Today is World Schizophrenia Day, observed around the world to create awareness about this condition. Basically, schizophrenia is a chronic and serious mental disorder which is surprisingly common. At least 1 in every 1,000 Indians suffers from schizophrenia.

When the condition is acute, patients lose touch with reality and have hallucinations and delusions, and in a chronic condition, they’re unable to function socially or at work.

Patients with schizophrenia require proper medical attention, which can make their life more meaningful and manageable. Unfortunately, they’re often mocked at and stigmatised, and end up being socially isolated. People are afraid of them or laugh at them. What they actually need is a little understanding, empathy and care.

Dr Bharat R. Shah

Professor and Head, Dept of Psychiatry, K J Somaiya Medical College and Hospital

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