There are common misconceptions about schizophrenia even today, In spite of new developments in the mental health field. Awareness regarding this mental ailment is necessary so as to get a better understanding about the disease and identifying the symptoms at the earliest, in order to seek treatment without delay. Here are common myths along with the facts about SCHIZOPHRENIA.
MYTH 1) Schizophrenia is a split personality or a multiple personality disorder.
FACT 1) Schizophrenia is not a split personality disorder it is in fact a “split from reality” or in other words a break from reality.
MYTH 2) Schizophrenics are dangerous and belong to mental hospitals.
FACT 2) Schizophrenics under treatment are no more dangerous than the person living next door in our society. Even when not under treatment, they are more likely to be withdrawn and stay to themselves. There is a chance they may be violent sometimes due to their delusions or hallucinations, but there is a solution to the problem by getting right treatment. Most schizophrenics under treatment function well, lead a normal life and stay in the society.
MYTH 3) Hallucinations only occur in Schizophrenia.
FACT 3) Hallucinations along with Delusions are the common symptoms in schizophrenia. Hallucinations may also occur in other mental illness like Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, schizoaffective disorder. So it is important to seek a psychiatrist’s opinion in reaching a correct diagnosis and treatment.
MYTH 4) Schizophrenia could occur due to a spell being cast by black magic.
FACT 4) It is a disease occurring due to an imbalance in the chemicals in the brain that is increase of dopamine levels in the brain. No amount of spells or voodoo could make anyone get schizophrenia.
MYTH 5) Schizophrenia is infectious and living with someone with schizophrenia could make one get it as well.
FACT 5) Schizophrenia is caused by genetic factors, trauma, drug abuse etc. Living with someone with schizophrenia cannot make one get it .It is neither an infectious illness like the common cold nor can it be sexually transmitted.
MYTH 6) Bad parenting could lead to schizophrenia.
FACT 6) It is thought that bad parenting especially by the mother can lead to schizophrenia. It is mental illness and few parenting mistakes will not predispose your child to schizophrenia.
MYTH 7) People of poor intelligence get schizophrenia.
FACT 7) People with schizophrenia demonstrate average intelligence as the rest of the population. In fact there have been studies co-linking schizophrenia with smart and intellectual people.
MYTH 8)People with schizophrenia can’t hold a job.
FACT 8) It may be difficult with the antipsychotic medications that are often prescribed; they may tire easily and won’t be able to work prolonged number of hours. With the right support system they can function well in society and find a job to suit their skills.
MYTH 9) There is no recovery for a person with Schizophrenia.
MYTH 9) Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, with effective early treatment and continuing it, a person can live a healthy, functional, and a productive life.
contributed by Dr Janvi Sherpa medical officer Tulasi Health Care. for queries write to us on [email protected]