World Schizophrenia Day: Over 30% Cases In OPD Of Mental Hospital Are Schizophrenic

World Schizophrenia Day: Over 30% Cases In OPD Of Mental Hospital Are Schizophrenic

Chronic mental illness remains undiagnosed due to social stigma, actual number is considerably high: Dr Pal

Tarun TiwariUpdated: Friday, May 24, 2024, 06:18 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Case1: A 17-year-old boy had started living isolated from his family and friends. Moreover, he had started talking to himself. But, instead of consulting the doctor, his parents shouted at him for his behaviour which didn’t solve anything but the problem increased. Later, the doctors on TELEMANAS helpline referred him to the hospital for psychiatric help as he was suffering from schizophrenia.

It is not the maiden case of the serious mental illness named schizophrenia but it affects nearly 1 in 250 individuals. On the eve of World Schizophrenia Day, Dr VS Pal, superintendent of Government Mental Hospital, shared the surprising data that over 30 per cent cases of the total OPD in the hospital, every day, are of schizophrenia.

‘Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness which has its onset most commonly during late adolescence and the twenties, affecting individuals in their productive age group. The disease is associated with significant levels of distress and impairment in day-to-day functioning,’ Dr Pal said.

Explaining about the disease, the renowned psychiatrist said that this mental illness alters the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.

‘It often leads to a distorted perception of reality, impacting a person’s ability to function in daily life. The symptoms range may include: hearing voices or seeing things that aren't there, false beliefs, odd behavioural patterns, aggressive behaviour and reduced emotional expression,’ he added. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Dr Krishna Mishra said that a common barrier to treatment is a misperception that all psychiatric drugs are just sedatives and do not treat the disorder.

‘It should be noted that schizophrenia is a treatable mental health condition and with the help of modern medications such as antipsychotics, individuals suffering from this condition can also lead a normal healthy life and may make meaningful contributions to society,’ he said.

Actual number of cases are very big but undiagnosed

Dr Mishra said that the prevalence of the disease is 1.5 per cent of the total population. ‘It is just the figure of the diagnosed cases but the number might be considerable as people use the shield of social stigma instead of getting treatment. Approximately over 15 people out of 100 might be suffering from any level of the disease,’ he said. He also added that the number of calls on TELEMANAS helpline also supports the same claim.

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