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Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder It is a disease that makes it difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences to think logically to have normal emotional responses to other and to behave normally in social situations People with schizophrenia may also have difficulty in remembering talking and behaving appropriately Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illnesses About 1 of the world population has schizophrenia In the United States there are about 25 million people with the disease Schizophrenia is the cause of more hospitalizations than almost any other illness Schizophrenia most commonly begins between the ages of 15 and 25 Although it strikes men and women equally the symptoms may appear later in women than in men Very rarely the symptoms of schizophrenia can appear before the age of 12 Childhood schizophrenia has a more chronic disease course and involves poor early language development People with schizophrenia can have a variety of symptoms Sometimes these symptoms come on suddenly Usually though the illness develops slowly over months or even years At first the symptoms may not be noticed or may be confused with those of other conditions For example people with schizophrenia may feel tense be unable to concentrate or have trouble sleeping They often become increasingly isolated and withdrawn as their grip on reality loosens They do not make or keep friends They may stop caring
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