People with schizophrenia have shorter lives than general population

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A woman poses in front of a graffiti representing the sun on the occasion of the observance of the World Mental Health Day. UN/M. Perret

People living with schizophrenia die younger than the general population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

On World Mental Health Day observed every 10 October, WHO is raising awareness about the challenges of living with this disorder which affects more than 21 million people worldwide.

WHO says schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, perception and sense of self.

It also often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices.

Mohamed Yasamy is a doctor from WHO.

“People with schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders have a life expectancy 10 to 25 years shorter than the general population. One key reason is a poor lifestyle, being overweight, smoking, and lack of physical activity.”  (17″)

The Organization says the disease it treatable, yet one in two people living with schizophrenia currently does not receive care.

Pilot programmes in a few developing countries such as Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Pakistan and Tanzania have reportedly shown that providing care to people with severe mental illnesses is feasible.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’14″

 

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