Schizophrenia, a chronic condition that affects 1% of the world's population

Combat stigmatizing amalgamations What do John Nash, mathematician and Nobel laureate in economics, and Syd Barrett, musician and founder of the group Pink Floyd have in common? Of course, they are both brilliant and have left a lasting mark on their favorite fields. But more surprisingly, they have schizophrenia. Like a slew of other artists, musicians and politicians, John Nash and Syd Barrett are living proof that one can suffer from schizophrenia while making a remarkable contribution to society. And that, few people really realize. And for good reason, schizophrenia rhymes, most often and wrongly, with madness, but also a split of personality, when it is not associated with increased violence. As with the majority of psychotic disorders, schizophrenia therefore suffers from stigmatizing amalgamations. Hence the interest in re-establishing the truth. Despite the health circumstances, the Days of Schizophrenia do not let go and focus precisely on combating these prejudices. This year, the 18th World Schizophrenia Day, a chronic pathology which affects, on an international scale, 1% of the world population, has turned into “days” which therefore run from March 13 to 20. It’s not bad as the evil is deep. “When you translate ‘schizophrenia’ into Arabic, all sites show split personality as a result. However, schizophrenia is not a multiple personality disorder, nor is it the result of a fate ”, protests Ruban d’Espoir, the association which has made the fight for the development of mental health in Morocco its hobbyhorse. She estimates that 340,000 people with this brain disease belong to the psychosis family. And certainly so many citizens who suffer not only from the eyes of others but also from a delayed diagnosis. As Dr Tahiri Mehdi, psychiatrist and addictologist reminded us on Wednesday evening during a webinar organized among many others by Ruban d’Espoir, prejudices fatally delay the diagnosis of the disease. The time to exhaust all the addresses of witches, charlatans and other miracle recipes, the patient’s condition inevitably worsens. In the meantime, five to ten years have passed. An eternity when it is necessary to treat the person as quickly as possible so that the symptoms (see elsewhere) do not “contribute to a significant impact for patients in their daily life and become disabling”, explain the members of the association. A real handicap, especially since schizophrenia “appears mainly at the beginning of adulthood (between 15 and 25 years), without distinction of sex or social background, and evolves by episodes”, concludes the press release of Ruban d ‘ hope. Obviously, to move the lines, we will not go so far as to ask for brainwashing for some. But we are not far from it. In fact, awareness remains the best way to change the collective perception of a disease whose carriers are not more dangerous than normal. It is indeed more than likely that there are people with schizophrenia around you without you necessarily realizing it. Not everyone is a rock or math genius. That said, everyone with schizophrenia has the right to live like you and me. Chady Chaabi Dr. Imane Rouhli, psychiatrist and psychotherapist: Stigmatization is an obstacle to socio-professional integration Libé: Why do we say that schizophrenia is a mysterious disease? Dr. Imane Rouhli: Perhaps because we have not yet found a direct cause. It is a pathology certainly biological but multifactorial which can announce itself in various forms apart from hallucinations and delusions. Are people with it dangerous? The rate of violence in patients suffering from schizophrenia is equal to that observed in the general population. However, in some cases, the patient can be dangerous for himself or others, especially in the absence of treatment and care. What difficulties do they encounter in society? The stigmatization of mental illness, in general, and schizophrenia, in particular, is a major obstacle that stands in the way of the socio-professional integration of people who suffer from it, which makes them financially dependent on their close to or on the fringes of society as the case may be. Do we often speak of schizophrenia in the plural? It is indeed a question of schizophrenia in the plural. The disease having different facets or forms, in addition to the “Florides” symptoms with delusions and hallucinations, we can find cognitive disorders with a significant decline, or mood disorders, or what are called signs deficit with withdrawal and isolation for example. Is it possible to guard against it? Prevention mainly concerns people at risk, especially those with a family history of schizophrenia for example, we can also talk about a healthy lifestyle to protect oneself away from psychoactive substances, cannabis in particular . Why cannabis in particular? There is a relationship between the consumption of cannabis and the onset of the disease in predisposed subjects on the one hand, and between the use and the worsening of the symptoms of the disease on the other hand. Can it be diagnosed early enough? There are what are called the subsyndromic prodromal phases. It can last for years before the first symptoms appear. Screening and diagnosis during these phases is a challenge that must be taken up by all care providers. Are there effective treatments? There are different drug and non-drug treatments that are effective in treating and supporting people with schizophrenia. Antipsychotic drugs, especially 2nd and 3rd generation, are essential drugs to treat the disease. Other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy or psychotherapies can be combined, depending on the case. Is recovery possible? Recovery and healing are two different concepts. Recovery in the sense of having a satisfactory and appropriate quality of life is quite possible, especially with medical and psychosocial care. To heal is to no longer have disease. In our case, it is a chronic disease like diabetes. You can be made well but not healed. Interview by CC