Observing World Schizophrenia Day

Why World Schizophrenia Day?

What exactly is schizophrenia and why a special day of observance? Here is an excerpt from NDTV:

“World Schizophrenia Day … is observed on May 24. Schizophrenia is a mental condition which affects normal functioning of the brain. The condition interferes with a person’s ability to feel, act and think. Some schizophrenic patients recover completely and find an improvement in their symptoms. But others continue to suffer from schizophrenia for a prolonged period of time, wherein the distressing symptoms can last for years.

A common myth surrounding schizophrenia is that people suffering from it have split personality. However, this is completely untrue. Schizophrenia patients have 1 personality just like everyone else. Common symptoms of schizophrenia include confused thinking, delusions and hallucinations. Schizophrenia is often considered as a grave condition. There is a lot of stigma associated with schizophrenia.

The aim of World Schizophrenia Day is to fight these stigmas and make people more aware of the mental disorder.”

While mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are becoming less stigmatized and more a part of our conversation, others like schizophrenia are still highly stigmatized. People associate schizophrenia with violent behavior, homelessness, or institutionalization. Schizophrenia can be disabling, but there are also functional schizophrenics who are able to live normal, productive lives, and treatment can alleviate or in some circumstances completely eliminate symptoms.

Schizophrenia often strikes in teenagers or young adults and can be triggered by drugs such as LSD or marijuana. In places where marijuana has been legalized, like in Canada, it is more important than ever to make sure young people are made aware that it can cause permanent psychological problems.

Resources

The infographic at the right by Global Medical Education has a lot of great information. The language does get a bit technical in a few places, but go ahead and click it to see the big picture.

Have a look at these other articles:

Author Interview With Zarina Macha

Zarina Macha, an author who has written about schizophrenia and I are doing a blog swap. You can jump over to her interview with me on her website today, and my interview with her can be found here.

Looking Over Your Shoulder

Looking Over Your Shoulder, the first book that I published features a main character with late onset schizophrenia. Abe is stable at the beginning of the book, working in a job he enjoys, and married with three children. However, the stress of being a suspect in a jewel heist at his workplace, he quickly destabilizes, and no one will believe his suspicions.

Abe experiences a lot of issues common to people with schizophrenia, but has a good support network, and his family and friends do everything they can to get him back on track. But Abe’s claims are not all paranoia and someone really is out to get him.

Things were going well for Abe.  Despite all of his past struggles with mental illness, he was happily married, had three wonderful children, a nice home, and a fantastic consulting business that satisfied his creativity and brought in a good income.

But you can never get too comfortable.  When Abe becomes a prime suspect in a jewel heist – one of the largest successful jewel heists in history – his schizophrenia becomes unmanageable and everything begins to spiral out of control.  Abe’s own investigation into the heist has the jewel thieves hot on his tail… but are they really, or is he just losing the battle against his inner demons?

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[Abe is] a likeable star, at least in my opinion. He has playful banters with his children, and the schizophrenia part of his character was done very well. I would say that is the strongest suit of Workman’s book: Abe’s schizophrenia. There was no part of the book where it felt ridiculous or unbelievable. Kudos to the author!

All in all, this novel is a fun read and I enjoyed it very much.

– L. Benitez

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