World Schizophrenia 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 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 Day timeline
Emile Kraepelin documents mental health cases though this has been a long-time issue.
Swiss Psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler gives the disorder the name schizophrenia.
Scientists come up with chlorpromazine — an antipsychotic drug.
APA releases the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” third edition.
World Schizophrenia 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 Day
Read about schizophrenia
There are wonderful resources with a bunch of information online. The best way to raise awareness is to be informed.
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!
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
It is treatable
Schizophrenia is treated with medication and psychotherapy.
It is not just hallucinations
There are many symptoms characterizing schizophrenia, not just hearing or seeing things.
It is not violent
It’s rare for people with schizophrenia to get physical. Most are secluded and introverted.
It can affect anyone
Anyone is susceptible, even famous mathematician John Nash and socialite Zelda Fitzgerald.
There are five subtypes
It’s categorized into undifferentiated, catatonic, residual, disorganized, and paranoid.
Why World Schizophrenia Day is Important
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.
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.
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 Day dates