Schizo means split, and phrenia, in this case refers to the mind.
Even though schizophrenia can be interpreted to mean “splitting of the mind”, it does not refer to a split personality, like some media sources might portray, but rather schizophrenia describes a scattered or fragmented pattern of thinking.
Schizophrenia’s actually a syndrome, meaning there’re all sorts of symptoms that might be associated with it and different patients might experience different symptoms, although the symptoms can be broadly categorized into three major areas: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Alright taking a step back, most human symptoms from any illness are extreme versions of a normal physiologic process (for example everyone has a heartbeat and tachycardia is a fast heartbeat, everyone has a normal body temperature, but during a fever that temperature is higher).
In schizophrenia, patients have positive symptoms which aren’t positive in the sense that they’re helpful, but positive in the sense that they’re some new feature that doesn’t have some “normal” or physiologic counterpart.
These are the psychotic symptoms, so delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and disorganized or catatonic behavior; none of which occur physiologically.
Delusions are false beliefs that the patient might feel very strongly about, so much so that they won’t change their mind, even if you give them evidence against it.
There are all sorts of different delusions, like, for example, a delusion of control, where somebody thinks that some outside force or person or thing is controlling their actions.
They could also be delusions of reference, where someone might think that insignificant remarks are directed at them, like a newscaster is speaking directly to them through the TV.
Hallucinations are a second type of positive symptom, and can be any kind of sensation that’s not actually there, including visual but also including auditory sensations, like hearing voices or commands.