Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behaviour and failure to understand what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices that others do not hear, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation. Schizophrenia is among the most ﬁnancially costly illnesses in the world.1 The WHO estimates that over 21 million people suffer from schizophrenia, making it one of the top 10 causes of disability worldwide.2 Schizophrenia affects people regardless of race, culture or social class. It typically starts in early adulthood, from age 20 but it can develop at any age from late teens onwards.3
1. Rössler W, Salize HJ, van Os J, Riecher-Rössler A. Size of burden of schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2005; 15 (4): 399_409, Lindström E, Eberhard J, Neovius M, Levander S. Costs of schizophrenia during 5 years. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 2007; 116 (435): 33_40.
2. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs397/en/ (December 2016)
3. Tsuang MT, Farone SV. Schizophrenia. Second edition. Oxford University Press Inc., New York: 2005