Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by odd behavior in several domains

What you see

  • incoherent speech – illogical or rambling, conveying very little information
  • fear – complaints of hearing threatening voices, seeing scary visions or smelling bad odors
  • unrealistic beliefs about being followed, controlled or persecuted
  • no interest in work or recreational activities, or in interacting with others
  • no response, or indifferent response, when addressed, with very little  facial expression and eye contact
  • you may get a sense of not being able to communicate with him

What the person is going through

  • unaware that the things he is saying and doing appear strange to people around him
  • his experience of reality is distorted, and he is frightened
  • he has no insight to recognize that something is amiss.


There are deficits in two areas:

  • ability to pay attention and process information, i.e. thinking
  • the will to initiate action, or motivation


  • medication, regular follow-up with psychiatrist
  • critical comments and hostility towards the patient by family should be totally avoided as they increase the risk of relapse.
  • encourage him to work or study – only up to a point. If he does not want to do anything, criticising, pushing or goading him to do so may be stressful, and he may get violent

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