Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia

there are 4 myths

134
Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia
Digital Journal

Get away from me; you're crazy. You have schizophrenia. You don't belong around normal people. You are scaring me. Does this sound familiar to you? It does or so many people.Roughly 1.1 percent of adults in the United States live with schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health(link is external) (NIMH). To put this into perspective, of the 52,964 (link is external)people who visit Disney World every day, approximately 582 have schizophrenia. To get to Disney World, these 582 people would fill more than 11 Greyhound buses or 1.4 jumbo jets.

Of course, those 582 individuals represent only a small portion of the 2 million people(link is external) with the disorder in the entire country. The total number of Americans with schizophrenia could replace every resident in Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and then some.

Do you know someone living in one of these cities? Then you’re just as likely to know someone with schizophrenia.

Myths and Facts

Contrary to their portrayal in some media, individuals with schizophrenia (link is external)are able to live relatively normal lives. For many people, this fact can be surprising. Aren’t people with schizophrenia, they might ask, supposed to be locked up inside a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest type of institution? Isn’t schizophrenia supposed to be a life-ending diagnosis?

As it turns out, myths—and not the facts—heavily influence how many people view schizophrenia. Here are only a few of the commonly believed myths, and why they're wrong:

1. People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities.

According to a 2008 survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness(link is external)(NAMI), 64 percent of the population is unable to recognize the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and instead simply believe that people with the disorder have “split” or multiple personalities.

This is false. Schizophrenia often involves a variety of symptoms, but not one involves multiple personalities. This myth likely originated because the word “schizo” means split—however, in this case, it refers to gaps (or a splitting) in a person’s ability to think and express emotions. (People with split personalities are living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.)(link is external)

2. Schizophrenia makes people dangerous.

In popular culture, individuals with schizophrenia are often depicted as sadistic, unpredictable, and violent. Although it’s true that some individuals with schizophrenia do commit crimes, the vast majority of patients are nonviolent. In fact, of past violent offenders who did have schizophrenia, only 23 percent of their crimes(link is external) were directly related to their symptoms.

Unfortunately, the notion that all individuals with schizophrenia are dangerous contributes heavily to the stigma(link is external) surrounding the disorder. People with schizophrenia often have reduced housing and employment opportunities, greater stress, lower self esteem, and diminished quality.

3. Schizophrenia only involves delusions and hallucinations.

Many people incorrectly believe that individuals with schizophrenia only suffer from hallucinations and delusions. This is not surprising: Psychotic symptoms are unusual and often frightening, and so popular culture focuses on these more than other symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Along with delusions and hallucinations, though, individuals with schizophrenia may experience blunted emotions, low motivation, disorganized speech, and a lack of desire to form social relationships. They also can have difficulty maintaining attention and performing certain cognitive tasks.

4. Schizophrenia can’t be treated.

In old movies—and in old times(link is external) in general—people with schizophrenia often were carted off to institutions, often to live the rest of their lives in isolation. In many ways, developing a severe mental disorder was the same as receiving a life sentence in prison. For this reason, many people erroneously believe that schizophrenia can’t be treated and that institutionalization is the only solution.

Although it's true that schizophrenia cannot be cured, it can be successfully treated. Medication, rehabilitation practices and psychosocial therapies can help individuals with schizophrenia lead independent and productive lives. In fact, with proper treatment(link is external), many people with schizophrenia appear to be completely healthy.



Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Are New Year’s Resolutions Overrated? Why Not?

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

11067
New Year’s Resolutions Overrated

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

Keep Reading... Show less
How to Use Your Passion for Writing to Complete Academic Essays

Academic paper writing is often considered one of the most dreaded parts of college for students. Most people hate it, even if they are into writing in general. Many students feel like it puts them into a box where no creative expression is possible. Like having to use a more formal tone of voice and thinking about referencing restricts one’s flow of thought.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Long Would It Take To Mine A Bitcoin?

No one will give you the correct answer to this question because there are a lot of details that they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

63351
Mine A Bitcoin

they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

60294
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Reasons to Consider a Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty."

121049
Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty." But if you're thinking about becoming a defense attorney, it's not this pretty simple. Defense lawyers argue that their clients are innocent because they don't want their actions to seem suspect in any way. They essentially say for the sake of the argument itself. If you're trying to decide whether or not becoming a defense attorney is something you would like to do, here are five reasons why it's worth considering:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments