Thoughts on World Schizophrenia Day

images (37)

May 24 is largely observed as World Schizophrenia Day across the world. It is a day that attempts to create public awareness about this debilitating disorder of the mind. Schizophrenia is one of the most serious mental health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Statistics gathered by psychiatrists’ state that over ten percent of schizophrenics commit suicide.

The day has been therefore marked out to raise awareness about the condition and to understand the situation of people suffering from schizophrenia. The disorder is psychotic problem in the mind, and it influences how a person feels, behaves and thinks. The day makes us pause in our lives and spare thoughts for schizophrenic patients to know how difficult it is for them to live with this tragic affliction.

We also need to be aware of the ways they manage to cope with their situations and to stop a while in our lives to acclaim their grit and determination in carrying on coping with their lives. It is really very sad to see a young adolescent on the threshold f life struck by the disease and learning to deal with it. It is very difficult to see a loved one gradually starting to withdraw from life and living as we know it. It is hard to imagine there world where they hear strange voices insulting them, and telling them so much.

A schizophrenic’s universe is distorted and they remain elusive to their own reality.  Not certain who their friends are, they start to misinterpret well meaning intentions. Families are at a loss to understand how to handle close ones and survive. Worse it is for the patient who has to contend with misunderstandings and lack of consideration from near and dear ones.

Families and friends must be very clear that they are not failing if they cannot manage their ward. It is not being a bad parent, husband or offspring. Like any other illness it is a mental illness.  The thing to remember here is that those who suffer from schizophrenia need to be treated with respect and love. However difficult this may be.

Moreover they need to get quality medical treatment that also will be very difficult in some cases. With time conditions may vary and also deteriorate that may require hospitalization and proper psychiatric care as also counseling. People affected by this vacuous disease are actually very brave in trying to cope with their limitations. And so if we come across a likewise messed up person we must always remember to be kind to them. Knowing that schizophrenia is a biological illness, it is important to care for and support someone who lives with the condition.

People must be aware of the following essential facts of this mental disorder:

  • Onset may start in late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Symptoms include – Hallucination:hearing, seeing or feeling things that do not exist. Delusion: fixed false beliefs or suspicions that are firmly held even when there is evidence to the contrary. Abnormal behavior: strange appearance, self-neglect, incoherent speech, wandering aimlessly, mumbling or laughing to self.
  • People with schizophrenia are more likely to die early than the general population as a result of physical illnesses, such as cardiovascular, metabolic and infectious diseases.
  • Causes of schizophrenia are not known, but researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environment contributes to development of the disorder.
  • Schizophrenia is treatable and is usually treated with a combination of medication and therapy appropriate to each individual.

However the fact is that half of the people with the condition do not get appropriate care.

Advertisements

12 August – International Youth Day

International Youth Day

12 August designated as International Youth Day by UN General Assembly

United Nations earmarked August 12 as International Youth Day. This year’s theme “Youth and Mental Health” for this special day follows the slogan ‘Mental Health Matters’. Youth with mental health conditions do experience discrimination that leads to exclusion. Often this discourages them to seek help, more so for fear of being ‘labeled’ negatively.

Efforts are on to overcome such stigma and ensure that young people with issues can lead healthy lives free of isolation or shame. They are to be encouraged to openly seek the services and support available. HERD Foundation is all set to be part of such efforts. Our focus has always been for youth development and this input will be promoted through approaches that address challenges faced by young people.

HERD Foundation wants to reach out to youth with mental health issues and others to tackle stigma and promote social inclusion of all young people to achieve their aspirations and goals. International Youth Day is a time to reinforce our pledge to bring youth issues to the attention of all and celebrate the potential of youth as promising partners in today’s global society.

This annual celebration of role of young women and men as essential partners in change, sees HERD Foundation take on opportunities to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships facing the youth. We have promoted sports events as a way to assist the youth in overcoming limitations. The thematic campaign has encouraged the general public to understand the needs of young people. We need to also implement policies to help them overcome the challenges they face and to get young people into decision-making processes.

Nearly half of all people in the world today are under the age of 25. Effectively addressing the special needs of  youth is a critical challenge for the future. Especially the youth between ages 15 – 24 make up for over one sixth of the world’s population. However they are seldom recognized as a distinct group for the critical role will play in shaping the future. Add to this the fact that countless youth lack education, skills and job training, employment opportunities, and health services. This effectively limits their future at a very early age.

HERD Foundation reacts to such apathy by first including the youth in societal context as important assets for the economic, political, and social life of their communities.

 

Youth Day Celebrations

International Youth Day – August 12, 2014