Schizophrenia is a complex mental health problem which affects how a person behaves, thinks and feels. It can be a distressing illness which disrupts how people understand and interpret the outside world. It affects one in 100 people.

The illness is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatised there is. There is a common misconception that people with schizophrenia have split personalities and are violent and dangerous. This is not accurate. The causes of schizophrenia are unknown, but are thought to be associated with changes in some brain chemicals.  

Common Experiences of Schizophrenia

  • Hallucinations, hearing, seeing or feeling something that others can’t.
  • Delusions, irrational or unfounded beliefs.
  • Paranoia, generally, experiencing a sense of threat or fear over being harmed.
  • Muddled thinking, finding it hard to concentrate.
  • Feelings of being controlled.
  • A loss of interest in life.

If you have experienced stigma because of schizophrenia and want to tell people your story, get in touch at

Personal Story

"50 years ago the general consensus of opinion, relating to a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, was that there was no hope."

"My close family were embarrassed, horrified, treated me as though I was some long distant neighbour and excluded me from family occasions."

"Stigma and discrimination prevented my being recognised to be capable. "

- Dianna Manson 

Read Dianna's story here. 

More Information

Royal College of Psychiatrists:
Support in Mind: