Schizophrenia is not spoken about much and there isn’t a lot of awareness about this mental Illness. It falls under the psychosis type meaning the person loses touch with reality. And they aren’t able to differentiate between their thoughts and what is real and what is not. It is a severe and chronic mental illness and it requires immediate attention. It might not be very common but the symptoms are disabling. It affects how a person behaves, thinks and feels. There are many myths associated with Schizophrenia and it is important to disseminate information and create awareness.
MYTHS AND FACTS:
MYTH: One of the most common myths of schizophrenia is that a person has more than one personality.
FACT: Schizophrenia is not multiple personality disorder. They don’t have many personalities and in no way connected to the symptoms. It is a loss of touch from reality. They have hallucinations and delusions and the symptoms aren’t the same as multiple personality disorder.
MYTH: People with schizophrenia are always very violent. They are a danger towards themselves as well as others.
FACT: That’s not true at all. Sometimes a patient can show aggressive behaviour under the influence of his delusions or hallucinations but we cannot keep them in any category of violence. Their actions can be unpredictable at times but some behaviours are part of their illness. Even patients are primarily less reactive if they have negative symptoms.
MYTH: The reason for a person to develop schizophrenia is the result of bad parenting.
FACT: There are multiple reasons why a person develops schizophrenia. There are different theories such as genes, chemical imbalances; or severe trauma which can be a reason behind the occurrence of this illness.
MYTH: If your parent has schizophrenia you ought to have it too.
FACT: Genes play an important role when it comes to schizophrenia. But if only one parent has been diagnosed with it doesn’t imply that you ought to get it. The risk is around 10 per cent. But if more members of the family have it then the risk of developing this illness increases.
MYTH: People who have schizophrenia have low IQ
FACT: Research has shown that because of schizophrenia people might have trouble with certain mental functions such as memory, attention but that doesn’t imply that they have low IQ. In fact, many of the famous creative people have had schizophrenia in the past.
MYTH: Every schizophrenia patient should be put in a mental hospital.
FACT: In olden times people with schizophrenia were put in mental hospitals and treated brutally. But with more information about mental illnesses, experts believe that not everyone requires being in a mental hospital. Though for management of symptoms hospitalization is important. Living with the community also helps in the treatment process.
MYTH: One cannot be employed if they have schizophrenia.
FACT: It might get difficult to find a job but that in no ways means that they cannot be employed. There might be certain cognitive difficulties with the patient but they can be helped to find a job setting which is appropriate with their abilities.
MYTH: Because of schizophrenia people tend to get lazy.
FACT: People with schizophrenia find it hard to go about their daily activities and self-care is compromised due to their symptoms but it’s definitely not laziness.
MYTH: People with schizophrenia can never reach the recovery stage.
FACT: Schizophrenia is treatable and it might take time depending on various factors. But it doesn’t mean that one can never recover. If the person has the right treatment and therapy they get recovered and improvement in the symptoms is seen. Most people who get proper treatment are able to live their life productively.
Schizophrenia is often spoken about in hushed tones. And because of stigma and embarrassment, not many talk about it openly. In movies and other Media, Schizophrenia is not always shown in an appropriate way. It is necessary to create awareness about mental illness. Along with the care for patients, it is also important to talk about the caregiver.