Last reviewed 01/2018

Schizophrenia was first described by Kraepelin in 1896 as a syndrome characterised by peculiar ways of thinking, behaviour and perception. The term 'schizophrenia'(splitting of mind) was first used by Bleuler to describe this syndrome.

1% of the population will suffer from schizophrenia during their lifetime.

Schizophrenia is characterised by disturbances in the form and content of thought e.g. delusions, in mood e.g. inappropriate affect, in behaviour, feelings, thought processes and in perceptions.

Essential features are:

  • psychotic features e.g. delusions, thought disorder, emotional incongruity, hallucinations
  • functional deterioration
  • onset before the age of 45
  • the illness lasts for months rather than days