Excerted from a booklet produced by the BC Schizophrenia Society

FACTS:

  • Schizophrenia is a disease that strikes young people in their prime.
  • The disease distorts the senses, making it very difficult for the individual to tell what is real from what is not real
  • Usual age of onset is between 16 and 25.
  • Schizophrenia is a medical illness.¬†Period.
  • Treatment works!
  • Early diagnosis and stabilization on modern treatment can greatly improve prognosis for the illness.

SCHIZOPHRENIA IS NOT RARE: NO ONE IS IMMUNE

  • Schizophrenia is found all over the world -- in all races, in all cultures and in all social classes
  • It affects¬†1 in 100 people¬†worldwide. That's approximately 40,000 of our B.C. neighbours -- or 290,000 fellow Canadians

MEN AND WOMEN ARE AFFECTED WITH EQUAL FREQUENCY

  • For men, the age of onset for schizophrenia is often ages 16 to 20
  • For women, the age of onset is sometimes later -- ages 20 to 30

WE ARE ALL AFFECTED

  • More hospital beds in Canada (8%) are occupied by people with schizophrenia than by sufferers of any other medical condition
  • The cost to Canadian society due to hospitalization, disability payments, welfare payments, and lost wages ranks in the billions of dollars annually
  • Other costs -- such as loss of individual potential, personal anguish, and family hardships -- are impossible to measure.

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