More than 4 million people in the United States suffer from schizophrenia, a disease where patients experience hallucinations, paranoia, and cognitive impairment. It is a chronic disease that requires ongoing medication and treatment.
The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental factors. Altered brain structure and chemistry play a combined role.
Schizophrenia requires diligent treatment with atypical anti-psychotic medications (Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify), and sometimes older anti-psychotic medications (Thorazine, Haldol) in certain situations. Psychosocial treatment, and sometimes psychotherapy can be beneficial. Diagnosis is made by symptoms of delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized behavior for six months.