Schizophrenia is a psychotic (where a person can’t differentiate between imagination and reality) mental health disorder which affects a person’s speech, thinking and behavior.
It affects how a person perceives their environment and express their feeling and emotions.
The symptoms usually occur in late adolescence or early adulthood.
People with schizophrenia can be treated with a combination of medications and therapy
Myths Vs. Facts
Myth # 1. People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities
People with schizophrenia dont have multiple personalities. Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder (having multiple personalities) are two different disorders.
These people have broken contact with reality. They cant distinguish between what is real and what is not.
Myth # 2. This condition has only two symptoms, that is delusion and hallucinations
It’s incorrect! So, what are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
The symptoms of schizophrenia include:
beliefs that are not based on reality. There are different types of delusions for example erotomania,somatic, or persecutory. There are a variety of themes including referential, somatic, religious etc.
Hallucinations are perception-like experiences that occur without external stimulus. Hallucinations can be of any sensory modality. One of the most common is auditory hallucination.
3. Disorganized thinking (speech):
In disorganized thinking, the individual may switch from one topic to another
The answers to the questions may be indirectly or completely unrelated.
4. Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior:
Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behaviors can include a variety of unusual behaviors and movements.
This can include catatonic behavior, which is marked by decrease in reactivity to the environment, lack of verbal and motor responses, sitting in a very rigid or bizarre posture.
This also includes meaningless and excessive moto behaviors without obvious reason.
5. negative symptoms:
Negative symptoms can include reduced expression of emotions in face, and eye contact, reduced movements of hands, legs, and head.
The individuals showing negative symptoms will sit idly for long period of time without showing any interest or participation.
This is a very brief explanation of symptoms of schizophrenia.
Myth # 3. People with schizophrenia can never lead a normal life.
That’s not true. People with this condition can lead a fulfilling life, but with lifelong treatment which includes a combination of medications, therapy, social and family support.
Some other daily habits and strategies can also be a great help!
This can be by:
- knowing your warning signs,
- taking care of body by having healthy diet and exercising regularly,
- joining a support group to share stories and advice with peoples of same road,
- educating yourself and others around you about this disorder and its treatment plan
Myth # 4. Schizophrenia is the cause of bad parenting
People who develop this condition are not related to bad parenting. Few of the psychoanalysts do propose that cold, avoidant and distant parenting can lead to schizophrenia, but no research has satisfied this theory yet.
The exact cause is still unknown. However, research suggests that a combination of physical, environmental, and genetics factors can lead to this condition.
Myth # 5. People with schizophrenia are aggressive and violent
People with schizophrenia are not more violent than the rest of the people. On the other hand, people with schizophrenia are more likely to be the victims of violence.
Myth # 6. Can stress lead to schizophrenia?
Despite common myths, stress alone can not lead to this condition. It can be a contributing factor and can lead to the onset of symptoms if a person already has a liability to suffer from the condition.
Stress can trigger psychosis, which is the symptom of schizophrenia. Stress can also lead to other mental health conditions like delusional disorder, anxiety or depression.
The intensity of schizophrenia varies from person to person. However, with proper care and treatment people with schizophrenia can live a normal life.