3 Women Tell Us What It's Really Like To Live With Schizophrenia

Illustrated by Norah Stone.
When it comes to mental health, the facts and figures tell us a lot.
In the UK about one in six people will need treatment for mental ill health during their lifetime and it is estimated that at some time during their life, about one in 100 people will suffer an episode of schizophrenia.
At any one time, about 220,000 people are being treated for schizophrenia by the NHS, yet the illness is still a killer. Sufferers have a 5-10% chance of dying by their own hand within 10 years of diagnosis, which is around two and a half times higher than the general population. Schizophrenia strikes most often in late teens and early 20s, and slightly later in women than in men.
But the statistics don't tell us everything, and stigma and misunderstanding about schizophrenia is rife, as three women who have the illness told us. Here they describe when they got their diagnosis, what it really feels like to hear voices in your head, and how we can better help friends and family who have mental health problems.

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