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question

Do people with schizophrenia know they are sick?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
answer
Some people with schizophrenia may understand that they are sick, especially when they become stable after treatment with medications and therapy. Many people with schizophrenia are even able to maintain jobs and relationships with others. Others, left untreated, or during an active psychotic episode, may not understand that they are sick, and will have trouble identifying and understanding what is real. When patients have active schizophrenia symptoms, they truly believe in their delusions and hallucinations, and will deny that they are sick. Untreated patients often lack insight into their illness. One way for people with schizophrenia to understand more about their illness is to participate in a peer support group. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that these peer groups are very helpful for individuals living with schizophrenia.

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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.