Schizophrenia is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions where a person’s experience of reality doesn’t line up with the experiences of the people around them. In the Western world, this is typically referred to as delusions or hallucinations, which are often auditory but sometimes visual or tactile. These tend to interfere with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to other people. Depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment, symptoms can range from severe to hardly noticeable.
Some cultures refer to these experiences as spiritual emergence, or a connection with a divine world, rather than an experience that is non-rational or separate from “actual” reality.
Each person is unique, and should explore their options and select for themselves the most effective coping mechanisms for living with schizophrenia. Treatment for schizophrenia in the Western world focuses primarily on eliminating and/or managing the symptoms of the illness, through antipsychotic medications, psychotherapy, peer support groups, family support, and spiritual and indigenous practices.