Anyone with schizophrenia getting off their meds for any reason should be cause for alarm.
Since the end of the sacred month of Ramadan, Moroccan psychiatrists are seeing appear in their office some of their patients who suddenly stopped their medical treatment during the sacred month in order to better devote themselves to the fast. “Each year, after the month of Ramadan, we see the same phenomenon. There is a resurgence of mental illnesses, not because of nostalgia experienced at the end of Ramadan but because patients haven’t followed their treatment to the letter or reduce the dose of their medication without a medical opinion,” explains Driss Moussaoui, psychiatrist for around forty years and director of the psychiatric centre at the University of Ibn Rochd. “When I ask them if they stopped their treatment during Ramadan, they are not going to try and lie. They tell me in all honesty that they stopped it”, he says.
In this post-Ramadan period, the psychiatrists witness a resurgence of illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorders such as manic-depression or even epilepsy. “However, we tell our patients not to interrupt their treatment during Ramadan because of the risks incurred for their state of health. They are informed. We make the suggestions but they make the decisions!” adds Driss Moussaoui.