Objective: Explore the long-term course of schizophrenia and related disorders. Method: Naturalistic study of 225 patients initially treated with risperidone (monotherapy or in combination with other psychotropic drugs) over 5 years. Results: Stable symptomatology and side effects were observed. Clinician GAF scores were 55-61, but patients' self-ratings were higher. Clinician and patient CGI scores were at the same level. Annual in-patient days decreased but days in sheltered accommodations increased still more. Only 12% of the patients studied or worked fulltime. One in four had no social contacts except with staff. Eight patients died during the 5 years. Conclusion: The findings underline the chronicity and seriousness of psychotic disorders in terms of social outcome and, indirectly, the low quality of life of this group of persons. Patients were generally well aware of their illness and able to sort out symptoms from drug side effects. This opens for more active involvement of patients in monitoring their own treatment.