What do you think of when you hear the word schizophrenia? Does the condition scare you? Does it make you think that the person with the condition should be separated from society? If you said yes, then this is the article for you. We are going to dive into the myths that are associated with Schizophrenia. We will take a look at what they have to face every time they have to tell someone that they have the condition. By the end of the article, you will learn that this is not a condition that should isolate any individual. You will find that you have a deeper respect for the person. So, take a seat. Get out a notepad. We are going to delve deep into a discussion and ask the questions that you may not have thought to ask.
While we are sure that you have many questions, but we have taken the top ten and made this informative list. Here they are:
- They have Multiple Personalities.
We have all seen the movies where schizophrenia is portrayed as multiple personalities that don’t know what the other one is doing. That simply is not true. Schizophrenia is not classified by acting like you are two different people. It is more likely that the person has the inability to tell reality from their own imagination. The may have lost touch completely or just momentarily. While they may remember things differently, they often switch back and forth which makes it seem as though they have two or more personality. The person is probably not aware that they are switching between these perceived realities.
- They are violent.
This is simply not true. For the most part, schizophrenia on its own will not cause a person to act out in a violent, uncontrollable rage. There are other conditions that, when paired with schizophrenia, can cause a person to act out. Schizophrenia is unpredictable, just not violently. Of course, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, other mental orders, and abuse by a caregiver can all cause anyone to act violently, even someone who has schizophrenia. Having the condition alone will not automatically make someone become a violent person.
- Schizophrenia is the result of bad parenting.
Schizophrenia is a medical, mental condition. It cannot be caused by parenting or by childhood trauma. It is true that the parents are often blamed, but that does not make it true. What causes it exactly is still not completely known. We know that genetics do play a role, but it isn’t the full story. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done, but you can stop blaming the mother for her bad parenting choices as the root of this condition. You also don’t have to be concerned that your mistakes will make your child schizophrenic.
- It is purely genetic.
While it does run in family, genetics does not guarantee that you will or will not get it. There are a lot of factors that come into play. Research is showing that the more family background you have with the condition, the more likely you are to suffer from it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be the first in your family line to get it, it just isn’t as likely. It also does not mean that if your parent has it, you will have it. It does skip through generations. Do some background research into your family’s medical history and you are likely to find that you have at least one person in your line that had it.
- People who have schizophrenia aren’t smart.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only do they have an above average IQ, they are also more likely to be creative. Artists, writers, even dancers, can all have the condition and you would never know it. They are working with a different part of their brain. That means that they may have the ability to unlock other sides of creativity that we simply cannot. Can you imagine the possibilities of being able to create another reality and be able to get it onto paper? Not only does that make them smart – it makes them on a whole different level of creativity.
- They belong locked up somewhere.
This is one of the most unfair assumptions that can be made. Each individual should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they feel the most comfortable. We have already seen that just because they are schizophrenic does not mean they are violent, have multiple personalities, or are dangerous. Therefore they should be given the help that they need to live a successful life. While they may need more help than the average person, they are still capable of living a fairly normal life on their own. Unless they have violent tendencies or at risk for violent tendencies, they should be able to live where they choose to live. They don’t deserve to be in a mental facility any more than the average person.
- It is impossible for them to work.
Again, this is an assumption that simply should not be made. Not only are most schizophrenics able to express themselves in an interview situation, but they are also able to interact with other people in a work situation. They do work well in with a routine. This means that they can follow a work day schedule. They usually can express themselves verbally, which means they are able to hold a reasonable conversation. They can learn new skills. There is absolutely no reason to believe that just because they have schizophrenia that they are a burden or unable to provide for themselves.
- If you are schizophrenic, you are lazy.
This is absolutely not true. One of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia is that they get absorbed in day to day living and forget to do the common things we do every day. They may need more reminders to get dressed, bathe, clean up, or even to eat. It is a good idea to have a routine where all your daily needs are met. For instance, to get up first thing and shower. Usually, they will have a caregiver there to gently remind them of what needs to be done. Or, if they live on their own, they have a series of alarms to remind them to switch tasks. They aren’t lazy, their mind just works differently than yours or mine.
- It is a life sentence.
This is a common misconception. With therapy and medication, almost half of schizophrenics find recovery improvement and can go on to live a normal life with fewer episodes. Some can recover completely. There is no overnight solution. It does take years of therapy and treatment to reach the point where there are considered symptoms free. They will always have the diagnosis. They will also always have to deal with the stigmata that comes with the diagnosis. They can relapse if they break the treatment plan. However, it is not something that they have to deal with if they stay on a treatment plan with their doctor.
- The treatment is worse than the condition.
It is true that anti-psychotic can have some pretty significant side effects, but they also give the widest range of help. They can be used more or less based on other treatment options. It is one of the safest ways to treat schizophrenia. It is also one of the best and most reliable methods to put the symptoms of schizophrenia to rest so that the person can live a normal and happy life. Of course, it shouldn’t be used alone. Counseling, behavioral therapy, and even life skills are often added to the treatment plan. In all honesty, that is probably options that even the most normal person could use at different points in their life.
There you have it. The top ten myths that people with schizophrenia have to face on a regular basis. What this should teach us is that no condition should ever be considered untreatable. No individual’s worth should be summed up into the condition that they have. Every one of us deserves to be treated on an individual level without being grouped into a condition that places us as undesirable, unworthy, or less of a human being. Each person with the diagnosis is capable of living the life that we are meant to live, some of us just need a little more help the rest.
Research is your friend. It is the best way to educate yourself about conditions that you feel you should know more about. Not only that, but research will help you to learn how to educate others. Whether you have the diagnosis or it has been giving to a loved one, you should now know that schizophrenia is a condition that affects each person differently, but that does not mean they are less of a person or the sum of their diagnosis.