Schizophrenia is a disorder classified into several categories, including undifferentiated Schizophrenia, catatonic Schizophrenia, paranoid Schizophrenia, disorganized Schizophrenia, and residual Schizophrenia.
There are a lot of myths revolving around Schizophrenia which need to be debunked. These myths cause a lot of misunderstandings among individuals and lead them to more panic and stress. So let us start our path towards rationality rather than myths!
So the very first myth about Schizophrenia is that people with multiple personalities has Schizophrenia. However, this is a very confusing and erroneous statement. Individuals with fragmented personalities have dissociative identity disorder. Individuals with Schizophrenia do not have the condition of a split personality. Schizophrenia is simply a loss of connection from reality, whereas dissociative personality disorder is the loss of integration of the whole personality.
The second myth is ingrained among a lot of us since this disorder is considered to be very disastrous. It states that people with Schizophrenia cannot function in society. It might be true in very severe cases such as a person who has catatonic Schizophrenia. However, those individuals whose symptoms are less severe such as paranoid schizophrenia can function in society. However, it is necessary to note that their life doesn't remain the same, and hence they won't be able to function in positions that require intellectual or higher cognitive capacities.
The third myth is that individuals who have Schizophrenia cannot recover and lead a healthy life. According to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least half of those who have Schizophrenia can recover fully. Counselling, medications, and therapy can be instrumental in the complete recovery of such a disorder. Family members of the person who has Schizophrenia should not lose hope because the complete recovery of individuals is completely possible! Even due to smoking cessation therapy, smokers with Schizophrenia have also recovered completely.
A lot of us believe that Schizophrenia only takes place due to brain injuries. However, scientific researches are yet to pinpoint the single cause of it. Several causes can be genetic, poor environment among a lot of other causes. And it is not just a neurological disorder, but it can also be caused due to brain injury.
We have also come across myths that deviate from facts such as patients of this disorder tend to lose remembrance forever. The cognitive functioning of such individuals is indeed impacted, but it is possible to regain their memory! It is probably through brain exercises and mental health apps, which helps individuals to work out their brains.
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A person with Schizophrenia is always prey to a lot of assumptions by society due to their disorder. However, others fail to understand that it is because of the disorder, not due to the individual's wishes. One such misconception is that they are lazy. Just because their basic self-care is affected by the disorder doesn't mean that they are not well-groomed. Let us hope that everyone understands this fact and henceforth treats them with some humaneness.
Furthermore, stigmatizing myth is that they are dangerous. It makes others scared of them and lets them be a victim of social isolation. Can you imagine what their family members go through when they don't receive social support based on such irrationality? Studies state that they are less likely to be violent, and hence, they are not dangerous.
This misconception makes most people anxious! But researches conclude that the genetic transmission of Schizophrenia has chances of only 10%. And due to increasing development in fields of genetics, one would come to know about it through various tests at the earliest. It would lead to quicker treatment and hence recovery.
The scariest of all the misconceptions that individuals with Schizophrenia will have to live forever in institutions. But fortunately, this is not the case in today's highly progressive developments in medicine and psychiatry. Several patients can be treated without any institutionalization effectively!
One of the myths imposes the label of not being smart. The disorder's impact has far-reaching effects on their psyche; however, that doesn't mean that they are not smart. According to WebMD, several creative and smart people throughout history have had Schizophrenia, such as Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash.
This myth involves the belief that symptoms of all the patients of Schizophrenia are at the same level. When a novice sees an individual with severe symptoms, it induces a lot of anxiety in them. However, every individual belongs to different backgrounds and has varying levels of symptoms.
The myth that bad parenting leads to Schizophrenia can cause guilt on the part of a parent who is unaware of facts. But the fact is that it is only one of the causes of this disorder. Various other environmental and genetic factors might lead to it.
One of the myths goes that Schizophrenia patients are once calm, and then they suddenly change into a different person altogether. It is not how this disorder develops. It takes place gradually. Several signs of this slow growth involve isolation, lack of care, among others.
The ridiculous myth is patients with Schizophrenia are always seeing someone. It points to having visual hallucinations, but this happens only in cases of severe cases. Most of them experience auditory hallucinations.
Hence, it is our utmost responsibility to debunk these myths among people. Only when they realize these facts will they be able to treat patients of Schizophrenia with kindness. It is necessary because they are already going through a lot of chaos and confusion in their life. And we shouldn't be giving them further reasons for them to feel pain and suffering.
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