Schizophrenia is a physiological condition precipitated by various stressors and usually sets in at early adulthood.
Delusions (irrational belief systems) or hallucinations (perceptual experiences without a real stimulus being present), disorganized behaviour and speech, as well as inappropriate and despondent feelings may be present. Symptoms are devided into positive (the presence of symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations and disturbed thinking) and negative (the absence of motivation, activity, emotion, social interaction, etc). It is caused by various components, including genes, a disruption of neurotransmitters and emotional/social stressors. Medication, CBT and Metacognitive Therapy are helpful in controlling symptoms and social functioning coping. Community and family support are essential.
Psychotic symptoms can be found in other conditions as well.
Overcoming distressing voices (Hayward & Kingdon)