Someone with a mental illness that's caused them to lose touch with reality and to withdraw from society may end up being diagnosed with schizophrenia, a serious disorder that can usually be treated with medication.

A Swiss psychiatrist first came up with the term Schizophrenie, or "a splitting of the mind," to refer to the mental illness in 1910. A person with schizophrenia may feel and behave as if his mind has split off from reality, as he perceives things in a distorted way, and often speaks and acts in ways that appear bizarre. Sometimes schizophrenia is used to mean "inconsistent or contradictory."

Definitions of schizophrenia

n any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact

dementia praecox, schizophrenic disorder, schizophrenic psychosis
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borderline schizophrenia, latent schizophrenia
schizophrenia characterized by mild symptoms or by some preexisting tendency to schizophrenia
catatonia, catatonic schizophrenia, catatonic type schizophrenia
a form of schizophrenia characterized by a tendency to remain in a fixed stuporous state for long periods; the catatonia may give way to short periods of extreme excitement
disorganized schizophrenia, disorganized type schizophrenia, hebephrenia, hebephrenic schizophrenia
a form of schizophrenia characterized by severe disintegration of personality including erratic speech and childish mannerisms and bizarre behavior; usually becomes evident during puberty; the most common diagnostic category in mental institutions
paranoic type schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, paraphrenia, paraphrenic schizophrenia
a form of schizophrenia characterized by delusions (of persecution or grandeur or jealousy); symptoms may include anger and anxiety and aloofness and doubts about gender identity; unlike other types of schizophrenia the patients are usually presentable and (if delusions are not acted on) may function in an apparently normal manner
acute schizophrenic episode, reactive schizophrenia
schizophrenia of abrupt onset and relatively short duration (a few weeks or months)
Type of:
any severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted

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