Happy World Schizophrenia Awareness Day

9:33:00 AM

Visiting a center that caters for persons
 with mental disabilities.
Morning beautiful people, it is coldish here in Ngong and I totally dig this weather, I am most productive now. Enough about me, onto the day, well today is World Schizophrenia Awareness Day and sources tell me I should be sporting purple, thought that was Epilepsy color hence Purple Day on March 26th. Well that does not matter as much as there is emancipation so I will start it from the top (I think Purple is a mental health color, we royal like that...BLESS!!!)

So Schizophrenia (I had a hard time too at the beginning) say it with me tski-tso-frenia, like everything in life it gets better with time. Schizophrenia better known as 'uenda wazimu' in Swahili is the split between thought process and emotional responsiveness, normal functioning of the brain is affected so the persons way of thinking, feeling and perception is distorted. It is different from split mind aka multiple personality. Persons with tski-tso (allow me to use that) have a life expectancy of minus 12-15 years as compared to those without (note I didnt say normal people, 'normal' is another feel good word according to Sitawa Dictionary). According to Schizophrenia Foundation of Kenya SFK, Kenya's tski-tso big dog, approximately 300,000 people have the disorder. This number could however be higher since many cases are not accounted for because of Stigma. This awareness day is therefore set aside to school people about tski-tso, and through the knowledge, break barriers and let more people access info and health care.

Where does it begin?
People develop tski-tso in their late teenage or early adulthood with men developing it at a younger age as compared to women with the ratio being 1.5:1, men is to women. Meaning no one is born with tski-tso but we are all predisposed. The main causes are psychological, down to bullying and witnessing parental violence, prescription and recreational drugs; I do not know how many remember when their was noise on the drug problem in Mombasa and there is this guy who went to rehab and he said that at times he has one hundred shillings but he feels he has enough dollars and euros and cars to choose from. So yep delusions are among the symptoms, others include lose of occupation interest or initiative, they become socially withdrawn, they feel out of their bodies, I hear there is an organization that can give this experience, I would like to do it sometime, it is on my bucket list. Due to all these, persons neglect their personal grooming and feel caged in households. Very few are violent but they are very sensitive and prefer their space to be respected.

What can you do?
Yes, tski-tso can be treated, Mathari Hospital is not the only answer nor is caging them, medicine is the most effective way, antisychotics coupled with psychotherapy, vocational and social rehab will do the trick. I know all this is too expensive an option for a family doing less than a dollar per day, well this is your green light to join our campaign, One mind lend your voice and all you have to do is lend your voice.

Pick an interesting fact from this post and have it as a status update. Direct people to this post or join us on the various networks.

Help us make an online petition to the government of Kenya asking for a mental health policy so that some of these necessary services can be taken to the grassroots and made affordable.

Ask duty bearers on why there are limited options for persons with mental illness, Min for Medical Services where mental health is classified Prof Anyang Nyong'o is on twitter @anyangnyongo, put him to task.

Internationally, the UN High Level meeting set for September does not have mental illness under it Non-communicables, sign World Federation of Mental Health petition to ask them to include it.

Again and again I say, there is no health without mental health. Let's push this agenda for it is our agenda, thats if you use your mentals.

ION: Big up to Bamzigi for his appointment as Drugs ambassador and sharing his story to help the anti-drug war. I wish him the best in the crusade.

Y'all have a lovely one.

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