Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that is heavily dramatized in popular media. We may be surprised to learn these few interesting facts about schizophrenia including its prevalence, risk factors, and more. If you or somebody you know is struggling with schizophrenia, we highly recommend seeking professional help or finding a schizophrenia treatment center.
Schizophrenia presents in about 1.1 percent of American adults per year. This amounts to about 250,000 people. This is relatively low prevalence. Depression presents in about 7% of American adults, and bipolar disorder in about 2.5 percent. Schizophrenia is not as common as other mental health disorders, but it can be quite serious.
People living with schizophrenia have a lifetime suicide risk of about 5 percent, with some studies finding the suicide risk being closer to 10 percent. This is due to many factors, many of which we don’t fully understand yet. What we do understand is that schizophrenia can cause a lot of harm, and proper treatment can save lives.
Schizophrenia generally arises in the 20’s. Men most often present with schizophrenia in the late teen years or early twenties, while women present in the late twenties and early thirties. Some people may present earlier in their teen years or later in life, but it is fairly rare to see schizophrenia arise before puberty or after fifty.
Schizophrenia is one of the few mental health disorders in which an individual experiences anosognosia. Anosognosia means “without knowledge,” and is the inability of an individual to see their mental health disorder. People with schizophrenia often do not realize they have developed symptoms and may even deny that they are experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder.
Prior to the release of the DSM-V in 2013, there were five different types of schizophrenia. In the new DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), schizophrenia has specifiers rather than subtypes. These different “types” include catatonic, paranoid, disorganized, residual, and undifferentiated.
Many people with schizophrenia experience some type of hallucinations. Hallucinations may occur at any of the senses, but auditory hallucinations are most common. Roughly 75 percent of people with schizophrenia experience auditory hallucinations, while only about 16% experience visual hallucinations.
Furthermore, it is significantly more common for people to experience hallucinations of multiple senses than a single sense. One study found that 53 percent of people experienced multimodal hallucinations while only 27 percent experienced unimodal hallucinations.