Posted: 11/23/2016

3 Myths About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia myths

Schizophrenia is so deeply misunderstood because it is not a single condition but a collection of neurological disturbances with unpredictable effects. Because of the mystery that shrouds schizophrenia, myths have developed as a matter of course. However, unexplained schizophrenia misconceptions make it difficult for people with this disease to garner support and seek help.

Understanding these six myths about schizophrenia may help you better understand the struggles of a friend or family member who has this mental disorder.

Myth #1: Schizophrenia is the same as split personality disorder.

One of the biggest myths about schizophrenia involves the very nature of the illness. The disease’s name comes from the Greek words chizein (to split) and phr?n (mind). Term originator Eugen Bleuler intended that the combination of words describe the split of function between personality, thinking, memory, and perception. However, one of the common misconceptions about schizophrenia is that the disease is a split personality disorder, and this confusion has clouded public understanding of the disease.

The easiest way to think of schizophrenia is as a disassociation with reality. The inability to perceive what is real causes a breakdown in socially acceptable behavior, communication, and belief systems. The brain will often strain to come to realistic conclusions but will fall short. The condition is not the same as split personality disorder.

Myth #2: Schizophrenia causes violent behavior.

There is certainly a logic to the belief that schizophrenia can lead to violent outbursts, but a deeper look into the condition suggests this is a misconception about schizophrenia and people who suffer from it are more likely to harm themselves than others. They are also often the victims of violent behavior due, in part, to the inability to control social behavior.

Mental illness has also been identified as at least part of the cause of violent behavior in rare cases, but because the term mental illness covers such a broad range of disorders, it is difficult to point to a single condition as a catalyst. Therefore, schizophrenia often receives blame for violent crimes.

Myth #3: Schizophrenia is untreatable.

One common myth about schizophrenia is that it is an untreatable condition. In most cases, a carefully monitored combination of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial therapy can help those who suffer from schizophrenia bridge the gap between their minds and reality.

However, therapy requires self-motivation as well as the support of people from work or school, family, and close friends who can help sufferers realize their personal goals. The earlier physicians detect the disease, the more likely treatment is to succeed.

Genetics may be a large factor in schizophrenia cases. Source: nih.gov

Myth #4: Schizophrenia is the result of a poor childhood environment.

A toxic environment during formative years has an impact on mental health, but genetics are just as active in forming the basis of schizophrenia.

It takes a combination of predisposition and the right environmental conditions to produce the symptoms of schizophrenia, and even when they begin to appear, they are so complex that sufferers may not even know that they are affected.

However, no human being benefits from growing up in a dark or violent environment. Genetics may be the foundation of schizophrenia, but a traumatic childhood likely pushes those genetics into effect.

Myth #5: Schizophrenia is easily recognizable.

An observer who knows that he or she is watching a patient of schizophrenia may be able to recognize the disease easily, but in everyday life, it simply manifests as unusual or inexplicable behavior. Almost every human is prone to behavior that he or she cannot control, including people with mental illnesses.

From the inside, it is even more of a challenge to identify the signs that schizophrenia has emerged. Furthermore, those who believe they are suffering may be embarrassed or ashamed to admit it. Self-diagnosing is no simple task, and it can be hard to bring a diagnosis to the attention of a medical professional.

Myth #6: Schizophrenia is extremely rare.

It is a common misconception that schizophrenia is an uncommon disease. Schizophrenia affects the lives of about 1% of Americans. 3% of people have a psychotic episode that resembles that of a patient with schizophrenia at least once in their lives. It can affect anyone with a human brain, no matter what race, culture, gender, or ethnicity with which he or she identifies. You might even see a new person with schizophrenia every day depending on where you live.

No matter how rare or common the disorder is, however, anyone can aid in the treatment of schizophrenia and any number of mental illnesses by exhibiting compassion and understanding in situations that include unusual social behavior from another party. If you know someone who has schizophrenia, you can help them treat the condition by offering support and counsel. Remember the six schizophrenia myths and the facts behind them and start helping in the fight against schizophrenia today.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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