Schizophrenia: Fact From Fiction

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Schizophrenia is a serious illness and one of the worst for misinterpretation.

Over the years, the condition has been slowly surrounded by myths and stereotypes, which simply are not true. This article is going to dispel some of those, and give you the facts.

Do Schizophrenics have multiple personalities?

The short answer is no, schizophrenics do not have multiple personalities. There is a condition which creates a split personality, but Schizophrenia is not that condition.

Schizophrenia can change the personality of the sufferer, thanks to hallucinations and delusions, but there is no personality split between your loved one when they are well, and when they are ill.

Schizophrenics are violent and dangerous.

Again, this is not true. Schizophrenia does not make a person any more violent than anyone else.

The violent acts reported in the media are usually caused by people who have gone untreated for a long time, and they believe that they are being persecuted, or watched by a dark force.

Schizophrenics cannot live a normal life.

A completely false statement.

Schizophrenics are not any less capable than anybody else at living by themselves. Some do live in assisting living houses, or with family, but many live independently and go on to be active members of society.

Schizophrenics never recover.

The official figures say that:

  • 50% will have a long term illness, where the symptoms come back after treatment, but can still recover again.
  • 20% will show significant improvement in their condition.
  • and the remaining 30% will make a full recovery.

So, it’s completely false to say that someone can never recover from schizophrenia.

Psychosis always means a patient is Schizophrenic.

Psychosis can be a symptom of many different disorders, not just Schizophrenia. Some other causes for Psychosis include:

  • Brain tumour
  • Substance abuse
  • Severe depression
  • Severe mania
  • A side effect of some medications

So there’s no need to jump straight to Schizophrenia when a loved one starts showing signs of Psychosis, there are many other causes.

In conclusion

Schizophrenia is a serious, and very misunderstood, illness. Being diagnosed does not mean a person’s life is going to completely over, or that they will never be the same again.

With the right help, and with understanding friends and family, anybody can recover.

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