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Schizophrenia increase in Lesotho

’Mantoetse Maama

The Mohlomi Hospital on Friday celebrated the World Mental Health Day Commemoration with the theme ‘living with Schizophrenia’.

The World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10 of October every year globally.

When speaking at the ceremony the Minister of Health, Dr Pinkie Manamolela, each and every year the world celebrates mental health day with different themes and this year’s theme is ‘Living with Schizophrenia’.

“Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. Today the ministry is celebrating this day with the world. The reason is because the reports and research has revealed that the illness is affecting mostly Lithabaneng residents. Another reason is to encourage the villager and youth to support the Mental Health Adolescent and Youth Corner that was recently established by Mohlomi Hospital in this area,” Dr Manamolela.

She said the signs of schizophrenia hallucinations, believing that people on television (TV) pictures are talking about you and are speaking negatively about you, making bad decisions,  disorganized speech disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms (emotional flatness, apathy, and lack of speech).

“Besides that people suffering from this illness distinguishably as they pick everything they found. They change from time to time, they can laugh when they are being told bad news and cry when they are told good news and also laugh alone. They can even make weird claims such a calling themselves Jesus Christ. This illness can be discovered at the age of 15-25 years from the male person while on the female while in female persons it’s normally seen from the age’s 25-35-years.”

She said relatives and friends are expectant to appreciate and support the patients decisions as that play an important role for their recovery, use medications as it had been prescribed by doctor or nurse, should also be allowed to domestic chaos, join supports groups and .

“Family members should have clear understanding about his disease and its side effects and should adopt the changes on the patient.”

She said the increasing rate of schizophrenia in Lesotho is because relatives turn to ignore the patient’s when they have the signs at the early stage and they even delay to find help for their patient.

Another speaker, the World Health Organization (WHO) country representative, Dr Thomas Sukwa said schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.

Schizophrenia is severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruption in thinking, affecting language, perceptions and sense of self. It often includes psychotic expenses, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies,” Dr Sukwa said.

He said schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood and most cases of schizophrenia can be treated, and people affected by it can lead a productive life and be integrated in society.

“There is often a misunderstanding that schizophrenia is untreatable. Such misunderstanding result in stigma and increases physical, psychological and economic burden of the suffer, caregivers, and families. It is possible for persons with schizophrenia to live a healthy life if they receive appropriate treatment as early as possible. It is also important that they stop smoking, alcohol abuse and other drugs.”

On behalf of the mental health patients who were once treated for the schizophrenia at Mohlomi Hospital thanked their relatives, nurses and doctors for their love and patience with them.

“I have been to this hospital for about six times and after receiving the treatment I became better. One may not be aware that they need the treatment but believe me getting treatment is important because it saves your life and that of people around you. I would like to thank our relatives, nurses and doctors for their love and patience with them,” the patient said.

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