New member enquiries 0800 414 8001 *

Existing members 0800 414 8100 *

Mental health: schizophrenia

Wednesday 1st October

Find out more about this illness with our Q&A. 

Q: How common are mental health issues?

A: During the course of any year, one in four people will experience some type of mental health problem.

Q: …and schizophrenia?

A: It is estimated that about one in 100 people will have one episode of schizophrenia. Two-thirds of them will go on to experience further episodes.

Q: Is it more common in older or younger people?

A: It usually starts when someone is in their late teens or early 20s. That said, schizophrenia can also occur for the first time in older people, too.

Q: What causes it?

A: We don't really know. However, episodes of schizophrenia seem to be linked to changes in chemicals in the brain. For some people, an episode can be triggered by having a stressful experience or by taking recreational drugs.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: An episode of schizophrenia can cause the individual to lose touch with reality. This includes seeing and hearing things that aren't really there, and having irrational thoughts and convictions.

They can start to act strangely in response to these hallucinations or delusions. An episode can last for several weeks, and the symptoms can be very unnerving and frightening.

Q: What about “hearing voices”?

A: According to the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), doctors generally define hearing voices as a symptom of a medical illness. The charity states that “many people hear voices but never find them a problem or need to seek help from mental health services”. You'll find more information from the MHF about hearing voices here.

Q: Is schizophrenia treatable?

A: Yes, and most people with schizophrenia are prescribed drugs to reduce their symptoms. However, these may be long-term prescriptions and the drugs can cause side-effects. Some patients require a lot of help in managing their symptoms. Others use self-management techniques – or may find their own ways of coping with their symptoms, without feeling the need to seek treatment.

Further information and help

For more on mental health issues, and how to look after your mental health, visit the Mental Health Foundation. The charity has further resources about Living With Schizophrenia in support of World Mental Health Day 2014.

If you or someone you are caring for is experiencing a mental health problem, contact your GP. In an emergency go to A&E at your local hospital or dial 999. For those who are already in contact with their community mental health team, get in touch with them.

twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon linkedin icon googleplus icon

Contact us - We would love to hear from you

New members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Existing members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Please note that your call may be recorded for our mutual security and also for training and quality purposes.

Health cash plans

Benenden Health Cash Plan
BHSF Limited
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

Send us a message

Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242521 (Lines open 8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri)

Health assessments

Send us a message

Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

Travel insurance

Send us a message

Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Lines open for Customer Services
9am-8pm Monday to Friday
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Benenden business healthcare

Send us a message

Benenden Business Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8179* (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Home insurance

Send us a message

Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

Home Emergency
0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Legal Expenses
0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Charitable trust

Send us a message

Find out more

Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)