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Myth and reality: the social perception about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the Modern Greek society


The aim of this research is to study the views and perceptions of the general population on two of the most common psychiatric illnesses: schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In the past few decades there has been significant progress in the direction of informing people about mental health issues and raising awareness. Is the misconception that mentally ill people are dangerous and violent changing or not?

Materials and methods

We have designed an anonymous questioannaire comprised closed questions on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There are 4 demographic questions assessing the gender (50% men, 50% women), age and education (14% osic education, 42% High school education and 44% Higher education) of our sample and 30 statements concerning the two psychiatric illnesses, where the research part-takers had to choose between True or False according to their held views, beliefs and knowledge. The questionnaire was distributed to a stratified sample of N=100 excluding health professionals


It seems that the majority of our sample has an average knowledge about both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, a substantial percentage of our sample proved to be inadequately informed, scoring very poorly. This research shows that there is still a certain level of discrimination against mentally ill people and a tendency to exclude them from social life.


According to our research, people are more informed about schizophrenia than about bipolar disorder. It seems that all the action taken towards raising the awareness of the general population about mental health has considerably positive results. However, it is crucial that this action does not stop at this point.


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Doulis, G., Giaourtsis, T., Skartsila, G. et al. Myth and reality: the social perception about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the Modern Greek society. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S128 (2008).

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