HYDERABAD - Prof Moin Ahmed Ansari, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) and secretary general of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society, said on Tuesday that around 154 million people were suffering from depression in the world and 25 million of them were suffering from schizophrenia, impairment in perception of reality.

Ansari said that mental illnesses were common in countries of all economic status and people with those disorders were often subjected to social isolation, poor quality of life and increased death rates.

He said that exact causes of schizophrenia were unknown but research suggested a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors could make a person more likely to develop the condition.

He said that drugs did not directly cause schizophrenia, but studies had shown drug misuse increased the risk of developing schizophrenia or a similar illness.