Schizophrenia - looking beyond the symptoms

World Schizophrenia Day today is an opportunity to raise awareness about a stigmatising and much misunderstood illness. It's time for the mental health community to pay heed to not just the patients' symptoms but also their resilience and resolve as they embark on the road to recovery.

Schizophrenia should never define an individual, says the writer, though the mind-altering processes of the illness can influence one’s identity as well as one’s attitudes and ways of thinking, and the course of one’s life. ST PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION: BENJAMIN SEETOR

In his book Far From The Tree: Parents, Children, And The Search For Identity, Professor Andrew Solomon draws a parallel between schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

He wrote that schizophrenia is "an illness not of accrual but of replacement and deletion; rather than obscuring the previously known person, this disease to some degree eliminates that person".

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