Consultant Psychiatrist
Woman Psychiatrist | Child Psychiatrist | Adolescent Psychiatrist



What is schizophrenia?

It is a mental disorder which affects thinking, feeling and behaviour. It is most likely to ages of 15 to 35 and will affect about 1 in every 100 people during their lifetime.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

"Positive" symptoms include:
Hallucinations - hearing, smelling, feeling or seeing something that isn’t there. Hearing voices is the most common problem. These can seem utterly real. Although they can be pleasant, they are more often rude, critical, abusive or annoying.

  • Delusions - believing something completely even though others find your ideas strange and can't work out how you've come to believe them.
  • Difficulty thinking – you find it hard to concentrate and tend to drift from one idea to another. Other people can find it hard to understand you.
  • Feeling controlled – you may feel that your thoughts are vanishing, or that they are not your own, or that your body is being taken over and controlled by someone else.

"Negative" symptoms include:
Loss of interest, energy and emotions. You may not bother to get up or go out of the house. You don't get round to routine jobs like washing, tidying, or looking after your clothes. You may feel uncomfortable with other people. Some people hear voices without negative symptoms. Others have delusions but few other problems. If someone has only muddled thinking and negative symptoms, the problem may not be recognised for years.

Can treatment help?

The earlier you get help, the better the outlook - and less need for hospital treatment.