You’ve Got It All Wrong: 3 Myths Our Society Has About Schizophrenia

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Approximately 1.5 million people are diagnosed with schizophrenia each year; schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder experienced with symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, difficulty with thinking and concentration, lack of motivation, and more. The onset of this disorder can be hard to tell, but signs often including a sudden change of friends, a drop in school grades, sleeping problems, and irritability.

There is much stigma that surrounds mental illness, but unfortunately, those with schizophrenia receive much stereotyping due to media and societal misunderstanding. As a 2015 study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology confirmed, realistic opinions regarding schizophrenia and other mental disorders are associated with lower prejudicial attitudes and social rejection.

Myth #1: People with schizophrenia are dangerous.

In popular culture, those with schizophrenia are often depicted as being violent, sadistic, and unpredictable. This stereotype should not be placed on the entire population, however, because many people with schizophrenia are nonviolent and would hurt themselves before hurting anyone else. Due to this myth, unfortunately, many people with schizophrenia experience a lower quality of life, lower rate of employment and housing, and greater stress.

Myth #2: Schizophrenia is caused by bad parenting.

There are many factors that relate to the development of schizophrenia, including genetics, use of street drugs, environmental triggers such as not receiving proper nutrients before you were born, biological issues, and more. Contrary to popular beliefs of the 20th century, no research has shown that bad parenting causes schizophrenia.

Myth #3: Schizophrenia involves multiple personalities.

A common misunderstanding is that schizophrenia is like multiple personality disorder, now called dissociative disorder. These disorders are different, however, because schizophrenia involves a disconnected from reality while dissociative disorder involves different manifestations of one’s personality. While a person with schizophrenia may hear different voices, this is not exhibited as a form of themselves like it is with those who have a dissociative disorder.

By challenging society’s perceptions of mental illness, we can educate ourselves and others; this, in turn, yields more support for those with mental illness.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.


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