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Schizophrenia is a common serious long-term mental health condition that affects 5 in 1000 in the UK. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms; hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions and changes in behavior. When these ideas can not be separated from reality, schizophrenia is termed a psychotic illness. It does not causes patients to develop a split personality or become violent.
There may be genetic and environmental factors associated with developing schizophrenia; an association with drugs abuse is also being tested. The onset of the condition is in late teenage years and early adulthood (slightly later in females).
There is no known cause or cure. Treatment involves antipsychotic medications as well and psychological therapy and provision of a supportive environment.
Source; Adapted from NHS