Schizophrenia Myths: Raleigh Psychiatrist Debunks 7 Common Misperceptions

Schizophrenia Myths: Raleigh Psychiatrist Debunks 7 Common Misperceptions

Out of all the possible mental health disorders, schizophrenia is likely the most misunderstood by the average person without mental health training or experience. As a result, there have been countless frightening and false schizophrenia myths that seem to linger even in these modern-day times.

A Raleigh area psychiatrist gives professional facts that help sort common myths and misconceptions regarding schizophrenia from the real truth. Read on for 7 myths regarding schizophrenia that mental health experts soundly debunk.

Schizophrenia Myths

Myth#1. Schizophrenia Occurs Due to Poor Parenting

Mental illness in any form has had a lot of stigmas attached to it that has held on through hundreds and thousands of years. Unlike a physical illness or condition, most mental health disorders are not readily understood by others. The fear of somehow getting this “disease” or condition has caused a number of common myths and misperceptions regarding schizophrenia. These schizophrenia myths continue still today.

While there appears to be a genetic link to mental illness, including schizophrenia, this is only part of why a person would become seriously ill with this disorder’s telltale symptoms. Another popular myth surrounding this disorder is that bad parenting could be the cause. There is no evidence that poor parenting skills have anything to do with actual schizophrenia development.

Myth#2. People with Schizophrenia Are Violent & Dangerous

Mental illness can be scary when looking at it through lack or understanding. Most societies tend to depict the mentally ill as somehow deserving of their punishments. With the rise of movies and television, writers often portray characters with schizophrenia as being extremely violent, unpredictable, emotionally unstable and dangerous to themselves and others.

The sad reality is that most people with schizophrenia are actually targeting themselves of others that gang-up and terrorize them. Mentally ill Individuals that don’t have a secure support network often fall prey to criminals looking for easy marks.

Myth#3. Patients Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Require Long-Term In-Patient Hospitalization

In past generations, people diagnosed with schizophrenia were often locked up in mental hospitals long-term. Today, psychiatrists have more options with regards to appropriate treatment for these vulnerable people. With the right balance of medication, therapy and ongoing support, the majority of individuals who are diagnosed at a younger age are often able to do well and remain in their own homes and communities.

There may be times when in-patient hospitalization is required to keep the person and others around them safe. Usually, hospitalization for longer than an acute stay of several weeks is only considered after other strategies and less restrictive treatment have failed.

Myth#4. Schizophrenic Individuals Have Split Personalities

Misidentifying schizophrenia for a split personality is common. The term multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder. DID patients have compartmentalized their deepest fears and painful experiences by creating alter personalities that are unaware of each other in most cases. These patients block-out severe abusive events by shattering their core personality.

People with schizophrenia have a thought disorder rather than a personality disorder like MPD. Schizophrenic patients typically present with delusions and/or hallucinations, whereas multiple personality patients usually don’t. Many mental health disorders can coexist with others.

Myth#5. Most Schizophrenics Can’t Hold a Job or Finish School

Schizophrenia, like other mental health disorders, can vary as far as the intensity of certain symptoms. Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia can and do hold down real jobs and many complete advanced learning college degree programs.

While many individuals suffering from severe symptoms due to their schizophrenia often have difficulty hanging on to a normal job, that is not the case for everyone.

Myth#6. Schizophrenia Impacts Intelligence & Mood Stability

Lots of people believe that individuals with schizophrenia are either very smart or lack higher intelligence and often display mood instability. There is no conclusive evidence that schizophrenia has any impact on a person’s intelligence or causes mood swings.

That said, there are certain symptoms that make it difficult to determine if the person has schizophrenia or is bipolar with schizoaffective features or has other combination diagnoses.

Myth#7. There Are No Effective Treatments for Schizophrenia

This is perhaps the most destructive myth regarding schizophrenia because the belief that there are no effective treatments keeps many from seeking the mental health care that they need.

New medications are promising relief of frightening symptoms schizophrenic patients often report. There are also new drug combinations that truly enable doctors to get an individualized prescription regimen.

Other effective treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy and talk counseling. Also, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation, diet changes, developing new coping strategies, and many more treatment options.

Also, learn more by contacting MedPsych Integrated in Briar Creek. Visit

Beyond Schizophrenia, we also specialize in other common mental health areas. Including Anxiety, Depression, Grief, and PTSD.

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