The reality of schizophrenia
One in 100 people will experience schizophrenia. Despite being so common, the stigma surrounding schizophrenia remains stubbornly high due to a lack of understanding.
Schizophrenia is a very complex condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels, and experiences the world around them. While the word is made up of schizo (to split) and phrene (the mind), schizophrenia does not mean split personality.
People with a diagnosis of schizophrenia can often experience very different symptoms, including:
- Audio hallucinations (hearing voices)
- Disorganised thinking
- Changes in body language or emotions
Find out more about schizophrenia.
Living with schizophrenia
"This is real mental illness. It’s not a quirky series of personality traits; you can’t hit the gym and lift your way out of it."Read Leon's story Read Leon's story
"Life then strangely full of ups and downs and is not at all negative. The point is to try to brave these symptoms, step by step."Read Mark's story Read Mark's story
"When I told my close friends and family about my diagnosis, they were very understanding and accommodating. However, I was selective about which family and friends I told."Read Ashley's story Read Ashley's story
"I started to feel a bit better after taking the medication, and soon I moved into a Rethink Mental Illness Supported Accommodation Service."Read Jamie's story Read Jamie's story
Can people recover?
When we talk about recovery, we mean regaining a good quality of life rather than 'being cured'.
For some people, schizophrenia will be a life-long condition that will need day-to-day management. This can be a combination of medication, talking therapies (such as CBT or actively engaging with hallucinations) and a good support network.
Approximately one in four-to-five people with schizophrenia will recover completely and go on to live independently without further episodes.
Learn more about schizophrenia
What you can do
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World Mental Health Day
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Speaking to other people in the same boat can also really help. We have 140 support groups across England, where people living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and their carers, can speak openly and support each other.
Find a group Support groups
Schizophrenia advice and information
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects the way you think, feel and behave. It affects about 1 in every 100 people. The symptoms may affect how you cope with day to day life.
Learn more Schizophrenia advice and information
Practical suport line
The Rethink Mental Illness advice and information service offers practical help on a wide range of topics such as The Mental Health Act, community care and carers rights. We also offer general information on living with mental illness, medication and care.
Find out more Practical suport line
Lived experience network
If you live with a mental illness yourself or care for someone who does, we’re asking you to sign up to share your experiences. Especially regarding the challenges you may be facing as a result of severe mental illness or caring for a loved one.
Find out more Lived experience network