Shattering the Myths of Schizophrenia

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, schizophrenia affects more than 2 million Americans. Yet many people do not understand this disease due to misinformation and myths surrounding it. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that causes delusions, hallucinations, difficulty processing thoughts, and disordered behavior. Shatter your misconceptions about schizophrenia by learning from some common schizophrenia myths.

Schizophrenia Medications Turn You Into a Zombie

A common myth about schizophrenia is that the medications needed to control the symptoms make you lethargic and disinterested in life. While medications can cause side effects, the zombie-like side effects are the result of either too much or too little medication. A doctor will know the best medications for a schizophrenic to try and may suggest that the patient buy Aripiprazole to manage his schizophrenia symptoms. This medication offers relief from schizophrenia symptoms and a doctor will help adjust dosing. Once the doctor establishes proper dosing, most schizophrenics should experience few side effects.

Bad Genetics Cause Schizophrenia

Many people believe that if you have a family member with schizophrenia, you will have the brain disorder too. However, this is a myth because while genetics play a role, many other factors such as environmental exposure affect your ability to develop schizophrenia. Researchers are still trying to understand the mechanisms behind schizophrenia, but they know that exposure to stress, toxins, or viruses can affect susceptibility. The highest genetic risk for developing schizophrenia comes when you have an identical twin with the disease.

Schizophrenia Causes Multiple Personalities

The movies portray schizophrenia sufferers as people dealing with multiple personalities. This is a myth because multiple personalities are actually due to a different mental illness called dissociative identity disorder. Split personality or multiple personalities are not a symptom of schizophrenia. This misconception comes from the fact that most schizophrenics are split from reality in their thinking. They do not actually have multiple personalities, but instead they struggle with understanding what is real and what is a delusion.

People with Schizophrenia Are Violent

Violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia, yet this myth endures. Most people believe that schizophrenics are violent because dealing with hallucinations or delusions can cause them to act out in fear or frustration. Schizophrenics that do not take their medication are more at risk for acting out in fear, but people who properly manage their schizophrenia are just as safe as anyone else. In fact, schizophrenics are more at risk of being victims of violence than causing the violence themselves.

Schizophrenia is a Result of a Character Flaw

The myth that schizophrenia is a result of a character flaw comes from a general misunderstanding about schizophrenia as a disease. Schizophrenia causes measurable changes in the sufferer’s brain, and they cannot control their behavior. Some people struggle with understanding that it’s a real brain disorder and that sufferers are not able to act normally. Schizophrenia is not a character flaw and doctors are still trying to understand the process of how schizophrenia causes the brain the behave.

Schizophrenics Should Be Monitored Closely

The myth that doctors should closely monitor schizophrenics feeds off the myths about schizophrenics being violent and unstable. In actuality, schizophrenics can lead fairly normal, productive lives with proper medication and behavioral therapy. Once a person suffering from schizophrenia can manage their symptoms, it’s easy to go about their daily life, and they don’t require close monitoring. In fact, you may know someone who is schizophrenic and not even realize it because he has managed his symptoms so well.

Here is myths surrounding schizophrenia. Myths such as the medications making you a zombie, the role of genetics, schizophrenics having multiple personalities or being violent, character flaws causing the disease, and needing constant monitoring are all false. Better understanding of schizophrenia can help those suffering by minimizing the stigma around the disease. With proper education, more people could receive the help they need to fight this brain disorder. What are some other myths you have heard about schizophrenia?



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