Living with schizophrenia in India: Gender perspectives

Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group-EPRG, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 40 N Kingshighway, Suite 4, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA.
Transcultural Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 0.99). 11/2011; 48(5):569-84. DOI: 10.1177/1363461511418872
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study explores gender issues from a sociocultural perspective related to stigma among people suffering from schizophrenia in India. Stigma experiences were assessed by conducting semistructured interviews with 200 patients attending urban or rural psychiatry clinics. The resulting narratives were examined by thematic content analysis. Men with schizophrenia reported being unmarried, hid their illness in job applications and from others, and experienced ridicule and shame. They reported that their experience of stigma was most acute at their places of employment. Women reported experiences of stigma in relation to marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth. Both men and women revealed specific cultural myths about their illnesses and described how these had negatively affected their lives. Information gathered from this study can be useful to understand the needs of individuals who suffer from schizophrenia to improve the quality of their treatment, and plan culturally appropriate interventions to counter stigma and discrimination.

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Sep 24, 2014