Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness that affects approximately 1% of the population. In India, people often do not understand what schizophrenia is and tend to resort to superstitions and harmful practices hoping to cure the illness, not realizing that these treatment plans often leave the person suffering from schizophrenia emotionally scared.
Schizophrenia is layered with myths and misconceptions, and it’s time we break some common myths.
Myth 1: Schizophrenia means split personality.
Fact: The word “Schizophrenia” is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘split mind’ but in fact, Schizophrenia does NOT mean split personality or multiple personalities.
Myth 2: People with schizophrenia are dangerous, violent, and likely to cause harm to others.
Fact: The vast majority of people with Schizophrenia are non-violent. They often tend to be withdrawn; people with schizophrenia are more likely to be victims of violence rather than victimizers.
Myth 3: Schizophrenia runs in the family.
Fact: Yes, schizophrenia does run in families, BUT there is no guarantee that one will have schizophrenia because one of their relatives may have a mental illness.
Myth 4: People with Schizophrenia need to be monitored all the time
Fact: People with schizophrenia can lead productive and happy lives if they are getting the continued right treatment and support. However, some may need assistance and live with their families or in supported housing but many people with schizophrenia can live independently and can be active and productive members of society.
Myth 5: People with schizophrenia are not smart.
Many creative and smart people have schizophrenia! Studies have found that people with schizophrenia may have trouble on tests of mental skills, like learning, attention, and memory but that does not mean they are not intelligent.
Some world famous and intelligent people with schizophrenia are
Charles Bolden – Jazz Musician
John Nash – Noble Prize winner mathematician
Peter Green – Guitarist of Fleetwood Mac
Vaslav Nijinsky – Russian ballet dancer
When talking about mental illness, let’s spread reliable information!