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It has long been held that schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders have a predominately poor course and outcome. We have synthesized information on mortality, clinical and social outcomes from the ÆSOP-10 multicenter study, a 10-year follow-up of a large epidemiologically characterized cohort of 557 people with first-episode psychosis. Symptomatic remission and recovery were more common than previously believed. Distinguishing between symptom and social recovery is important given the disparity between these; even when symptomatic recovery occurs social inclusion may remain elusive. Multiple factors were associated with an increased risk of mortality, but unnatural death was reduced by 90% when there was full family involvement at first contact compared with those without family involvement. These results suggest that researchers, clinicians and those affected by psychosis should countenance a much more optimistic view of symptomatic outcome than was assumed when these conditions were first described.