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World Schizophrenia Awareness Day – May 24, 2023

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is commemorated every May 24. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the mental illness that affects over 20 million people worldwide. Schizophrenia is highly stigmatized since it’s not talked about and lacks accurate representation in the media. World Schizophrenia Awareness Day was created to fight against stigma and to make it easier for people to seek different resources to get help. It lifts the lid on the challenges that thousands of people with Schizophrenia — from all over the world — have to contend with every day of their lives.

History of World Schizophrenia Awareness Day

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by persistent psychotic symptoms such as auditory and/or visual hallucinations, delusional thinking, dissociation from reality, and disorganized thoughts and behavior. It usually begins to manifest when the patient is in their early twenties, although, in rare cases, symptoms can show in early childhood. This disorder affects about 24 million people in the world.

Cases with descriptions associated with schizophrenics began to be recorded in the 1700s; this disease has been around since early civilization. It was only registered and recognized in the early 1900s when psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coined the name schizophrenia. However, proper treatment following legitimate humane medical procedures was only adopted around 1980, when appropriate antipsychotic medication was introduced and there had already been a revolution in psychiatric treatment in general.

Schizophrenia is a treatable disorder and, in some cases, even curable. With the proper medication and psychotherapy, patients have shown improvement. Many people still don’t reach out for help. Some who do reach out tend to suffer stigma due to their condition rather than receive care. That’s why World Schizophrenia Awareness Day was started so that patients and their families and friends, plus everyone around the world can learn more about the disorder and know how to help if necessary.

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day timeline

1887
The First Details

Emile Kraepelin documents mental health cases though this has been a long-time issue.

1908
The Name is Given

Swiss Psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler gives the disorder the name schizophrenia.

Mid-1950s
A Treatment Solution Develops

Scientists come up with chlorpromazine — an antipsychotic drug.

1980
The “DSM III” Publishing

APA releases the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” third edition.

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day FAQs

Can a person with schizophrenia live a normal life?

If they get the proper psychiatric treatment, people with schizophrenia can manage a normal life.

Are schizophrenics aware of their condition?

Usually, people with schizophrenia don’t realize they have the disorder until they are taken to a doctor who can properly diagnose them.

How do you positively cope with schizophrenia?

It’s important to leave stigma behind and follow the treatment, always making sure to communicate with the doctors and get support from your closest friends and family.

How to Observe World Schizophrenia Awareness Day

  1. Read about schizophrenia

    There are wonderful resources with a bunch of information online. The best way to raise awareness is to be informed.

  2. Talk to friends about it

    Sometimes all the knowledge we have isn’t the same as other people’s. So, get your friends together and tell them what you know!

  3. Volunteer at a psychiatric ward

    If you really want to learn more about schizophrenia, why not volunteer to help at a psychiatric ward or mental health facility? There is no better learning than that which is experiential.

5 Important Facts About Schizophrenia

  1. It is treatable

    Schizophrenia is treated with medication and psychotherapy.

  2. It is not just hallucinations

    There are many symptoms characterizing schizophrenia, not just hearing or seeing things.

  3. It is not violent

    It’s rare for people with schizophrenia to get physical. Most are secluded and introverted.

  4. It can affect anyone

    Anyone is susceptible, even famous mathematician John Nash and socialite Zelda Fitzgerald.

  5. There are five subtypes

    It’s categorized into undifferentiated, catatonic, residual, disorganized, and paranoid.

Why World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is a great day to reflect on the lives of those who struggle with it daily. We can all do our part to extend kindness to them.

  2. It reduces the stigma around mental illnesses

    What better way to reduce the stigma around mental illness than to talk about it? Discussion forums are available in communities and online there are many options to participate in and socialize.

  3. It’s a learning opportunity

    If you didn’t know much about schizophrenia; this is a great learning opportunity. There is so much information available at this time so dig in and learn.

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 24Wednesday
2024May 24Friday
2025May 24Saturday
2026May 24Sunday
2027May 24Monday

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