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Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition marked by a wide variety of strange behaviors, including hearing voices (hallucinations), distorted or misleading perceptions, and frequently abnormal ideas. They cannot discriminate between genuine and imagined occurrences. Others may believe that the individual has been lost in their own world as a result of these bizarre occurrences.

Due to methodological and clinical factors like the complexity of schizophrenia diagnosis, its intermixed features with other disorders, and differences in methods for determining diagnoses, it is challenging to obtain precise prevalence estimates of schizophrenia. Due to their complexity, psychosis and other psychotic diseases are frequently grouped in frequency estimation studies. Here is a summary of the health effects and prevalence data currently available.

  • Schizophrenia affects around 24 million persons or 0.32 percent of the global population. 
  • The prevalence is 1 in 222 adults (0.45 percent). 
  • It is uncommon compared to other mental diseases. 
  • In most cases, onset occurs between late adolescence and early adulthood, and it tends to occur earlier in males than in females. 
  • Schizophrenia produces psychosis, is associated with significant disability, and can impact many facets of life, including personal, familial, educational, social, and occupational functioning.
  • Individuals suffering from schizophrenia frequently face stigma, discrimination, and violations of human rights.
  • Over two-thirds of patients with psychosis worldwide do not receive specialized mental health care.
  • There exists a variety of successful treatment options for persons with schizophrenia, and at least 1 in 3 individuals suffering from schizophrenia will recover completely.
  • Schizophrenia is typically accompanied by considerable impairment and distress in essential personal, familial, educational, social, occupational, and other life domains.
  • Two to three times more likely to die prematurely than the general public are those with schizophrenia. This is frequently attributable to cardiovascular, metabolic, and viral problems.

The annual rate of new cases of schizophrenia worldwide is 1.5 per 10,000 individuals. (Epidemiol Reviews)

Schizophrenia is among the world’s top fifteen primary causes of disability. (Global Disease Burden)

Approximately 5 percent of individuals with schizophrenia commit suicide, with the risk often being higher at the outset of the mental disorder. Journal of General Psychiatry Archives

Approximately 20 percent of people with schizophrenia make at least one suicide attempt. (The Recovery Village)

The Prevalence Rate for schizophrenia is roughly 1.1 percent of the population over the age of eighteen (source: NIMH), which means that up to 51 million people (over the age of 18) experience schizophrenia at any given moment.

Approximately 0.5 percent to 1 percent of the population is affected by schizophrenia in the majority of countries (there are differences – but the difference is hard to track due to different measuring protocols and standards in many countries, etc.).

The occurrence of schizophrenia at any given period can also be expressed as the number of people affected per 1,000 total population. The rate in the US is 7.2 per 1,000. This indicates that in a metropolis of 3 million people, there will be over 21,000 people with schizophrenia.

Approximately one in four thousand individuals will be diagnosed with schizophrenia each year. Thus, around 1.5 million individuals will be diagnosed with schizophrenia worldwide this year. This year, over 100,000 Americans will be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

So, how many schizophrenics are there in the US? The occurrence of schizophrenia in adults in the United States is reported at 1.5 million per year. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Schizophrenia is frequently diagnosed in young people in their late teens to early 30s, with men typically exhibiting symptoms earlier than women. (National Mental Health Institute)

In the United States, people who have schizophrenia lose an average of 28.5 years of life. (JAMA Psychiatry)

Psychotic symptoms and the diagnosis of schizophrenia by race-ethnicity

The highest lifetime risk of self-reported symptoms of psychosis is among African Americans (21.1 percent), followed by Latino Americans (19.9 percent) and white Americans (13.1 percent). (Psychiatric Services)

Asian Americans have the lowest lifetime rate of self-reported symptoms of psychosis (5.4 percent). (Psychiatric Services)

According to research, black Americans are 3 to 4 times more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. (World Journal of Psychiatry)

Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are serious mental disorders. The prevalence estimate across all age groups and demographics in the United Kingdom is 0.7%. Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, but it can begin as early as early childhood, though seldom before age 10. Although estimates vary widely, the lifetime rate of schizophrenia and schizophrenia-related illnesses in the United Kingdom is roughly 14.5 per 1,000 people.

Approximately 1 in 6 people in the United Kingdom will require treatment for mental illness over their lifetime.

Approximately 1 in 100 people will experience an episode of schizophrenia at some point in their lives.

Schizophrenia is a serious disease. Approximately 220,000 people have been treated for schizophrenia by the NHS in the United Kingdom at any given moment.

Due to a higher risk of suicide and increased susceptibility to medical illnesses such as diabetes, people with schizophrenia die 10 to 20 years earlier on average than the general population.

Only about 13% of people with schizophrenia in the United Kingdom are employed.

Schizophrenia accounts for approximately 30 percent of all NHS mental health expenditures for adults.

The estimated frequency of psychotic diseases in the population of the European Union is approximately 1.2 percent. The incidence of schizophrenia is 15.2 per 100,000 people.

Affected individuals have a risk of death that is two to three times that of the normal population, and the overall risk of schizophrenia illness is 7.2 per 1,000 people.

This illness is also related to sufferers’ social stigmatization.

Schizophrenia is detected 1.4 times more often in males than in females, and often manifests sooner in men; the peak onset ages for females are 26–32 years, and for males are 20–28 years. Occasionally, onset can take place before the age of thirteen in childhood. A delayed onset can take place between the ages of forty and sixty, which is known as late-onset, or after the age of 60, which is known as the very late onset.

The average age of initial hospitalization for schizophrenia treatment is between 25 and 35 years old. According to studies, people with lower incomes tend to have their disease detected later after the development of symptoms than those with higher incomes. Consequently, the lowest social groups are more prone to live with untreated illnesses.

It is generally known that women present with symptoms of schizophrenia 4–10 years after men. Males have a bi-modal onset age with spikes at 21.4 and 39.2 years of age, whereas females have a trimodal age of onset, with peaks at 22,4, 36,6, and 61.5 years of age.

This extra post-menopausal surge of late-onset schizophrenia in women brings into question the disease’s etiology and raises the issue of “subtypes” of schizophrenia, as women and men are susceptible to various types. This is further confirmed by the fact that the disease manifests differently in males and females.

Other hypotheses that may explain this variation include protecting or predisposing variables in men or women that may make them more (or less) vulnerable to the disease at various stages of their lives. For instance, estrogen may be a protective measure for women, as estradiol has been demonstrated to be helpful when coupled with antipsychotic therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Individuals who have a schizophrenia diagnosis are 4 to 6 times more likely to commit a violent crime than the general populace. (International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health)

In Western nations, schizophrenic patients commit 6 percent of all homicides. (International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health)

According to a study conducted in Sweden, 13.2 percent of people with schizophrenia have committed at least one violent act. (Journal of the American Medical Association)

In Sweden, 10.7 percent of males and 2.7 percent of females were convicted of a violent crime during the first 5 years of a schizophrenia (or associated) diagnosis. (Lancet Psychiatry)

The incidence of a violent offense in individuals with schizophrenia and associated illnesses was about 5 times that of their siblings and nearly seven times that of the general Swedish population. (Lancet Psychiatry)

The great majority of schizophrenic inmates were charged with offenses like trespassing.

According to a comprehensive survey, 1 in 5 (20 percent) of the 2.1 million Americans incarcerated are seriously mentally ill, vastly outnumbering the number of mentally sick in mental hospitals. Source: Human Rights Watch

In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association reported that 1 in 5 convicts was profoundly mentally ill, with up to 5% at any given time being actively psychotic.

In 1999, the Justice Department’s statistical arm estimated that 16% of federal and state prisoners and jail inmates suffered from a mental disorder. Among these conditions were schizophrenia, severe depression, and manic depression (or bipolar disorder).

According to the research, the numbers of female inmates are greater. 29% of white female convicts, 20% of Hispanic female inmates, and 20% of black female inmates were designated as mentally ill, according to a Justice Department study.

Numerous people with schizophrenia cycle between hospitals, prisons, and shelters. 30 percent of patients released from state psychiatric facilities in Illinois are readmitted within 1 month. In New York, sixty percent of discharged patients are readmitted within one year. Source: Surviving Schizophrenia

Additionally, individuals with schizophrenia can have co-occurring medical disorders. The percentages below show the proportion of individuals with schizophrenia who also have the specified co-occurring mental health condition.

  • Symptoms of depression: 30-54 percent
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: 29 percent
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: 23 percent
  • Panic disorder: 15 percent

Ten years later, among those diagnosed with schizophrenia:

  • 25% Recover Completely
  • 25% Significantly Improved and Independent
  • 25% Improved, but need a substantial support network
  • 15% Unimproved, hospitalized
  • 10% Die (Mostly Suicide)
  • After thirty years, among those with a schizophrenia diagnosis:
  • 25% Recover Completely
  • 35% Considerably Improved and Independent
  • 15% Improved, but necessitate a significant network of support
  • 10% Hospitalized, unimproved
  • 15% Dead (Mostly Suicide)

(Source: Surviving Schizophrenia)

About one-third of the estimated 600,000 homeless population includes about 200,000 people with manic-depressive disorder or schizophrenia. These 200,000 people outnumber the whole population of a number of U.S. cities, including Hartford, Connecticut; Reno, Nevada; Charleston, South Carolina; Boise, Idaho; Orlando, Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona; Winston Salem, Ann Arbor, Michigan; North Carolina; Topeka, Kansas; and Abilene, Texas.

At any particular time, there are more individuals with untreated serious psychiatric disorders who live on the streets of the United States that are receiving treatment in hospitals. In hospitals, around 90 000 people with manic-depressive disorder or schizophrenia are receiving treatment for their illness.

Source: Treatment Advocacy Center

Schizophrenia, long regarded as the most chronic, disabling, and costly mental disorder, currently consumes over $63 billion annually in direct medical, societal, and family expenditures. Richard Wyatt, M.D., chief of neuropsychiatry at the National Institutes of Mental Health, has stated that nearly 30% ($19 billion) of the cost of schizophrenia is soaked up by direct treatment, while the remainder is consumed by other factors, such as lost time at work for patients and caretakers, criminal justice resources and social services.

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