• Erica Smith

Myths of Schizophrenia

Myth #1

Dangerous and scary.

The idea that all individuals with schizophrenia are violent is unfortunately a heavy stigma that accompanies the disorder.

A recent study published by the American Psychological Association on the misrepresentation of mental illness in the criminal justice system, revealed that out of 143 offenders with mental illness only 4% related directly to psychosis. Therefore, when treated, these individuals are no more dangerous than the general population.


Myth #2

Untreatable.

Long are the days when people with schizophrenia were “carted” off to the insane asylums to be forgotten about but oftentimes that is the only solution people believe is available.

While schizophrenia is not curable, it is 100% treatable with the proper medication, therapy and rehabilitation practices.


Myth #3

Everyone is the same.

There are different types of schizophrenia which is partly why it is such an elusive disorder causing most people to equate hallucinations and delusions with the disorder.

While those are common symptoms, some people may experience others like: low motivation, disorganized speech, blunted emotions, and a lack of desire for social relationships.


Myth #4

No chance of happiness.

In a 10-year study by the New Hampshire Dual Diagnosis Study measured the results of 130 individuals with schizophrenia and substance abuse. The study showed that many gained control over both disorders leading to 41% being employed, 62% controlling symptoms and 58% expressing overall life satisfaction.


Myth #5

Medications don’t work.

Anti-psychotic medications often-times get a bad reputation for making people lethargic, unresponsive, zombie-like. However, medication is the key component of schizophrenia treatment. It is a fact that medication effectively reduces hallucinations, delusions, confusing thoughts and unusual behaviors.


References

Drake, McHugo, Xie, Fox, Packard & Helmstetter, 2006.

American Psychological Association

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