What is it really?


Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour. This leads to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion.


Split personality - It is commonly thought people with schizophrenia have a split personality, acting perfectly normally one minute and irrationally or bizarrely the next – this is not true.

Violent behaviour - Some people mistakenly equate schizophrenia with violent behaviour, but people with the condition are rarely dangerous. People with a mental illness are actually more likely to be a victim of violence.

People with mental disorders cannot work - 1 in 4 people people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, this means that we will probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem at some point in our lives.


Positive Symptoms

A positive symptom is one where a patient gains something new that becomes their symptom. e.g. we gain delusions as a positive symptom of schizophrenia.

  • Delusions
  • Delusions of Grandeur
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganised thinking/speech
  • Grossly disorganised behaviour

Negative Symptoms

A negative symptom, on the other hand, is one where a patient loses something and that loss is their symptom e.g. we lose our energy

  • Affective Flattening
  • Alogia (Lack of Speech)
  • Abolition (Lack of Energy)
  • Anhedonia (Lack of Pleasure)
  • Social Withdrawal

Famous People that have Schizophrenia


Biological Explanation

  • An increase in dopamine receptors is suggested to be the cause of schizophrenia

  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has a very complex role in a range of cognitive processes, which is why there are so many symptoms of schizophrenia

  • This increase in the number of receptors in hour brain leads to an increased sensitivity of dopamine in our brain (oversensitivity)

  • The mesolimbic pathway is a dopamine pathway in our brain, an increase of dopamine activity in the mesolimbic pathway is associated with the positive symptoms of schizophrenia

  • The mesocortical pathway is a dopamine pathway in our brain, abnormal dopamine activity in the mesocortical pathway is associated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia

Social Explanation

  • This suggests that those from lower social classes are more at risk of developing schizophrenia
  • Being in a lower social class increases the stress factors for a person
  • This increased level of stress can trigger the disorder
  • So families of low social class will, according to this, have a higher incidence of schizophrenics