WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK?
The outlook for people with schizophrenia has improved over the last 25 years. Although no totally effective therapy has yet been devised, it is important to remember that many people with the illness
improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives. As we learn more about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia, we should be able to help more patients achieve successful outcomes.
Studies that have followed people with schizophrenia for long periods, from the first episode to old age, reveal that a wide range of outcomes is possible. When large groups of patients are studied,
certain factors tend to be associated with a better outcome – for example, a pre-illness history of normal social, school, and work adjustment. However, the current state of knowledge, does not allow for a
sufficiently accurate prediction of long-term outcome.
Given the complexity of schizophrenia, the major questions about this disorder – its cause or causes, prevention, and treatment – must be addressed with research. The public should beware of those
offering "the cure" for (or "the cause" of) schizophrenia. Such claims can provoke unrealistic expectations that, when unfulfilled, lead to further disappointment. Although progress has been made
toward better understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, continued investigation is urgently needed. It is thought that a wide-ranging research effort, including basic studies on the brain, will continue to
illuminate processes and principles important for understanding the causes of schizophrenia and for developing more effective treatments.
Schizophrenia Homepage Psychology Information Online
Thanks and acknowledgment to The National Institute of Mental Health which was a primary resource for information on this topic.