World Schizophrenia Day 2018 : busting schizophrenia myths

World Schizophrenia Day is celebrated on May 24 every year. It aims to bring awareness about schizophrenia and reduce stigma towards people affected by this mental disorder.

1: Schizophrenia needs life-long medication Once labeled with schizophrenia, it doesn’t automatically mean that medications need to go on until the end of life. Psychiatrists take a call based on various factor and many patients are slowly weaned off the medication and never have an episode ever. Read: Not just weight loss, eating raw fruits and vegetables can help improve mental health

2: You shouldn’t marry a schizophrenia patient This is another popular myth. In case, either you or your partner developed schizophrenia or any mental disorder post marriage. Would you abandon them? Or would you like to be abandoned? If the answer is no, then please do not discriminate. If someone can be treated and is functional, they have every shot at a happy life as others.

3: Schizophrenic patients are violent Contrary to the popular movie portrayal and the sensitised newspaper articles, most individuals suffering from the condition are rather victims of violence by family or outsiders. A few may get violent in an acute episode, but that too specifically towards family member for a short while. Even individuals without schizophrenia can be aggressive and violent, but sadly, often people with this condition are specifically discriminated. Hence, people suffering from the schizophrenia face numerous challenges and undergo unbearable pain both mentally and physically.

4: Schizophrenics are dumb/ low in intelligence The best example to bust this myth is Professor John Nash, who inspired the Oscar-winning film ‘A Beautiful Mind’. He was a Nobel laureate in Economics. Schizophrenia may affect cognition if untreated, but it doesn’t make anyone dumb or lower their intelligence. They can contribute to the world just as you and I do.

5: Electroconvulsive therapy (ETC) is badECT is a safe treatment technique. No, it doesn’t short-circuit your brain or wipe off your previous memories. It is done under anesthesia, just like any other operation, and hence, the patient doesn’t feel any pain or discomfort at all. Does it have any side effects? Like any medicine or treatment, it has a small side-effect profile but most patients don’t even face them

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