What are the chances of recovering from schizophrenia?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library reports that a third of people with schizophrenia recover, or almost completely recover, from the illness. Another third will experience some improvement in their disease, but may relapse from time to time. This group may also experience some permanent disabilities. The other third will be completely disabled by the illness, and will not improve. There are some characteristics of people who have the highest chances of recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, including:

  • Experiencing a sudden onset of the disease
  • First having symptoms of schizophrenia at an older age
  • Having primarily bizarre behavior and psychotic symptoms
  • Having less cognitive and emotional impairment from the disease
  • Being independent and high-functioning before symptoms begin


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.