In February I will be travelling to Suriname for 10 weeks with 3 other medical students in order to carry out research for our Bachelor Thesis & Product. We will be focusing on the Duration of Untreated Psychosis in Suriname (DUP). This is the time period between patients presenting with symptoms of psychosis and receiving treatment.
So what is psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental disorder in which a person loses contact with reality and may begin to believe or sense things which are not really there. It has a broad clinical presentation with symptoms such as: delusions, hallucinations, thought disorganisation and agitation or aggression. It has many different causes, ranging from primary psychiatric illnesses (e.g. schizophrenia) to substance-induced psychosis. Therefore, diagnosis is difficult and treatment options are patient-specific.
We are going to Suriname to find out why the DUP is so long. Is it because people seek help from traditional healers first? Or is it due difficulties in reaching the one and only psychiatric hospital in the country? Or maybe there are acceptance problems or financial and cultural reasons. With this knowledge we are going to make a product (e.g. an information video or advice manual) to help solve this problem and reduce the time it takes to receive treatment.
This research will be the start of a scientific collaboration between the Psychiatrisch Centrum Suriname and the UMCG (University Medical Center Groningen). The Groningen University Fund will donate €200 towards this cause if I crowdfund a further €200 myself. This will be an amazing experience and I am so lucky to be have this opportunity. Any donations to help support this research would be great and incredibly appreciated.
If you would like to donate, click on "Donate now". Every little helps!