Schizophrenia: Brazilian researcher tells how he copes with the illness

“To those with schizophrenia, don’t give up and don’t give in.”

Karine Salles

Monday | July 25, 2016 | 3:46 PM | Last update: September 22, 2016, 4:07 PM (Brasilia time)

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects how the individual perceives reality, manage emotions, and relate to others. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hallucinations or delirium. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 21 million people worldwide suffer from the illness and from the stigma associated with it.

The illness commonly starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. According to the WHO, with appropriate treatment and support from family it is possible for patients with this mental disorder to live a normal life. An example of this comes from the story of Brazilian philosopher and researcher Jorge Cândido de Assis, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 30 years ago.

He says he has learned how to live with the illness and to understand the importance of taking medication. According to Jorge Assis, it took 18 years for him to accept that he has the illness that requires continuous treatment, when he managed to construct ties of trust with the health professionals. He could have stopped living, but decided to move on and overcome the stigma of the illness. Get to know his touching story: