Schizophrenia Awareness Week: Myths and Facts

Yesterday, May 13, 2020 marked the first day of Schizophrenia Awareness Week! Last year in 2019 I wrote an article that means a lot to me about “Someone Close” that lived with schizophrenia. It was definitely difficult to see and probably one of the hardest post to write. At the time I didn’t realize it but now that I’m older I see the signs. Today I want to take the time to share with you some of the myths about schizophrenia. There’s been many misconceptions about it. Many have false information about this illness through TV shows or movies (it’s Hollywood y’all!) and some have been told incorrect information. Today I just want to clear some of that up. Let’s get started!

Myth: People diagnosed with Schizophrenia have multiple personalities.

While there is a multiple personality disorder called Dissociative Identity Disorder (I will discuss about this illness later in the years) but it’s not a symptom in schizophrenia. In some cases, those diagnosed with schizophrenia could lose touch with reality or have hallucinations but do not have multiple personalities.

Myth: Those with schizophrenia should be put in a mental hospital.

Now that experts know more about this mental illness, they are able to treat patients properly with the correct medication and fewer people are put into long-term mental health facilities. Majority of those living with this illness live with a family member or support housing. Unfortunately, some do end up living on the streets due to them stopping their medication and other reasons. Another topic we will discuss about. (Homelessness is a subject I will be discussing later in the year. It’s an important topic).

Myth: If one of your parents have it, you will have it as well.

Yes, genetics play a part but the child has a 10% chance of developing schizophrenia if one of their parents have it (if more then one family member has it, there’s a higher risk) but that doesn’t exactly mean that the child will have it. Experts are still unsure what causes schizophrenia but there are factors like:

  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Environment
  • Substance abuse
  • Complications during birth or pregnancy
Myth: Those diagnosed with schizophrenia are “lazy” and can not hold a job.

Let’s break this question down. Let’s start with “laziness.” Even though it could be challenging for those with this illness to care for their daily needs like showering or getting dressed but this doesn’t mean that they are lazy. They just need a little extra support with their daily routine. Now let’s go to “holding down a job.” There’s this awesome YouTuber that openly discusses that she lives with schizophrenia and she has 2 jobs! Talk about holding down a job! If they are treated correctly they are able to find a job that will suit their position and enjoy it.

Myth: Those diagnosed with schizophrenia are violent or dangerous.

This is one of the most upsetting myths I’ve heard. Seeing “someone close” to me live with schizophrenia was not once violent or dangerous. Yes, their actions can be unpredictable (I highly recommend you to read the article I mentioned in beginning of this article) and they could have violent behaviors but doesn’t mean they are dangerous. If they are, it’s a very small percent but they are nothing how the movies and TV shows portray them.

Here were just a few common myths that people hear about those that are diagnosed with schizophrenia. As I continue to learn more about it, I see a lot of these myths being debunked. I am not a professional but I have done research about it. If you have more information or have any questions please feel free to leave it in the comment section below. If you know someone that’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, don’t be afraid. They are just like you and I. Show your support and love. Let’s help one another learn more about this mental illness and see what we can do to help our loved ones or someone we know. Let’s do our best to break the stigma that surrounds mental health and let’s spread awareness and inform those about schizophrenia during this week and year around 💚.

Links: https://everythingsotay.com/2019/05/22/schizophrenia-awareness-week/, https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/schizophrenia-myths-and-facts#1, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/schizophrenia-myths-facts#sudden-onset

Everything’s Otay!

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