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Misconceptions Regarding Mental Illness among Patients’ Relatives

Jaspreet Kaur, Usha Singh, Neeta Austin Singha


Background: Mental disorders contain a wide range of problems, with disparate symptoms. However, they are usually characterized by some union of behavior, emotions, abnormal thoughts and relationships with others. Examples are intellectual disabilities, depression, schizophrenia and substance use disorders. Methods: A descriptive study was undertaken on 200 patients’ relatives from selected outpatients’ departments of Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India selected by purposive sampling technique. Structured Opinionnaire was used to assess the misconceptions regarding mental illness. Results: 100% subjects carried some or the other misconceptions regarding mental illness where 70% had medium level of misconceptions followed by 28% patients’ relatives with low level of misconceptions and 2% were having high level of misconceptions regarding mental illness. Majority of the patients’ relatives believed that mental illness is due to spiritual factors and mentally ill are dangerous. Conclusion: Most of the patients’ relatives carried lot of misconceptions regarding mental illness, therefore awareness programme need to be organized for patients’ relatives to impart adequate knowledge regarding mental illness.

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