can make a difference to how it affects a person—making it easier or harder to cope.

Most people with schizophrenia have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Hear and sometimes see things that others do not hear and see.
  • Believe some things to be true that others know are not true.
  • Think that some peoples are trying to harm them.

There are several types of schizophrenia. The most common is paranoid schizophrenia. With this type, people have frightening thoughts, believe that other people or forces are trying to hurt them, and hear voices. With treatment, people with schizophrenia may understand that these experiences are not real.