Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness that touches the lives of 1 in 100; that’s more than 40,000 British Columbians, and about 290,000 people in Canada.
SOME BASIC FACTS:
- Schizophrenia is a disease that strikes young people in their prime.
- The disease affects the brain and confuses the senses, making it very difficult for the individual to tell what is real from what is not real.
- Usual age when people start being sick with it is between 16 and 25.
- Treatment works!
- Early diagnosis and modern treatment can make a big difference to how well a person with the illness does over time.
- Schizophrenia is a medical illness. Period.
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 about 40,000 of our B.C. neighbours — or 290,000 fellow Canadians
MEN AND WOMEN ARE EQUALLY LIKELY TO HAVE SCHIZOPHRENIA
- For men, the age of first illness with schizophrenia is often ages 16 to 20
- For women, the age of first illness is sometimes later — ages 20 to 30
WE ARE ALL AFFECTED
- More hospital beds in Canada (8%) are filled 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 is billions of dollars annually
- Other costs — such as loss of individual potential, personal suffering, and family difficulties — are impossible to measure.
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