For centuries, psychological disorders have been perceived and explained using myths and misconceptions. Medically, they are described as an abnormal behavioral pattern exhibited by an individual. One of the disorders that have several myths and misconceptions about is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental complication where a person develops cognitive abilities deterioration, unusual beliefs, auditory hallucinations, and deteriorated social functions (McCutcheon et al., 1). A patient who has schizophrenia is normally confused between reality and illusions, hears things that do not exist, and has unrealistic beliefs. There are misconceptions in the public domain that people with schizophrenia cannot hold down a job, belong to jail, and display split personalities. I have grown up believing in the myths and misconceptions about the disorder. However, research has helped me understand what schizophrenia is by providing facts as discussed in this assignment.
Research has helped me understand that schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can distort a person’s routine and decision-making but does not imply that the person is mad. Another existing misconception is that people with schizophrenia are a liability to society. However, research has enlightened me that when these people regain their mental stability, they operate normally and perform their duties accurately (Black). There is also a misconception that people with the disorder cannot appropriately perform professional concepts because their mental status is unstable. However, Black explains that people under medication for schizophrenia operate normally. Involving these people in work and routine duties help speed up their recovery, boost their self-esteem, connect them to society, and offer them tasks to fill their time.
Another myth in the public domain is that people with schizophrenia are not fit for society because they are violent. Black has helped me understand that people with schizophrenia are rarely violent. On the contrary, research has shown that people with schizophrenia normally fall victims to violence (Black). People with schizophrenia normally struggle to enjoy the same social privileges as others, making them victims of violence. Despite some patients displaying aggression, the misconception of defining them using the symptom is wrong and judgmental. Normal people can also portray anger and aggression, and society would understand them because they do not have schizophrenia. Therefore, treating people with schizophrenia differently because of the symptoms of aggression is wrong because it is normal for anybody to display the same character without having the complication.
Due to the misconception about aggression, people normally believe that those living with schizophrenia are a threat and should be jailed (Lopez). However, using jails and prisons to keep these people away from society is wrong because it may worsen their symptoms. Jails and prisons are not psychiatric centers, and they lack sufficient psychiatric services. Jailing these people is subjecting them to punishment because of being sick. Also, the symptoms of aggressiveness exhibited by people with schizophrenia may lead to mistreatment from other prisoners who might not understand their condition.
Another myth in the public domain is that people with schizophrenia have split personalities. After researching, I understood that a split personality is rare by far different from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects a person’s thoughts and decision-making, while a split personality entails the breakdown of a person’s behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. However, schizophrenia has the split symptom of fantasy and reality, characterized by delusions and hallucinations. Therefore, the split characteristics of schizophrenia disorder do not mean a person suffering from it has split personalities.
Also, some people believe that schizophrenia is caused by poor parenting. However, the research explains that schizophrenia is genetically caused, and parenting does not contribute to the mental disorder (Black). Schizophrenia is caused by schizophrenic genes and environmental factors that may trigger its onsets (McCutcheon, 1), such as substance use and academic stress. Conclusively, having close relatives with schizophrenia can be stigmatizing and stressful when one bases their understanding of schizophrenia on the existing myths and misconceptions. However, facts and research can help avoid stigma and focus on finding the appropriate treatment method for people living with schizophrenia.
Black, Rosemary. “Six Myths about Schizophrenia – Psycom.net.” PSYCOM. 2 Oct. 2020, www.psycom.net/schizophrenia/six-myths-about-schizophrenia/.
Lopez, S. “Schizophrenia Myths.” California State University Northridge. 2008, www.csun.edu/afye/documents/Schizophrenia-Myth-Busters-H-Boruck.pdf
McCutcheon, Robert A, et al.. Schizophrenia—An Overview. JAMA Psychiatry, (2019) (), 1–10. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3360.
Smith, Melinda, et al. “Schizophrenia Symptoms and Coping Tips.” HelpGuide.org. 23 Dec. 2021, www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/schizophrenia-signs-and-symptoms.htm.