Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that affects more than 1 percent of the population, according to the American Psychiatric Association. People with schizophrenia slowly lose contact with reality and often have delusions or hallucinations. There are misconceptions about this mental illness. Some people think schizophrenia is the same as a split personality but these illnesses are not the same.
Schizophrenia can occur in men and women of all ages. Men often develop symptoms in their late teens or early 20s. Women may start showing signs of the illness in their late 20s and early 30s, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).