A 2-year follow-up of 328 patients discharged from a psychiatric hospital was carried out to determine the presence and severity of symptoms, disturbed behaviour and functional disability and to assess social performance. Population groups and diagnostic entities (schizophrenia, affective illness, acute and chronic organic brain syndromes and functional non-psychotic conditions) were compared. In general the proportion of patients with symptoms was considerable at discharge in respect of both the diagnostic entities and the population groups, and decreased on follow-up. Disturbed behaviour abated on discharge, but the prevalence of functional incapacity remained high. The pattern for different diagnostic groups was more or less the same, but the proportions differed in some instances. These are discussed in detail. The problem of sequelae of psychiatric illness in patients discharged from a psychiatric hospital is shown to be considerable.