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World Schizophrenia Day: 5 facts about the mental illness you probably didn’t know

Updated on:24 May 2021, 15:01pm IST
On World Schizophrenia Day, we bring you five facts to help you understand how this mental illness can affect a person’s life.
Grace Bains
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World Schizophrenia Day
How much do you know about schizophrenia? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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World Schizophrenia Day is celebrated on the 24th of May every year to honour Dr Phillippe Pinel who did much for the treatment and management of this mental illness. It is an opportunity to become more aware of schizophrenia, an illness that can significantly impact a patient’s life.

Society stigmatises issues with mental health but in no way can it be denied that the matters of the brain are more complicated than one can even imagine. A deterioration in mental health often leads to issues like anxiety and depression but not many know of other mental illnesses that can severely affect the day-to-day functioning of an individual. One such illness is schizophrenia.

Also read: Mental health problems are not a choice, having compassion is

Symptoms of schizophrenia

You might have heard about the term but how many can say they know what it entails? Some of the common symptoms of the disease include:

  • Hallucination: Imagining things, voices, smells or people that aren’t actually there
  • Delusion: Believing things that are not true, like thinking that your television set is sending you messages
  • Disorganised thoughts: Not being able to follow a chain of thought

    Schizophrenia
    Schizophrenia is characterised by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganised thoughts. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Facts about schizophrenia

Here are some facts about schizophrenia that will help you understand the gravity of the disease and make you realize the importance of seeking help for mental health issues:

1. It affects 20 million people all over the world

According to a study by The Lancet, schizophrenia may not be as common as other mental health issues but does affect a considerable population all across the world.

2. It increases the risk of dying early

Research published in the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology established that those who suffer from schizophrenia are two to three times more likely to die early than the general population. This could be due to an increased risk of physical ailments such as cardiovascular diseases and infections and higher instances of suicidal ideation.

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia increases your risk of dying early. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Its causes are unknown

The medical community still doesn’t know what causes schizophrenia in an individual. Many believe that it is a combination of genetic factors and social environment. However, an exact cause for the mental illness has not been found. This also means that preventing it or identifying at-risk individuals is not easy, affecting timely diagnosis.

4. It is not easy to diagnose

An individual often doesn’t realize that they could be suffering from schizophrenia and hence, may not seek help in a timely manner. In addition, there are no particular tests to aid medical professionals in diagnosing the disease.

5. It is manageable

The symptoms of schizophrenia may affect the day-to-day life of the patients and also lead to social withdrawal. Hence, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. The illness is manageable once the individual starts taking regular medicines.

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.