World Schizophrenia Day: Eradicating myths and superstitions

The international community celebrates today, May 24, 2022, World Schizophrenia Day. May 24 corresponds to the date when a great French doctor had freed patients with mental illnesses who were most often imprisoned and chained in the 1700s. These patients who are still in 2022 hidden, partitioned between 4 walls in societies like ours

To address one of the most serious and complex mental pathologies, the national congress of psychiatry, which is being held in Marrakech on May 27 and 28, 2022, will focus on schizophrenia. Psychiatrists from the university, public, private and military sectors will have the task of developing the first national protocols for the management of schizophrenia.

An estimated 340,000 Moroccans suffer from schizophrenia. While the whole world has 24 million, or 1 in 300 people. This is revealed by Pr OUANASS Abderrazzak, president of the Moroccan Society of Psychiatry, which is holding its next national congress, in Marrakech, on May 27 and 28, 2022. .

The main challenge of this national edition of continuing medical training in psychiatry is the development, for the first time in Morocco, of the first therapeutic protocols for schizophrenia in Morocco, wishes to specify Pr OUANASS, Deputy Director of the Psychiatric University Hospital from the University Hospital of Rabat-Salé.

These therapeutic protocols will be developed after in-depth and consensual consultations between Moroccan and foreign psychiatrists, all sectors combined, university, public, private and military, and based on international recommendations from institutions such as the WHO.

Consequently, this therapeutic guide will henceforth constitute a national scientific reference for all therapeutic management of schizophrenia.

Similarly, compliance with its protocols by prescribing physicians will be the guarantor and the basis on which psychiatric care reimbursement organizations will be able to accept or reject a psychiatric prescription against this very complex pathology that is schizophrenia, long term.

It should be remembered that several Moroccan fragmentary studies show that 75% of Moroccan families living with a schizophrenic patient do not understand what this disease is.

Today, some parents tend to resort to witchcraft rather than modern medicine.

These same studies report that 70% of people suffering from this mental pathology have gone through traditional healers, herbalists, fqihs or any other form of charlatanism.

Alas, all Moroccan scientific meetings on psychiatry, regional or national, bring this social reality back to the fore, in the face of families’ misunderstanding of psychiatric illness, regrets Pr OUANASS.

This mental illness, which affects 1% of Moroccans, is a psychosis characterized by the loss of contact with reality.

The WHO ranks this psychosis among the 10 most disabling diseases.

It can negatively impact all areas of life, including personal, family, social, educational, and occupational functioning.

Schizophrenia remains an unrecognized disease, sometimes by the patients themselves. Thus, about a third of people with schizophrenia do not benefit from the medical follow-up which could considerably improve their suffering and their existence.

Because schizophrenia is characterized by manifestations qualified as strange (auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, incoherent remarks), but also by symptoms such as depression, apathy and cognitive disorders (memory, motor skills and attention).

The impact on daily life is significant, and very often leads to withdrawal and social disintegration. Until the desire to end it: 40% of those affected attempt suicide and 10% succeed.

Until recently, this mental pathology was described as incurable.

But since then, enormous therapeutic progress has appeared. Therapeutic innovations on this psychiatric disease will be on display at the National Congress of Psychiatry in May 2022 in Marrakech.

For Prof. A. OUANASS, there are several effective treatment options for people with schizophrenia: medication, psychoeducation, family interventions, cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychosocial rehabilitation, through the acquisition of new practical skills.

He adds that assisted living, supportive housing and supported employment are essential options that should be offered to people with schizophrenia. New concepts under our Moroccan skies.

Finally, a recovery-oriented approach – aimed at empowering people to make decisions about their treatment – ​​is essential for people with schizophrenia and for families and/or caregivers, the society’s president insists. Moroccan psychiatry.

The Moroccan Psychiatric Society is tackling schizophrenia in an attempt to eradicate the myths and superstitions around mental illness, which delay and block effective treatment, if done according to the rules of the medical art.

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World Schizophrenia Day: Eradicating myths and superstitions

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