People recover from schizophrenia
Over the course of months or years, about 20 to 25 percent of people with schizophrenia recover completely
The popular and professional view that schizophrenia has a progressive, downhill course with universally poor outcome is a myth. Over the course of months or years, about 20 to 25 percent of people with schizophrenia recover completely from the illness – all their psychotic symptoms disappear and they return to their previous level of functioning. Another 20 percent continue to have some symptoms, but they are able to lead satisfying and productive lives.
In the developing countries, recovery rates are even better. The two World Health Organization studies mentioned above have shown that good outcome occurs in about twice as many patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in the developing world as in the developed world. The reason for the better outcome in the Third World is not completely understood, but it may be that many people with mental illness in developing world villages are better accepted, less stigmatized, and more likely to find work in a subsistence agricultural economy.