1 minute read


IntroductionWhat Is Schizophrenia?, How Do You Know If Someone Has Schizophrenia?

D ebra had made honor roll every year since ninth grade. However, in her senior year of high school, everything changed. She began to notice that the food she ate tasted funny, and she started to suspect that she was being poisoned by aliens. She stopped eating. Within four weeks, she had lost nearly thirty pounds. She also began to hear voices telling her that she was the Devil.

Davi noticed that something seemed wrong with her older brother Ed when he returned home from college for winter break. He seemed spaced out, and it looked as if he had not showered in several days. He carried a Bible with him everywhere. Several times she noticed Ed talking to himself when he thought that no one was around. Davi knew some thing was wrong, but she hoped it would go away.

It did not. Several months later, Davi's parents got a phone call from Ed's college. He had skipped all of his classes the past three weeks and had spent his time standing in front of a convenience store, reciting passages from the Bible. The previ ous week, the police had found Ed wandering around in the middle of a busy street. He seemed confused and disoriented, and when he spoke, his words were jumbled and hard to understand.

Many people, including figures on TV and the radio, know very little about schizophrenia. They often assume that having schizophrenia means having multiple personalities or being a dangerous maniac. This is not true. Schizophrenia is an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. The only difference is that schizophrenia affects a person's mental health instead of his or her physical health.

Because the symptoms of schizophrenia can first appear during adolescence, it is important for teens to find out more about the illness. This book discusses what schizophrenia is, how it is diagnosed and treated, and what factors may play a role in causing it. By reading this book and others like it, you can begin to inform both yourself and others of the facts about schizophrenia. Understanding what schizophrenia is all about is the first step toward helping people to better cope with this illness.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaSchizophrenia