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    Schizophrenia: An Overview

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    Are People With Schizophrenia Dangerous?

    Popular books and movies often depict people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses as dangerous and violent. This is usually not true. Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. More typically, they prefer to withdraw and be left alone. In some cases, however, people with mental illness may engage in dangerous or violent behaviors that are generally a result of their psychosis and the resulting fear from feelings of being threatened in some way by their surroundings.

    On the other hand, people with schizophrenia can be a danger to themselves. Suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with schizophrenia.

    What Is the Outlook for People With Schizophrenia?

    With proper treatment, most people with schizophrenia can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Depending on the level of severity and the consistency of treatment received they are able to live with their families or in community settings rather than in long-term psychiatric institutions.

    Ongoing research on the brain and how brain disorders develop will likely lead to more effective medicines with fewer side effects.

    Can Schizophrenia Be Prevented?

    There is no known way to prevent schizophrenia. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid or reduce frequent relapses and hospitalizations and help decrease the disruption to the person's life, family, and relationships.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on September 27, 2015
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