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How Many People Suffer From Schizophrenia

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Public Opinion / Perception Of Schizophrenia

Inside the World of Childhood Schizophrenia

Worldwide, people diagnosed with schizophrenia face stigma and discrimination. The stigma associated with schizophrenia can delay a diagnosis as many people may hesitate to discuss their symptoms even with a healthcare provider. Although this stigma has been challenged in the U.S., it still exists in much of the rest of the world. Families may attempt to keep the diagnosis of a loved ones schizophrenia secret. In developed nations like the U.S., however, a clearer understanding of the illness and its symptoms has reduced the stigma. Given the rate of homelessness among this population, however, more support must be allocated to this segment of the population.

How To Treat Schizophrenia

Now that you know how many people have schizophrenia, it is time to learn about the various treatment options.

1. Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy involves having regular sessions with a therapist. These focus on current or past relationships, feelings, thoughts and problems. This one-on-one contact with a professional lets patients learn more about their illness and themselves, giving them skills necessary to handle daily problems. This therapy makes it easier to tell what is real and can help enhance problem-solving skills.

2. Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation focuses on social skills training, money management education, problem solving support, and vocational or job counseling.

3. Cognitive Remediation

Cognitive remediation typically involves exercises and drills with pencil and paper or computer-based exercises and is a type of behavioral treatment. It works to help those with schizophrenia develop and strengthen their existing cognitive skills while developing more effective strategies to help with issues related to organization, planning, memory and attention.

4. Family Involvement

Numerous studies have shown that schizophrenics with support from their family do better than those who try to tackle their condition alone. Because of this, most treatment aims to involve all family members in the process.

5. Self Help Groups

6. Medications

Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Help Your Loved One:

  • Help them get treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
  • Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
  • Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their way
  • Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
  • Check to see if there are any support groups in your area

Some symptoms require immediate emergency care. If your loved one is thinking about harming themselves or others or attempting suicide, seek help right away:

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Who Is At Risk From Mental Disorders

Determinants of mental health and mental disorders include not only individual attributes such as the ability to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours and interactions with others, but also social, cultural, economic, political and environmental factors such as national policies, social protection, standards of living, working conditions, and community support.

Stress, genetics, nutrition, perinatal infections and exposure to environmental hazards are also contributing factors to mental disorders.

Charles Buddy Bolden 1877

Schizophrenia Infographic

Jazz Music Pioneer

Age of Diagnosis: 30

Individual History: One of the most historic cases of famous schizophrenic people is Buddy Bolden. While there is a great deal of first hand oral history about Bolden, facts about his life continue to be lost amongst colorful myth. There have been stories saying that he was a barber by trade or that he published a scandal-sheet called the Cricket. However, much of this has been refuted. What is known about him is that he is regarded by music contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of rag-time music, or Jass, which later came to be known as jazz. He was referred to as King Bolden and a king of Jazz. His band was a top draw in New Orleans from about 1900 until 1907. He left no known recordings, but he was known for his very loud sound and constant improvisation. Bolden suffered an episode of acute alcoholic psychosis in 1907 at the age of 30. Upon further investigation of this diagnosis he was given the full diagnosis of dementia praecox . He was admitted to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum at Jackson, where he spent the rest of his life.

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Data Availability On Mental Health

The majority of data presented in this entry is based on estimates from the IHMEs Global Burden of Disease . This is currently one of the only sources which produces global level estimates across most countries on the prevalence and disease burden of mental health and substance use disorders.

Nonetheless, the GBD acknowledges the clear data gaps which exist on mental health prevalence across the world. Despite being the 5th largest disease burden at a global level , detailed data is often lacking. This is particularly true of lower-income countries. The Global Burden of Disease note that the range of epidemiological studies they draw upon for global and national estimates are unequally distributed across disorders, age groups, countries and epidemiological parameters.46 Using these studies to provide full coverage of these disorders is challenging.

To overcome these methodological challenges the authors note:

Fish Oil Could Reduce The Risk Of Developing The Condition

Fish oil, a rich source of omega-3 acids, can reduce inflammation in the body and aid brain development and function. According to the data on the prevalence of schizophrenia, a lack of these fatty acids can have links to the disorder. This discovery prompted scientists to carry out a study on 81 young people at risk of schizophrenia. The study confirmed that those who took fish oil supplements were less likely to develop the condition.

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Genetic Variations Increase Your Risk By 80% According To Schizophrenia Stats And Facts

Although there isnt just one factor listed among schizophrenia causes, studies reveal that genetic variation plays a considerable role. In fact, one research discovered that chances of having the disorder increase by 10% if a parent or a sibling has it. If both parents have it, then there is a 40% chance that their child will have schizophrenia, too. Still, the greatest risk is if an identical twin has it. In that case, the other twin has a 50% chance of having schizophrenia.

Cognitive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia Include:

Voices: Living with Schizophrenia | WebMD
  • Diminished ability to think, understand issues and make choices
  • Forgetfulness

When symptoms begin, the individual may change their friends, start underperforming at work or school, show mood changes, or shift their sleeping patterns. At first, a loved one could think the person with schizophrenia is depressed and ignore the problems or seek ineffective treatments.

Schizophrenia is a long-term condition, so when the diagnosis is present, the condition influences thoughts, feelings and behaviors long-term.

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How Common Is Paranoid Schizophrenia

It may be hard to determine the exact number of people affected by paranoid schizophrenia in particular. As a group of disorders, schizophrenia affects about one out of every 100 people in the United States. Around the world, the disorder is one of the top ten causes of disability. Paranoid schizophrenia is just one type of schizophrenic disease, so it affects a portion of those affected by schizophrenia.

Deaths Related To Schizophrenia

Research indicates that people with schizophrenia are 3.5 times more likely to die than similarly aged individuals in the general population in a single year. In general, people who have schizophrenia are likely to die 25 years earlier than people in the general population. The large majority of deaths in schizophrenia patients is from natural causes other health conditions and infectious diseases. Even so, people with schizophrenia suffer elevated rates of suicide and fatal accidents. Some of these schizophrenia-related deaths are medically understandable for instance, a majority of Americans with schizophrenia smoke. Smoking, of course, is related to a heightened risk for lung and other cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.

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Risk Factors For Mental Health

The determinants, onset and severity of mental health disorders are complex they can rarely be attributed to a single factor. Identifying potential risk factors form an important element of health research, potential prevention and in some cases, appropriate treatment nonetheless, many risk factors remain only correlates of observed patterns in mental health. They therefore need to be interpreted carefully.

The World Health Organization synthesize the potential contributors to mental health and wellbeing into three categories:29

  • individual attributes and behaviours: these can be particular genetic factors or personality traits
  • social and economic circumstances
  • environmental factors.

In the table we see the WHOs breakdown of potential adverse and protective factors for mental health within these three categories. These factors often interact, compound or negate one another and should therefore not be considered as individual traits or exposures. For example, particular individual traits may make a given person more vulnerable to mental health disorders with the onset of a particular economic or social scenario the instance of one does not necessarily result in a mental health disorder, but combined there is a significantly higher vulnerability.

Exposure to war or disaster Physical security & safety

Risk factors through the life-course

Pre-conception and pre-natal period

Infancy and early childhood




Older age

Having A Parent With The Condition


Having a parent with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia is the strongest known risk factor for developing a serious mental illness yourself. Children with a parent who has a serious mental illness have a 1 in 3 chance of developing a serious mental illness themselves.

Although only 1 in 100 people get schizophrenia, about 1 in 10 people with schizophrenia have a parent with the illness.

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Schizophrenia Facts Point To Many Creative And Overall Brilliant People Who Had The Disorder

Even though some people with schizophrenia have problems with attention, memory, and focus, it doesnt mean that theyre not smart. Actually, there have been many creative and famous people with schizophrenia. These include an artist Vincent van Gogh, a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, and a novelist Jack Kerouac.

What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative

It can be distressing if you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who has schizophrenia. You can get support.

How can I get support for myself?

You can do the following.

  • Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
  • Speak to your relatives care team about family intervention. For more information about family intervention see the further up this page.
  • Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
  • Ask for a carers assessment.
  • Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
  • Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.

What is a carers assessment?NICE guidelines state that you should be given your own assessment through the community mental health team to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.

The CMHT should tell you about your right to have a carers assessment through your local authority. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.

How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525. They will search for you.

How can I support the person I care for?

You can do the following.

There is no definition for what high risk means. It could include:

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Symptoms Of Disorganized Schizophrenia:

Disorganized SpeechSchizophrenia can cause people to have difficulty concentrating and maintaining a train of thought, which manifests in the way they speak. People with disorganized speech might speak incoherently, respond to questions with unrelated answers, say illogical things, or shift topics frequently. Signs of disorganized speech involve the following:

  • Loose associations: Rapidly shifting between topics with no connections between topics
  • Perseveration: Repeating the same things over and over again
  • Made up words that only have meaning to the speaker
  • Use of rhyming words without meaning
  • When cognitive disorganization is severe, it can be nearly impossible to understand what the person is saying.

Disorganized BehaviorSchizophrenia negatively impacts goal-directed behavior. A person with disorganized schizophrenia is likely to have difficulty beginning a specific task or difficulty finishing a task. Independent functioning is exceptionally difficult due to this gross disorganization.

Disorganized behavior can manifest as the following:

  • A decline in overall daily functioning
  • Unpredictable or inappropriate emotional responses
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Behaviors that appear bizarre or lack purpose
  • Routine behaviors such as bathing, dressing, or brushing teeth can be severely impaired or lost.

Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating brain and behavior disorder affecting how one thinks, feels and acts. People with schizophrenia can have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy, expressing and managing normal emotions and making decisions. Thought processes may also be disorganized and the motivation to engage in lifes activities may be blunted. Those with the condition may hear imaginary voices and believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.

While schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, it can be treated with medication, psychological and social treatments, substantially improving the lives of people with the condition.

A moving presentation by Dr. Kafui Dzirasa on Schizophrenia
View Webinar on Identifying Risk Factors and Protective Pathways for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.

Learn more about childhood-onset schizophrenia from this expert researcher:

Find answers to more questions about Schizophrenia in our Ask the Expert section.

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Top Ten Schizophrenia Stats To Know In 2021

  • Around 20 million people in the world have schizophrenia.
  • Based on schizophrenia statistics by state, California has the highest number of adults with this condition.
  • There are four types of schizophrenia.
  • Around 50% of individuals living with schizophrenia have a history of substance abuse.
  • African American patients are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with psychotic disorders.
  • Around 5% to 6% of schizophrenia patients die by suicide.
  • Total costs of schizophrenia amount to nearly $63 million a year.
  • There is no cure for schizophrenia.
  • 20% of people with schizophrenia will recover within five years from experiencing the first symptoms.
  • Interesting facts about schizophrenia point out that high doses of vitamin B can considerably reduce the symptoms.

More Important Facts About Schizophrenia

Although the movies might turn paranoid schizophrenia into a good character plot point so they can perform violent acts, the vast majority of those who have this disorder are not going to do anything.

The most important part of treatment for paranoid schizophrenia isnt to get medication, but to attend regular therapy sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, can help people be able to find negative thinking errors that are causing some of the difficult emotions. Group supports and therapies also provide a remarkable amount of proactive benefits that can help people prevent a new outbreak of symptoms from occurring.

One of the primary issues that schizophrenics face is the fact that many things can trigger a new episode of symptoms for them. This is why getting off of a drug habit can be so difficult for them. Something as simple as the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine can be enough to trigger another paranoid episode and even start hallucinations. Although substance abuse isnt thought to cause schizophrenia, it can enhance the problem when it is already there.

It may take some time, some medication, and a lot of patience, but paranoid schizophrenia does not have to define the life of someone.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia And How Is It Diagnosed

How is schizophrenia diagnosed?

Only a psychiatrist can diagnose you with schizophrenia after a full psychiatric assessment. You may have to see the psychiatrist a few times before they diagnose you. This is because they need to see how often you are experiencing symptoms.

There are currently no blood tests or scans that can prove if you have schizophrenia. So, psychiatrists use manuals to diagnose schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

The 2 main manuals used by medical professionals are the:

  • International Classification of Diseases which is produced by the World Health Organisation , or
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association .

NHS doctors use the ICD-10.

The manuals explain which symptoms should be present, and for how long for you to receive a diagnosis. For example, according to the NHS you need to be hearing voices for at least 1 month before you can be diagnosed. Mental health professionals may say you have psychosis before they diagnose you with schizophrenia.

What is the future of diagnosis in schizophrenia?There are many research studies being conducted across the world on how to better diagnose schizophrenia. For example, a recent study found through looking at images of the brain, there may be different sub-types of schizophrenia.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

The symptoms of schizophrenia are commonly described as positive symptoms or negative symptoms. This doesnt mean that they are good or bad.

How Common Are Mental Illnesses

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Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.3
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.4
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.5
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.6

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