In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.


Derived from the Greek 'schizo' (splitting) and 'phren' (mind) with the term first coined by Eugen Bleuler in 1908, schizophrenia is a functional psychotic disorder characterized by the presence of delusional beliefs, hallucinations, and disturbances in thought, perception, and behavior. Traditionally, symptoms have been divided into two main categories: positive symptoms, which include hallucinations, delusions, and formal thought disorders, and negative symptoms such as anhedonia, poverty of speech, and lack of motivation. The diagnosis of schizophrenia is clinical, made exclusively after obtaining a full psychiatric history and excluding other causes of psychosis. Risk factors include birthing complications, the season of birth, severe maternal malnutrition, maternal influenza in pregnancy, family history, childhood trauma, social isolation, cannabis use, minority ethnicity, and urbanization. Due to its relative complexity and heterogeneity, the etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Despite a low prevalence, schizophrenia's global burden of disease is immense. Over half of the patients have significant co-morbidities, both psychiatric and medical, making it one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The diagnosis correlates with a 20% reduction in life expectancy, with up to 40% of deaths attributed to suicide.

Publication types

  • Study Guide