Schizophrenia, an illness that strikes one percent of adults, involves changes in all aspects of psychological functioning. Thinking disorders, perceptual distortions and hallucinations, delusions, and emotional changes are the most prominent of such changes. Although some people recover completely, in many others the illness is chronic and deteriorative. For many years, because the causes of schizophrenia were poorly understood, a wide range of theories were proposed to account for the development of schizophrenia. These early theories about schizophrenia can be classified into four types: psychodynamic, family interaction, learning/attention, and organic. Current theories of schizophrenia focus primarily on genetic factors and their interaction with environmental conditions, particularly the environment experienced before birth and during early development.
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