Schizophrenia contributes 0.5% of mental disorders in Chhattisgarh

Central Chronicle News
Raipur, May 26:
People with schizophrenia are 2-3 times more likely to die early than the general population due to preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and infections. Schizophrenia is a treatable condition.
This was stated by said Dr Lokesh Kumar Singh Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry AIIMS, Raipur. According to him Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder affecting upto 21 million worldwide. It is more common in the age group of 15 to 30 years and both males and females are equally affected. World Schizophrenia Day is observed on 24th May every year, with an overall objective of raising awareness about schizophrenia and understanding of the mental illness.
Schizophrenia is characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour. Common experiences include hallucinations –hearing voices or seeing things that are not there and delusions-fixed, false beliefs. Worldwide, schizophrenia is associated with considerable disability and may affect educational and occupational performance.
Treatment with medications and psychosocial support is effective. Facilitation of assisted living, supported housing and employment are effective management strategies for people with schizophrenia. Stigma, discrimination and violation of human rights of people with schizophrenia is common. There is a need to reduce this stigma and also to overcome myths associated with it and to promote help seeking by people affected by schizophrenia and their caregivers.
Therefore in the context of World schizophrenia day, the department of psychiatry AIIMS, Raipur sensitized patients and caregiver groups attending regular psychiatry OPD to attend the programme on 24th May in order to give a voice to express their concern and educate them regarding various aspects of schizophrenia with a goal to improve their functioning and quality of life. To mark this occasion a series of events were organized by department of psychiatry AIIMS, Raipur. The main activity was in the form of interactive awareness session involving patients suffering from schizophrenia and their caregivers along with mental health professionals from department of psychiatry was held with an aim to promote awareness about schizophrenia, to reduce stigma associated with it and to form a self-help group. As a part of this event, a brief description about the various aspects of Schizophrenia including its early warning signs, etiology, symptoms, course, diagnosis, treatment, relapse, prognosis, drug induced side effects, substance abuse, stigma and associated myths, impact on care givers, social disability, coping skills, family psychoeducation and rehabilitation methods were explained. Scope of forming a self-help group and its functioning was discussed.
This day provided an opportunity for those who have schizophrenia and their caregivers to share their experience and knowledge and help to create a greater understanding of their needs and aspirations. The department also took this opportunity for other activities like release of pamphlet on schizophrenia and screening of a documentary.
The pamphlets on schizophrenia were distributed to participants, their questions and clarifications were addressed. An animated short film about schizophrenia was played in the TV display at AIIMS, Raipur.
It was an attempt for better understanding about the illness among the common public. During the discussion Dr Lokesh Kumar Singh told that the National Mental Health Survey in 2015-2016 revealed that the prevalence of mental health disorders in state of Chhattisgarh was 11.66%. Schizophrenia contributes for 0.5% of them. This means that approximately 1,27,000 people are affected with this serious disorder.
The participants were patients affected with schizophrenia and their caregivers, Faculty members, Senior Residents, Junior Residents, nursing staff and staff of various sections of institute.
The faculty of department of psychiatry Dr Lokesh Kumar Singh, Dr Sai Spoorthy, Dr Purushotham A, Dr Sanghamitra, Dr Avinash Shukla and Dr Supriya organized this programme.
To conclude, the department has taken small steps towards achieving a larger goal, like tiny drops make an ocean, their initiatives would reach all the sections of the society and create awareness, promote quality of life and reduce stigma about people suffering from schizophrenia, said Dr Lokesh Kumar Singh Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry AIIMS, Raipur.

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