‘The experience of schizophrenia’ explores a condition that is diverse and associated with bizarre, inexplicable, and frightening experiences and with behaviour that is strange and difficult to understand. Before the discovery of antipsychotic drugs (neuroleptics) in the 1950s, there were no effective treatments for schizophrenia. In the 1970s it was widely recognized that patients with schizophrenia would be much better off if they were not kept for decades in large institutions. Where possible, new patients were discharged from hospital promptly, following assessment and treatment. There has been much discussion in the medical and the national press of the success or otherwise of ‘care in the community’.