Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Untreated Schizophrenics are America’s Disappeared

Who are America’s untreated schizophrenics? One percent of the American population have schizophrenia—3.25 million souls. Fifty percent are not aware they are sick (anosognosia). The conundrum is that this group is likely to go untreated with antipsychotics. Untreated schizophrenia (90%) and to a smaller extent severe bipolar disease are defined as the ‘Seriously Mentally Ill’ or SMI. Untreated schizophrenia leads to violence in the home, incarceration in jails and prisons, homelessness, 911 calls, short-term psychiatric stays, suicides and murders.

Parents, usually mothers, have no safety net for their grown children. Board and Care facilities and public long term residences for the SMI are all but non-existent. Also, the time to bring back locked State, County or Private Hospitals is now. The remaining five in California are 90% filled with forensic patients—those sent by the courts for violent crimes rather than the SMI alone.

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