World Schizophrenia Day Date in the current year: May 24, 2024

World Schizophrenia Day World Schizophrenia Day is observed annually on May 24. It was created to educate people about this mental disorder and combat common misconceptions and stigma associated with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by relapsing or continuous episodes of psychosis (an abnormal condition of the mind where a person has difficulty determining what is real and what is not). Its major symptoms include hallucinations (typically auditory verbal, i. e. hearing voices), paranoia, delusions, and confused thinking; they often lead to social withdrawal.

The usual onset of schizophrenia tends to be in the late teens to the early thirties. Men are more often affected by the disorder than women and usually have an earlier onset. Schizophrenia is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but its exact cause is unclear.

Schizophrenia is treated with a combination of antipsychotic medications, psychological interventions, and social support. Severe psychotic episodes may result in hospitalization, but long-term inpatient stays have become less common than before due to deinstitutionalization. Many people with schizophrenia are able to live independently and have a relatively good quality of life thanks to medication, therapy, and a good support system.

World Schizophrenia Day was first declared by the National Schizophrenia Foundation in the late 1990s. Back then, it was known as National Schizophrenia Awareness Day. It is observed on May 24 in honor of Dr. Philippe Pinel, a French physician credited with developing a more humane approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients. It is believed on that on May 24, 1793, Dr. Pinel ordered to unshackle psychiatric patients in an asylum in Paris, which was a bold and unprecedented move.

Although there is a lot of information widely available about schizophrenia, a not insignificant portion of this information is inaccurate, misleading, and/or stigmatizing. World Schizophrenia Day was created to combat stigma and misconceptions associated with schizophrenia, as well as to emphasize the importance of humane treatment of people with schizophrenia and mental illness and general.

A lot of misconceptions about schizophrenia result from the portrayal of the disorder in the media. Many people seem to believe that schizophrenia means split personality because the word schizophrenia is translated as “splitting of the mind”, but dissociative identity disorder is now considered a completely separate mental illness. In films and news media, people with schizophrenia are often portrayed as violent and a danger to others, although they are much more often a danger to themselves.

If you want to observe World Schizophrenia Day, you can do it by educating yourself about this mental disorder (the book A Road Back from Schizophrenia: A Memoir by Arnhild Lauveng is a great place to start), donating to organizations supporting schizophrenia research, volunteering at a mental health facility, or spreading awareness on social media using the hashtag #WorldSchizophreniaDay.

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