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Is schizophrenia a disease?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
To understand whether schizophrenia is a disease, it is important to understand the definition of disease. According to the Merriam-Webster Medline Plus Medical Dictionary, disease is present when a person's normal, healthy state changes and that person starts to show signs and symptoms of illness. A disease can be caused by environmental, viral, or genetic factors. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Institute of Mental Health both refer to schizophrenia as a disease. Like many diseases, schizophrenia can be treated, and some people can recover from the illness, maintaining jobs and relationships into late adulthood.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.