Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, which if left untreated can be disabling.


  1. Believing in something which is not real(delusions) : people are conspiring against me, people are controlling my thoughts and behaviors etc.

  2. Hearing voices and seeing things that no one else can hear or see(Hallucinations)

  3. Confused thinking

  4. Unclear speech

  5. Decreased social interaction

  6. Loss of feelings and emotions

  7. Poor self-care


The exact cause of Schizophrenia is unknown; however, a combination of risk factors can make a person likely to have Schizophrenia.

Risk Factors:

  1. Genetics: Schizophrenia runs in family. Many genes have been found to be associated with Schizophrenia, however, having these genes doesn’t necessarily mean you will have schizophrenia.This suggests that genes are not the only factor associated with Schizophrenia.

  2. Brain structure : Some studies have shown subtle differences in structure and functioning of brain in people with Schizophrenia, however not everyone with Schizophrenia have these changes and people not having Schizophrenia can also have these changes in their brain.This suggests that Schizophrenia may partly be a disorder of brain.

  3. Neurotransmitters: Dopamine and Serotonin are the two neurotransmitters that have been found to be associated with Schizophrenia.Medicines given for Schizophrenia, alter the levels of these neurotransmitters and decreases the symptoms.

  4. Drug abuse: It doesn’t directly cause Schizophrenia, but research has shown that certain drugs (cannabis, cocaine, LSD etc) increases the risk, if a person is already susceptible (has other risk factors that are mentioned above) to develop Schizophrenia.


  • Medicines – Anti-Psychotics

  • Therapy and Psycho-social intervention – Cognitive behavior therapy, Social skills training, Family therapy, Rehabilitation.

A combination of both medicines and therapy is the ideal management plan and is usually advised. Social skills training, and Rehabilitation helps a person face everyday challenges of Schizophrenia.

Caregivers of schizophrenia patients have sometimes poor understanding of the illness; they find it difficult to manage the patient at home and experience a lot of stress. Therefore, it is important for a mental health professional to support and educate them regarding the illness, its management and prognosis.