Breaking the Stigma: Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia

Breaking the Stigma: Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder. Though researchers have made significant advancements in their understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, it remains one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses.

At Reviv Functional Medicine & TMS Wellness Center in Fullerton, California, we want to break the myths and the stigma surrounding schizophrenia to help you better understand the disease. 

In this month’s blog post, our highly skilled and compassionate psychiatrist, Dr. Hina Sidhu, shares with you the common myths and facts about schizophrenia. 

Myth: Schizophrenia makes you violent

Fact: Most people with schizophrenia aren’t violent.

Hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking are symptoms of schizophrenia. When the disease is active, people with schizophrenia have an abnormal interpretation of reality. They hear things that don’t exist and have false beliefs that affect behavior. 

Schizophrenia symptoms rarely result in violence. 

The belief that people with schizophrenia are violent comes from how they’re portrayed in the movies and on TV. The symptoms are exaggerated for the dramatic effect but aren’t based on fact.

Myth: A poor upbringing causes schizophrenia

Fact: Researchers are still uncovering the cause of schizophrenia.

Environmental factors may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. However, a poor upbringing isn’t going to cause a brain disorder. Researchers theorize that schizophrenia develops from a combination of factors, including genetics and brain chemistry.

Researchers haven’t identified a specific schizophrenia gene and think that a combination of genes is what makes a person more vulnerable to the brain disorder. These genes are triggered by an environmental factor, such as stress (childhood trauma or loss of a loved one) or misuse of drugs.   

Myth: People with schizophrenia can’t have a normal life

Fact: People with schizophrenia can have a normal life.

It’s commonly believed that schizophrenia is a debilitating disease that requires long-term hospitalization. However, thanks to our better understanding of the disease, people are getting diagnosed and treated early, improving their symptoms and quality of life.

You can have a family, get a job, and live a normal life with schizophrenia when you have the proper treatment and support. 

Myth: Schizophrenia causes multiple personalities

Fact: Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects thinking.

The belief that schizophrenia causes multiple personalities is pervasive. However, people with multiple personalities have dissociative identity disorder (DID) — a rare mental health condition that has its own set of symptoms, risk factors, and treatments. 

The connection between schizophrenia and multiple personalities may stem from how schizophrenia affects thinking and behavior. They may think and act differently, making it seem as though they’re a different person.

People with DID experience two or more distinct identities with individual memories, behaviors, and ways of thinking.

The stigma surrounding schizophrenia is widespread, making it challenging for people with the disorder to get the help they need. Schizophrenia is complex but treatable.

If you or someone you love is experiencing signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, we can help. 

Call our office today or click the book online button to schedule an appointment with our esteemed psychiatrist so you or your loved one can get treatment and support.

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