Wed, Nov 15, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Alternative experts can help

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA

Early symptoms of schizophrenia may be treated using both folk and psychiatric methods, a doctor at Jianan Mental Hospital in Tainan County said yesterday. Yeh Yi-ning (葉怡寧) said that some 80 percent of people who think they are "possessed by evil spirits" seek remedies from folk experts. In the eyes of psychiatrists, such people may be suffering from the early symptoms of schizophrenia. Yeh said religion does help calm people, adding that she believes faith can work as a "spiritual support" for people suffering from psychological or mental disorders. She advised people with early symptoms of schizophrenia to seek medical treatment in addition to "religious assistance" so that they do not miss any opportunities to cure their illness. When science cannot explain a phenomenon, Yeh said, doctors should respect the views of their patients and their patients' families and try to communicate with them so that medication and psychological therapies will work better.

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