Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies. Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. There are effective treatments for schizophrenia and people affected by it can lead a productive life and be integrated in society. If schizophrenia is well managed, it's possible to reduce the chance of severe relapses.

Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide but is not as common as many other mental disorders. It is more common among males (12 million), than females (9 million). Schizophrenia also commonly starts earlier among men.

Schizophrenia is associated with considerable disability and may affect educational and occupational performance.

People with schizophrenia are 2-2.5 times more likely to die early than the general population. This is often due to physical illnesses, such as cardiovascular, metabolic and infectious diseases.

Stigma, discrimination and violation of human rights of people with schizophrenia is common.

More than 50% of people with schizophrenia are not receiving appropriate care. 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in low- and middle- income countries. Lack of access to mental health services is an important issue. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia are less likely to seek care than the general population.

Saha S, Chant D, Welham J, McGrath J (2005) A Systematic Review of the Prevalence of Schizophrenia. PLOS Medicine 2(5): e141

General anxiety disorder (GAD)

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives. GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue. GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms.

GAD is one of the most common mental disorders in primary care settings. It has a lifetime prevalence of 4,3 to 5,9%.

Wittchen HU, Jacobi F. – Size and burden of mental disorders in Europe – a critical review and appraisal of 27 studies. – Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2005 Aug;15(4):3547-76