Our commitment to Schizophrenia
Britannia has pioneered the development and marketing of product for the treatment of schizophrenia. We remain committed to making breakthroughs and providing ethical treatments and services for people living with schizophrenia, and to continue to educate the healthcare community.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a long-term and severe mental health condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms. It is often described as a type of psychosis where people are not always able to distinguish thoughts and ideas from reality.
Its causes remain unknown, but most experts believe it is likely to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and these will vary from person to person. Some people may be more susceptible to developing schizophrenia than others, and it may become triggered by certain situations, such as stressful life events or drug misuse.
What are the main symptoms of schizophrenia?
Symptoms of schizophrenia are usually grouped as either positive symptoms or negative symptoms.
Acute schizophrenia is characterised primarily by positive symptoms.
Chronic schizophrenia is characterised primarily by negative symptoms.
These appear as excesses or distortions of everyday behaviours:
- hallucinations: hearing or seeing things that do not exist outside of the mind
- delusions: unusual beliefs not based on reality
- muddled speech or thoughts
- chaotic or confused behaviour
These appear as a reduction or loss of everyday functions:
- loss of emotional expression
- poverty of speech
- loss of motivation
Numerous misconceptions exist around this condition – for example, schizophrenia doesn’t cause someone to be violent and people with schizophrenia do not have a split personality.
Schizophrenia statistics in the UK and around the world
Schizophrenia symptoms can start at any age, but most commonly appear when people are in their late teens or early twenties. Schizophrenia occurs in all cultures and societies, and its prevalence is much the same in every country.
People are affected with schizophrenia worldwide1
People are being treated for schizophrenia in the UK2
Split in incidence between women and men2
Between 4-5 years older age of onset in women3
* See references below
What treatments are available for schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is treatable with medication and psychosocial support from family, friends and healthcare providers, and many people respond well to treatment. About 25% of people who suffer an episode of schizophrenia will go on to recover completely without any further problems.1
When schizophrenia is well managed, the chances of severe relapses are reduced. Therapies need to be tailored to each individual person, and the key to successful outcomes is finding the right combination of medications (typically antipsychotics) and the right talking therapies for each person.
Antipsychotic medicines are usually prescribed to control positive symptoms; they are less effective at treating the negative symptoms. Side-effects can include muscle problems, sedation and weight gain. It may take some time to determine what works best for a particular person and medications may need to be taken for a long period of time.
Advice for families
When a partner or other family member is diagnosed with schizophrenia, it can feel challenging and distressing. It is a diagnosis that affects not just the individual, but also other people and relationships. It may be something that will continue long term, with uncertainty about how it may change over time.
It may be a diagnosis that creates feelings of anger or unfairness in individuals and families as they come to terms with it. It may also provide an insight into life or a way of being that has positive aspects to it, providing a level of awareness, understanding and empathy that might not otherwise have been achievable.
It can be difficult for those who have not had direct experience of the condition to fully understand it. Whatever the situation, it may be helpful to connect with other people in a similar position through specialist schizophrenia groups, as well as healthcare support teams.
Further information and dedicated support are available from specialist charities and healthcare organisations, including: