Turkey's Changemakers: An extraordinary treatment for schizophrenia patients
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal emotions, thoughts, social behavior and a failure to understand reality.
Even though schizophrenia is used as a sarcastic expression most of the time, it is actually a serious mental disorder. Today, the medical community believes that approximately 1 percent of the global population suffers from the illness. In Turkey, this figure is estimated to be around 600,000. In addition to medical treatments, complementary treatment methods are also being proposed to schizophrenia patients. Art therapies in psychiatry are well-developed especially in Europe and the U.S. However, these treatment methods are not well-known in Turkey.
Basri Köylü is a psychiatrist at Aksaray State Hospital. For a while now, he has applied drama therapy to patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The theater group solely composed of schizophrenia patients and named “I am Also Here” staged 20 plays in Aksaray and other cities under the leadership of Koylu within one year. After drama therapy applied by Koylu, the change in patients has been noticed by patients’ relatives. Many patients’ drug treatment has been reduced to minimum levels.
Koylu applied drama therapy, which is a rare treatment method, to schizophrenia patients. He helped society become free of prejudices and patients to improve relationships and socialize again. He has made a huge difference both in the lives of schizophrenia patients and their families and in the world of psychiatry.