Schizophreina This Silent Killer

Schizophrenia is an illness that is unknown in many cultures and communities, while it is an illness that exists across all borders. Countless people from cultures that mental illness is a taboo do suffer emotionally and mentally in silence and without proper support. In my career as a clinical counsellor, I meet these clients who are either diagnosed with various type of emotional distress or mental illness. Individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, or phobia seek help here and there, while some clients do manage to not tell the real issues they are dealing with. Mental illness and emotional distress combined with socio-cultural challenges make people to be confused about what the real issue might be. In my job, I witness not only the pain and suffering due to the disease itself, but also the damages in people’s mind, sense of self and family life as result of not knowing what is going on. That Iranian woman who told me she sees some people chasing her anywhere she goes or that Canadian young man who believes some pedophiles are always following him. What is the difference between them? Well, in the case of the Iranian woman, she does not have any information or knowledge about schizophrenia she is dealing with. Moreover, this woman does not tell how she always and everyday sees those people who tell her she should commit suicide. Why would not her tell? Well, she thinks it is bad to tell how she sees those people because others would think she is “crazy.” She keeps up her face in some areas, while she could be harmful to herself or others.
One the other hand, in the case of the young Canadian client, he does talk about his issues openly and seek help from his psychiatrist. Although there is no way to weigh the level of pain and suffering amongst two people, still we could tell that level of education and social support does make a difference. I challenge professionals in the field of mental health to pay more attention to how the cultural beliefs in their client might be the cause of unnecessary pain.


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