Mental health disorders typically have certain stigmas surrounding them. Schizophrenia is no exception, with movies and TV shows amplifying stereotypes. Fact and fiction weave amongst the blurred lines, and many people wonder if it will ever change. It’s common for people not to know they have schizophrenia due to all the myths and misconceptions. In turn, this can make treatment much more complex, so it’s time we help erase the stigma and learn the facts.
Myth: Multiple personality is a part of it.
Truth: The myth comes from the thought that there is a breakdown or split between emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Instead, they have lost touch with reality or have false ideas. Multiple personality disorders are different illnesses altogether.
Myth: People are dangerous or violent with schizophrenia.
Truth: While the condition can make patients unpredictable at times, most persons with schizophrenia are not violent. They are more likely to harm themselves or be victims of violence.
Myth: You cannot hold a job if you have it.
Truth: When patients follow treatment recommendations and engage in therapy, some individuals can function pretty well. Working has been shown to increase recovery as an empowering part of the process.
Myth: Those diagnosed have to live in a treatment facility.
Truth: A combination of out-patient care, acute hospitalization, and longer-term hospitalization may be needed. However, the treatment model for this condition is moving away from longer-term hospitalization and toward outpatient treatment.
Myth: You can never recover from it.
Truth: Though it may be challenging to treat, it is not impossible. Medications can help stabilize and lower the risk of future symptoms. Other therapies can show you how to handle stress better and live well. 50% end up seeing improvement in their symptoms. 25% end up recovering completely.
Myth: Bad parenting is the cause.
Truth: Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder. It has many causes, including genes, trauma, and drug abuse, but parenting is not one of them.
Decoding the Future of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia affects less than one percent of the U.S. population. While there is no cure for it, research continues towards innovation and safer treatments. Studying genetics is helping the experts unravel the causes of the disease. Conducting behavioral research and using advanced imaging techniques that look into the brain’s structure and function will eventually pave the way for new and more effective therapies.