Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that is accompanied by quite a few stereotypes and misconceptions. The mental illness is portrayed in many films and television shows, and it is often associated with people considered to be dangerous. Many of the things you think you know about schizophrenia could be wrong.
Myth: Schizophrenia does not equal "multiple personalities."
Truth: The voices that many patients with schizophrenia experience are not necessarily the voices that you might envision when you think about multiple personalities. People with schizophrenia don't necessarily hear anything different than the critical voices you hear in your own head. When people with schizophrenia are medicated, they often do not hear voices at all.
Myth: People with schizophrenia can't control themselves.
Truth: Unfortunately, all too many films use schizophrenia as a way to reveal a plot twist or to make a character appear more menacing. The reality is much different. One of the key differences between these films and real life is the fact that these voices do not necessarily take over the body. Each case of schizophrenia is different in severity than others.
Myth: There is nothing you can do about schizophrenia.
Truth: While it may be true that there is no cure for the condition, schizophrenia can be treated with medication and therapy. Many patients with schizophrenia go on to live productive and happy lives.
Myth: People with schizophrenia have symptoms from birth.
Truth: The symptoms of schizophrenia actually develop over time. Males tend to experience onset in their late teens and early 20s; however, females tend to experience symptoms later on. Of course, this does not mean that the symptoms do not exhibit themselves during childhood as well.
Myth: Everybody with schizophrenia should be in a hospital.
Truth: Many individuals living with schizophrenia actually have good experiences coping with the world if they undergo outpatient treatment, like from Bowden & Associates. The key is that patients must stick to medication regimens religiously and go to therapy on regular bases.
Myth: There is nothing to worry about once a schizophrenic patient is on medication.
Truth: Schizophrenia should remain a concern in spite of an accurate diagnosis and prescription. While medications may halt delusions and hallucinations, this is not always the case. Additionally, medication does not treat many of the social issues associated with the condition. These include lack of motivation, flat affect, or impaired memory. Therapeutic intervention is often paired with medication to treat these problems.
Schizophrenia is a serious issue, and not one that you should push to the back of your mind. If you think you or somebody you love is experiencing the symptoms associated with this mental condition, it is wise to seek psychiatric help as soon as possible.