Follow us

We would like to introduce you to Dr. Patrício Manuel da Silva Ferreira from the Sisters Hospitallers of Braga, Portugal


Today, on International Schizophrenia Day, we share with you an interview with the psychiatrist Dr. Patrício Manuel da Silva Ferreira from the Sisters Hospitallers of Braga, Portugal.

What are the main symptoms of schizophrenia?

When people talk about schizophrenia, they often think of delusions and hallucinations, but the truth is that these easily observable symptoms are not very specific to the disease. There are several types of symptoms of this disease, from alterations in the content or form of thought, to alterations in sensory perception or motor disturbances or, even more difficult to observe, the so-called “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia.  

What are the biggest challenges for people with schizophrenia in terms of social and occupational integration?

Unfortunately, even today, having a diagnosed mental illness is an obstacle to normal professional integration. Society continues to stigmatise the mentally ill. In severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, in addition to the above, the pathology itself has the greatest impact on the person’s capacity, both in terms of social skills and ability to perform normal tasks. The main challenge is therefore to rehabilitate, enhance and maximise what the patient is still able to do, with a good prognosis being that he or she remains active and integrated into society.

How is the hospitaller charism reflected in the treatment and care of patients with schizophrenia in your daily clinical practice?

As it is a serious illness, and despite the available therapies, the outcome is often not the best. Many patients are subjected to several psychiatric hospitalizations and often, due to the social context, they are integrated into long term residential care. The Sisters Hospitallers’ Centres become their home and the staff become their daily companions.  The Hospitaller Charism, present in those who care for them, ensures that the patient receives the necessary treatment, always with the highest quality, understanding, and respect for the person, but fundamentally welcoming those who have often been excluded from the community and misunderstood in their pathology.


Discover the last Did you know…