There are a lot of common misconceptions about schizophrenia. Here are some of the most widespread schizophrenia myths:
Myth: People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities
64 percent of American believe that schizophrenia involves split personalities. But this belief is completely untrue. Multiple personality disorder, which is unrelated to schizophrenia, is the actual cause of split personality symptoms. Schizophrenia involves losing touch with reality and having delusions, not double personalities.
Myth: People with schizophrenia are violent
Most people with schizophrenia are never violent, especially if they are receiving treatment. When schizophrenics do commit violent acts, they normally have comorbid conditions, such as personality disorders or substance abuse.
Myth: Schizophrenia is caused by bad parenting
The causes of schizophrenia are complex and interrelated, including trauma, drug abuse and genetics. Isolating one cause, like parenting mistakes, cannot explain a schizophrenia diagnosis.
Myth: Schizophrenia makes you stupid
Some studies have found people with schizophrenia have trouble with attention and memory. But there are plenty of historical examples of true geniuses with schizophrenia, such as Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash.
Myth: People with schizophrenia need to be in a mental hospital
We understand more about this disease nowadays, so fewer people need long-term in-patient treatment. Most people with schizophrenia live productive lives with family or in supportive housing.
Myth: Schizophrenia never gets better
50 percent of people with schizophrenia experience a lessening of their symptoms over time. 25 percent fully recover. With the right medication and therapy, people with schizophrenia can lead full and happy lives.
Do you or a loved one have schizophrenia? Check out some of Segal’s ongoing clinical research opportunities!