Physicians and therapists tend to think of schizophrenia as a spectrum of disorders, much like autism - which incorporates a wide range in symptoms and levels of impairment. Even though much progress has been made toward a better understanding of schizophrenia, researchers acknowledge that in many respects the disease remains a black box. About one in 100 American adults has schizophrenia.
“It’s not one disease; it’s probably many different diseases,” says Yale Medicine psychiatrist Vinod Srihari, MD, who directs the Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) program. Early, intensive treatment may lead to better outcomes for patients over time. With the right care, Dr. Srihari says, most patients with schizophrenia are able to manage their symptoms and live productive lives.