For a diagnosis to be made, acute symptoms must be present for a one-month period, and continuous signs of a disturbance must be present for at least six months.
Despite the severity of their symptoms, many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are unaware that they have an illness.
Men present with more negative symptoms (see below) and become symptomatic at a younger age.
The peak age for onset in men is between ages 21 and 25.
Schizophrenia is typically a chronic condition and people with this diagnosis cope with symptoms throughout life.
However, many people with schizophrenia lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities.
Positive symptoms include the following: Negative Symptoms Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors.
These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions.
The illness occurs in approximately 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister.
People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population.