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Calum Barnes

on 20 June 2013

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By Calum Barnes and Karl Thyssen
How does our perception of psychiatric disorders (specifically schizophrenia) cause us to be prejudice; due to misconceptions, against those who suffer from them?
What do we mean by Prejudice?
Unreasonable feelings, particularly of a hostile nature formed without prior knowledge on the subject.
Here we see that in the USA, although many more know of the condition
What is the problem?
Myths, beliefs and perceptions about mental disorders and health-seeking behavior in Delhi, India
Case study 2
Case study 3
A study was carried out sampling 436 subjects. A questionnaire consisting of items on perceptions, myths, and beliefs about causes, treatment, and health-seeking behavior for mental disorders was used.
What does this show us
People in Rural areas on Average know less about Psychiatric disorders and treatment than Urban.
There is still an alarmingly high percentage of medical professionals who are still naive to treatments for psychiatric disorders and what psychiatry is.
As a nation India has great disagreement as to the cause of Psychiatric disorders.
Case study 1
Schizophrenia Survey Analysis: Public Attitudes
But only one-fourth (24%) of the general public consider themselves to be familiar with the illness.
People mistake, overemphasize, or underestimate certain symptoms of schizophrenia. The greatest misconception (64%) is that "split or multiple personalities" are symptoms of schizophrenia. Symptoms such as drug abuse (24%), alcohol abuse (23%), insomnia (41%), and disorganized speech (35%) are also not widely recognized.
According to the survey Americans are ambivalent to Schizophrenia. It seems from this knowledge can be accompanied by misunderstanding.
The good news is that the vast majority of Americans recognize that schizophrenia is an illness (85%) and that with ongoing care, people diagnosed with schizophrenia can lead independent lives (79%).
Violent behavior as a symptom was selected by 60% of the public, which represents a fundamental misconception in how Americans view schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Ironically, most individuals with schizophrenia are not prone to violence; they typically withdraw from social interaction and simply prefer to be left alone.
The survey concludes that public attitudes toward people living with schizophrenia hinge on whether or not those people are receiving treatment. People are inclined to isolate people not receiving treatment. Even though people understand that schizophrenia is a medical illness, the survey indicates that there are limits to acceptance.
46% say they would tell friends if they themselves were diagnosed.
80% expressed discomfort with the prospect of dating someone with schizophrenia who has not received treatment
71% would be afraid for their safety around person who has not received treatment, compared to only 21% if a person has.
77% would feel uncomfortable working with a person who has not received treatment, compared to only 24% if a person has.
First hand account of living with Schizophrenia by Anonymous
Accused of Witchcraft
Person X was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 19, and was admitted into a mental institution, having struggled since 17.
At 21 she was weaned off medication by a strongly Christian aunt who believed she was possessed by 'Demons'. Her aunt stole everything person X held dear, burning it as a claim for why she was possessed. This led to a very dangerous time for Person X as life began to lose meaning for them; as the condition worsened.
Eventually person X was readmitted to the institution and resumed her course of medication, after which her condition rapidly improved.
"It took me a long time to stop believing I was evil or Something"
She is now at college studying for her missed school years.
What is Schizophrenia?
"A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation"
A prominence in society of religion is evident in the belief that God has inflicted people with psychiatric disorders.
But does a lack of knowledge allow for emotions to override rational thought. Explain what scientifically we may be unsure of...
Karl Thyssen's Alienation
Therefore... is a lack of knowledge we have allowing fear to be a basis on which we judge psychiatric disorders?
...with a bit of help from Karl Marx
So is a lack of knowledge causing us to perceive things according to emotion.

Then are our emotional bounds propagated by our deficit of knowledge?
Misconceptions such as violence are still strongly held...
by over half the population
But even though exposure to the condition is more widespread, the condition still seems to be.....
Yet are we willing to learn?
We restrict our understanding through...
Restricting what we can say, what we can communicate effectively?

Misconceived to be offensive when in fact we just don't understand.
So perhaps part of way we treat people with Schizophrenia differently is due to our lack of understanding.
Does our language limit our ability to communicate taboo issues?
So what do we have left to understand with?
So here we see somebody inflicting their own views on somebody else based on emotion as derived from their own reasoning.
Person X appears to be behaving unusually which is perceived by the aunt to be a state of possession.
Special revelation:

The bible tells us possession is by the devil
Although she has no physical evidence for the presence of a devil, her empiricism of the prepositions leads her to believe there is one. This is an example of syllogism.
The aunt perceives the person X to be possessed. And although we cannot disprove this we cannot prove it either
This form of prejudice is based on Representative realism.
Language restricts our ability to communicate in modern society where misunderstandings can arise easily.
Clearly there is not enough known about schizophrenia so this is why we form prejudices.
Is a lack of knowledge causing us to perceive things according to emotion?
Knowledge issue!
Does emotion override other ways of knowing?
So can we be aware of prejudice, yet still act irrationally?
crazy; wildly eccentric;
Knowledge issue.
Cultural Relativism
Are we wrong?
"Schizophrenia, Bipolar Consciousness, and Other Shamanic Traits"

Knowledge issue!
Acting on prejudices...
Discrimination against Muslims.
For the actions of few...
For the symptoms of few...
Discrimination against Psychiatric disorders
Knowledge issue!
Knowledge issue!
Knowledge issue!
Real Life Situation
Full transcript