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Mark Moronell, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredAbout one-third of people with schizophrenia become permanently disabled by the illness. There are some characteristics that make people more likely to be completely debilitated by the illness. Those diagnosed at a young age, especially if they are struggling to maintain relationships, jobs, and schoolwork, often fare worse than others. Also, some people with schizophrenia experience negative symptoms more than others. Negative symptoms include symptoms like flat affect, speech difficulties, thought disorders, and social avoidance. Often, those that experience these symptoms find it difficult to maintain even basic responsibilities of life, like bathing, getting dressed, and performing a daily routine.