By Stephanie Osuba
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder categorized by hallucinations (verbal or visual), delusions, disorganized speech, low motivation, blunted emotion, and social withdrawal. With 1.1% of the U.S. population, around 2 million people, having the diagnosis, it is not as uncommon as people might believe. Here are four myths about schizophrenia debunked.
- People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities: Although “schizo” does mean split, in order to describe the gaps in thinking and disconnect in affect, there are no symptoms involving having multiple personalities. That is a separate diagnosis altogether, known as dissociative personality disorder (DID).
- Schizophrenics are dangerous: Media portrayal of people with schizophrenia lead others to believe that they are sadistic and unpredictable. While some with the disorder do commit crimes, most patients are nonviolent. People with schizophrenia often have consequences they face because of this stigma which include: reduced housing and employment opportunity, increased stress, and lower self-esteem.
- Schizophrenia only involves hallucinations and delusions: Although psychosis is a hallmark of the disease, other symptoms include lack of motivation and volition, blunt emotion, disorganized speech, and inability to perform certain cognitive tasks. Hollywood likes to dramatize the oddity and fear that comes with experiencing hallucinations and delusions.
- Schizophrenia can’t be treated: Although there isn’t a cure, symptoms of schizophrenia are very much manageable with the right medication and psychotherapy. In fact, many people that have the diagnosis and have proper treatment lead healthy and normal lives.
Source: M.D., R. R. (2015, November 6). 4 Myths About Schizophrenia (and the Facts You Need to Know). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201511/4-myths-about-schizophrenia-and-the-facts-you-need-know
If you or someone you know needs help coping with the schizophrenia of a family member, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.