Disease statistics show that schizophrenia is a brain disorder affecting one percent of the population in the world. Mackliff estimates that 10% of the population of Ecuador is affected by schizophrenia. This is due to drug use and the unnatural amounts of stress that prevail in people’s lives today. Applying that percentage to the U.S., this would mean an estimated over twenty million people in the United States have schizophrenia. There are studies that show that the risk for getting schizophrenia has a genetic origin. Other factors such as family discord, birth complications and women who had influenza during pregnancy have a known influence on a person developing schizophrenia.
The new statistic of 10% of the population rings true with my experience of talking to people in the United States about my project, documentary and book, and hearing them tell me “My nephew has schizophrenia”, “My friend’s grandson has schizophrenia”, “One of the girls in my class had schizophrenia and had to leave the university.”. Virtually every person that I share me story with knows someone who has schizophrenia. This makes it a very critical disease affecting young people primarily.
The statistic for suicide from schizophrenia is also skewed.
In the list of adverse side effects to antipsychotic drugs prescribed for schizophrenia, suicide is listed as the ‘final episode’ by pharmaceutical companies. Other side effects, given scientific names such as akinesia or movement indifference and akathisia or inner restlessness, can lead to the final episode.
|Total Cases reported||Reported BY||Suicide – %||Suicide Attempt – %||Suicide Ideation – %||Suicide Depression – %|
|545 – 23.16%||704 – 29.92%||989 – 42.0%||12 – 51%|
|Medical Doctors||686 – 29.21%||“||“||“|
|Other health professionals||1247 – 49%||“||“||“|
|Consumers||786 – 26.6%||“||“||“|
|Pharmacists||104 – 3.52%||“||“||“|
|Age Groups||Total Cases Reported||Suicide – % /Suicide Attempt – %
|Other health professionals|
Since most suicides and suicide attempts are not reported to Medwatch due to persons not being under a psychiatrist’s care, non-compliance with drug treatments, parents too distraught to think of reporting, or persons are homeless and suicide not associated with schizophrenia. I estimate the actual events to be twice to four times the total reported cases for 2007. At four times the reported estimate, this makes the rate of suicide 10% per one million persons with schizophrenia between ages 18 – 24.