Missing Persons‎ > ‎

Adult Psychosis / Schizophrenia

Missing persons with Psychosis / Schizophrenia

Statistics taken directly from Grampian Stats report 2007.

 Summary of likely places found to being found and distance from last being seen. Followed by characteristics and further information on Psychosis / Schizophrenia


Missing on foot – likely places they will be found

  • 25% returned to their place of residence, or place missing from of their own accord.
  • 20% were found walking in the street, usually in a city/urban environment 
  • 15% were found at friend’s addresses

Others were located in smaller numbers at the following locations:

  • Went to their home address 
  • Police Station 
  • Boyfriend/girlfriends address 
  • In a pub or nightclub 
  • Relative’s address 
  • Walking in the street – rural area At shops
  • Hiding outside place missing from 
  • Hiding within place of residence 
  • Nursing home 
  • Church
  • Camping
  • Previous home address 
  • River bank
  • Drowned in river
  • Found hanged in a wood 
  • Sheltering in a ditch 
  • Derelict building 


Missing on foot – time taken to locate. Cumulative percentage of cases

25%         1 hr 05 mins

50%         2 hr 50 mins

60%         3 hr 35 mins

70%         4 hr 10 mins

80%         6 hr 10 mins

90%         11 hr 05 mins

99%         12 hr 50 mins


On foot - Distance from last seen to being found. Cumulative percentage of cases.

40%         2.20 km 

50%         2.90 km

60%         3.6 km

70%         4.2 km

80%         6.2 km

90%         11.10 km

95%         12.80 km


Missing and likely to use public transport – likely places they will be found

Although those using public transport travel much further distances, they tend to be more specific in the locations they
are travelling to. 

Because they make use of the public transport system, much information can be gleaned from ticket offices, bus drivers, CCTV, railway staff etc. 

  • 25% - Travelled back to their home address.
  • 20% - Were found walking in the street in city centres, usually places where they have lived previously or had friends living. 
  • 17% - Travelled to friends addresses.

Others were located in smaller numbers at the following locations: 

  • Returned to place missing from Police Station Boyfriend/girlfriends address 
  • In a pub 
  • Relative’s address
  • Railway station
  • Bus station
  • Booked into accommodation Hostel 
  • Homeless refuge 
  • Boarding a ferry 
  • Previous home address 
  • Admitted to hospital 
  • Derelict building 


Missing using public transport – time taken to locate. Cumulative percentage of cases

25%         3 hr 00 mins

50%         6 hr 15 mins

60%         8 hr 30 mins

70%         10 hr 15 mins

80%         20 hr 00 mins

90%         30 hr 00 mins

99%         71 hr 00 mins


People suffering from this disorder often stop taking their medication, this can often result in them quickly reaching a state where they stop looking after themselves. This is the one group of people, more than any other, who can be found sleeping rough in makeshift shelters, often in woodland or in ditches. They can also be found camping in secluded woodland areas, or living in remote derelict buildings. This behaviour will usually last for a relatively short time, after which they will often go to places where they have previously received medical treatment, for example, mental hospitals, doctors surgeries or even medical hospitals. They also have a tendency to go to addresses where they have lived previously, often sheltered or hostel type accommodation.


Using Public transport. Distance from last seen to being found. Cumulative percentage of cases.

40%         46.00 km

50%         69.00 km 

60%         150.00 km

70%         162.00 km

80%         257.00 km

90%         462.00 km

99%         480.00 km


Using own transport  - summary

Those who use their own vehicles as a method of transport, tend to travel distances between 5 kilometres and 115 kilometres. The majority return home of their own free will, some turn up at either mental or medical hospitals, some travel to their home address, and others are found sitting in their cars, usually in car parks within urban environments. 


It should be noted that people suffering from this condition have a tendency to use of ‘Public Transport’ in preference to any other form of transportation. 



What is psychosis / schizophrenia?

The following are all common terms used to describe the condition Psychosis / Schizophrenia 

  • Schizophrenic
  • Paranoid psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic
  • Delusional
  • Hears voices
  • Paranoid Schizophrenic Schizophrenic/Manic depressive Schizophrenia / Amnesiac Schizophrenic /Psychotic 

There is a common notion that schizophrenia is the same as “split personality” or a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde switch in character. This is not an accurate description of schizophrenia. In fact, split or multiple personality is an entirely different condition which is quite rare.

  • “Schizophrenia” is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. 
  • “Psychosis” is a common condition in schizophrenia, it is a state of mental impairment marked by hallucinations and/or delusions, which are false yet strongly held personal beliefs that result from an inability to separate real from unreal experiences. 
  • “Delusions” patients suffering from paranoid-type symptoms - roughly one-third of people with schizophrenia - often have delusions of persecution, or false and irrational beliefs that they are being cheated, harassed, poisoned, or conspired against. They may believe that a member of the family or someone close to them is responsible for this persecution. In addition, delusions of grandeur, in which a person may believe he or she is a famous or important figure, may occur in schizophrenia. Sometimes the delusions experienced by people with schizophrenia are quite bizarre; for instance, believing that a neighbour is controlling their behaviour with magnetic waves; that people on television are directing special messages to them; or that their thoughts are being broadcast aloud to others.
  • “Hallucinations” are disturbances of perception that are common in people suffering from schizophrenia. Hearing voices that other people do not hear is the most common type of hallucination. The voices they hear may take the form of a conversation, warning them of impending dangers, or even issuing them with orders.

It is common for those suffering from this disorder to stop taking their medication and/or going for follow-up treatment, this often leads to a return of psychotic symptoms. Without the correct treatment, some people with schizophrenia become so psychotic and disorganized that they cannot care for their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Very often, people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia end up on the streets or in custody / prison, where they rarely receive the kinds of treatment they need. 


Anyone suffering from this disorder who is overheard talking about committing suicide should be taken very seriously.