One-Third Of Mentally-ill Suffer Prejudice

Nearly one third of people with mental illness feel they have been discriminated against as a result of their condition, a new survey has revealed.

The study looked at people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a condition which leaves sufferers with mood swings.

The findings were released yesterday as part of the lead-up to World Mental Health Day.

Research also confirmed that treatment is still overly reliant on medication.

Mater Hospital psychiatrist Patricia Casey warned: “There is a critical need to improve knowledge and removing the continuing stigma associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia so those with mental illness do not feel blighted or discriminated against.”

The survey was carried out by Schizophrenia Ireland in collaboration with the World Federation for Mental Health and involved interviews with 280 people.

The findings showed that nearly half had to stop working or studying because of the illness, while eight in ten said the general public did not understand mental illness or what it is like to live with a mental condition.

And one in four said they would never disclose their condition to other people.

Meanwhile one third of those who suffered with schizophrenia also have depression.

John Saunders, Director of Schizophrenia Ireland said alternative treatments are needed.

“The usage of high doses of medication and the attendant side effects are a concern,” he said.