World Schizophrenia Day is a day marked in a bid to spread awareness and also explores what it means to live with this much misunderstood and often stigmatized mental health condition. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the illness and challenge the stigma around mental ill health.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness affecting more than 21 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about this illness, eradicate the myths and superstitions around mental illnesses in general.
A common myth surrounding schizophrenia is that people suffering from it have a split personality. However, this is completely untrue. Schizophrenia patients have just one personality, just like everyone else. Common symptoms of schizophrenia include confused thinking, delusions and hallucinations which is the ability to feel, hear or see something which does not exist. Some schizophrenia patients recover completely and find improvement while some suffer from it for a long period. According to World Health Organization, a range of effective care options exist for people with schizophrenia and at least one in three people with the condition will be able to recover fully.
Causes of schizophrenia
Research have not been able to find the exact causes of this illness. However, research now tells us that the disorder is linked to abnormalities in the structure of the brain.
There are also some factors that are believed to put a person at a greater risk of developing schizophrenia like:
Genetic factors: Having a parent or sibling with schizophrenia puts the person at increased risk.
A chemical imbalance in the brain
Problems during pregnancy: A child may develop schizophrenia if the mother does not receive proper nutrition, or is exposed to viral illnesses during pregnancy.
Extreme stress and overuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen any existing symptoms of schizophrenia.
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