Statistics for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe, long term mental illness that produces a range of different symptoms. A sufferer may have hallucinations, perhaps hearing voices or seeing things that are not really there, and these are often accompanied by delusional beliefs such as someone or something is out to get them or harm them. Their thoughts can be muddled because of the influence of these delusions and hallucinations and they will not be able to distinguish their fantasies from reality.
The exact reason that people become schizophrenic is not known but there is thought to be a mixture of genetic and environmental factors involved. Certain people might be genetically predisposed to schizophrenia and a life event that increases their stress levels might set it off. Drug misuse also significantly increases the chance that someone predisposed to the illness will develop it.
According to the World Health Organisation:
- As many as 21 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the disorder.
- Other research suggests that the prevalence is about 1.1% in the general population which means there could be as many as 51 million suffering worldwide.
- Half the people who suffer from schizophrenia do not get adequate mental health care that could help them make a recovery.
- There are 15 different medications being developed for schizophrenia though there is currently no cure.
- The illness generally starts early, between the ages of 15 and 25, and statistically occurs slightly earlier in women than men.
- Schizophrenia is seen in all aspects of society and every country and is no respecter of age, gender, social class or ethnicity.
- There is a normally a gap of 1 or 2 years from when schizophrenic symptoms arise and when a person is officially diagnosed by health services and begins to receive treatment.
- Around the world, those suffering from schizophrenia are subjected to stigmatisation and many have their educational and occupational prospects severely damaged because of people’s perception of the illness.
In the USA, schizophrenia remains a major mental health issue:
- 2 people per thousand suffer from schizophrenia in the US. That equates to over 2 million people.
- The cost of the illness is thought to be in the region of $63 billion a year.
- It’s estimated that between a half and a third of homeless people have schizophrenia.
- Men have a 5.3 greater chance of dying early and women 5.6 if they suffer from schizophrenia compared to those without the illness.
In Europe and the UK:
- In research, of 404 patients studied who were being treated for schizophrenia, 79% were not working and 65% were single.
- Sufferers have a 1 in 10 likelihood of suicide within in 10 years of being diagnosed.
- A quarter of people who suffer from an episode of schizophrenia will go onto recover and have no future problems.
- In 2012, around 220,000 people in England and Wales were diagnosed as schizophrenic.
Across the rest of the world, schizophrenia is again a major mental health issue:
- Those suffering from schizophrenia in Japan are faced with stigmatisation including from their own family members. This is not just a problem in Japan but across the world where severe mental illness all too often leaves people marginalised.
- The prevalence of schizophrenia in India is about 3 in 1,000 and is most common in men.
- In China, prevalence of schizophrenia has increased by 132% since 1990 and rates have particularly risen in developed urban areas.
- In Russia, there are claims that using a fasting regime can help 70% of schizophrenics make a complete recovery or at least control their condition.
What is Schizophrenia?
National Audit of Schizophrenia 2012