4 myths of schizophrenia

#1
I get so tired of hearing people use schizophrenic to describe a "split personality". That is NOT what it is. It has nothing to do with it. Next time you hear someone spouting ignorance about schizophrenia, remember these 4 facts...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...-need-know

4 myths of schizophrenia:

"1. People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities.

According to a 2008 survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64 percent of the population is unable to recognize the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and instead simply believe that people with the disorder have “split” or multiple personalities.

This is false. Schizophrenia often involves a variety of symptoms, but not one involves multiple personalities. This myth likely originated because the word “schizo” means split—however, in this case, it refers to gaps (or a splitting) in a person’s ability to think and express emotions. (People with split personalities are living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.)

2. Schizophrenia makes people dangerous.

In popular culture, individuals with schizophrenia are often depicted as sadistic, unpredictable, and violent. Although it’s true that some individuals with schizophrenia do commit crimes, the vast majority of patients are nonviolent. In fact, of past violent offenders who did have schizophrenia, only 23 percent of their crimes were directly related to their symptoms.

Unfortunately, the notion that all individuals with schizophrenia are dangerous contributes heavily to the stigma surrounding the disorder. People with schizophrenia often have reduced housing and employment opportunities, greater stress, lower self-esteem, and diminished quality of life.

3. Schizophrenia only involves delusions and hallucinations.

Many people incorrectly believe that individuals with schizophrenia only suffer from hallucinations and delusions. This is not surprising: Psychotic symptoms are unusual and often frightening, and so popular culture focuses on these more than other symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Along with delusions and hallucinations, though, individuals with schizophrenia may experience blunted emotions, low motivation, disorganized speech, and a lack of desire to form social relationships. They also can have difficulty maintaining attention and performing certain cognitive tasks.

4. Schizophrenia can’t be treated.

In old movies—and in old times in general—people with schizophrenia often were carted off to institutions, often to live the rest of their lives in isolation. In many ways, developing a severe mental disorder was the same as receiving a life sentence in prison. For this reason, many people erroneously believe that schizophrenia can’t be treated and that institutionalization is the only solution.

Although it's true that schizophrenia cannot be cured, it can be successfully treated. Medication, rehabilitation practices and psychosocial therapies can help individuals with schizophrenia lead independent and productive lives. In fact, with proper treatment, many people with schizophrenia appear to be completely healthy."
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#2
Plus they write short stories, novellas, and novels that get turned into movies and TV shows.

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#3
(Mar 13, 2019 12:17 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: 4 myths of schizophrenia:

"1. People with schizophrenia have multiple personalities.

I agree that's not what schizophrenia is.

Quote:I get so tired of hearing people use schizophrenic to describe a "split personality".

I think that people who imagine that it's split personality can be forgiven though, since that's precisely what the word suggests.

It's a combination of the Greek skhizein (to split, cleave, part, separate) and phren (mind).

Quote:2. Schizophrenia makes people dangerous.

The law suggests that they are, when people who are arrested for particularly heinous crimes always seem to try to make an insanity defense. His mental illness made him do it, so we shouldn't blame him or hold him responsible.

And anyone who has walked down the street in some San Francisco neighborhoods or all of downtown LA know the dangers that street crazies pose. There's always screaming, shouting and fighting. Pedestrians need to remain alert and vigilant, with their heads on a swivel.

Quote:In popular culture, individuals with schizophrenia are often depicted as sadistic, unpredictable, and violent. Although it’s true that some individuals with schizophrenia do commit crimes, the vast majority of patients are nonviolent.

I've known several schizophrenics over the years and they were typically sad. I didn't fear them, I felt sorry for them.

Quote:In fact, of past violent offenders who did have schizophrenia, only 23 percent of their crimes were directly related to their symptoms.

An extraordinarily high percentage of prison inmate have psychiatric illnesses of whatever type, relative to the general population.

Quote:People with schizophrenia often have reduced housing and employment opportunities, greater stress, lower self-esteem, and diminished quality of life.

True. While public assistance does try to help them, it's often insufficient.

In San Francisco rents are so astronomical that they can't afford normal apartments. There's fewer and fewer low-end single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels, since urban renewal tends to tear them down and replace them with condos. Public assistance provides the crazies with rent vouchers that should work in these places, but there aren't any vacancies. The few SRO hotels left are largely filled with immigrants, not psychiatric patients on welfare. Landlords prefer the immigrants because the landlords are often immigrants themselves and favor their own people, and because the immigrants aren't as apt to damage the property or cause problems with the police.

So the rent vouchers turn out to be useless and the crazies often end up on the street which just feeds the street-crazy stereotype.

Quote:3. Schizophrenia only involves delusions and hallucinations.

What other other people can most easily perceive is the strange public behavior and speech typically associated with hallucinations and delusions.

Quote:4. Schizophrenia can’t be treated.

I think that's largely true, even today. Shrinks don't know what causes psychiatric illness. Something wrong with the brain, lot of help that is. So they can't treat it at its neuro-physiological source.

What they do instead is try to reduce symptoms, typically by drugging them into submission. That's a very imperfect fix, given the massive side effects that some of these stronger anti-psychotic drugs have.

I still remember one schizophrenic acquaintance. A brilliant guy, very humane, who loved science and philosophy, and loved spending time with his friends. If he ever went off his meds, he could feel his thought process getting weirder and weirder, totally out of his conscious control, and he couldn't stand it. But his meds made him so slow and lethargic that he couldn't think or interact socially, so the meds were almost as bad as the psychosis. He could hardly move or talk. He felt that he was trapped with no escape. Then he disappeared and I never saw him again. (I fear he committed suicide, but I never found out.)

The psychiatric profession really needs to offer patients more than that kind of living hell. But they won't until they understand the underlying process and the defects in the process that constitute schizophrenia. I sense that psychiatry today is at about the same point the the rest of medicine was at when they used to try to adjust sick people's 'humors' by bleeding them.
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#4
It's a sad situation when the only treatment available for schizophrenia is becoming a medicated zombie. That doesn't suggest much of a treatment to me. But the meds are becoming more focused with fewer side effects. I take an antipsychotic called Geodon that is meant for bipolars and schizophrenics and I feel great! I take it for depression.
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#5
(Mar 15, 2019 07:46 PM)Yazata Wrote:
(Mar 13, 2019 12:17 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: I get so tired of hearing people use schizophrenic to describe a "split personality".

I think that people who imagine that it's split personality can be forgiven though, since that's precisely what the word suggests.

It's a combination of the Greek skhizein (to split, cleave, part, separate) and phren (mind).

Quote:3. Schizophrenia only involves delusions and hallucinations.

What other other people can most easily perceive is the strange public behavior and speech typically associated with hallucinations and delusions.
Yeah, with the possible symptom of hearing voices, responding to them could easily be conflated with a DID (dissociative identity disorder) talking to alters, even though it's only a hallucination.


(Mar 15, 2019 08:18 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: It's a sad situation when the only treatment available for schizophrenia is becoming a medicated zombie. That doesn't suggest much of a treatment to me. But the meds are becoming more focused with fewer side effects. I take an antipsychotic called Geodon that is meant for bipolars and schizophrenics and I feel great! I take it for depression.

Undecided
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#6
(Mar 15, 2019 08:18 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: It's a sad situation when the only treatment available for schizophrenia is becoming a medicated zombie. That doesn't suggest much of a treatment to me.

Exactly, that was my point.

Quote:But the meds are becoming more focused with fewer side effects.

The events with this missing acquaintance were maybe 15-20 years ago. Either they didn't have any better meds, or else his case was intractable and particularly hard to treat and what he was getting was the only thing that worked for him.

Quote:I take an antipsychotic called Geodon that is meant for bipolars and schizophrenics and I feel great! I take it for depression.

Does it work well for your depression? I've heard that depression can often be hard to treat. I've had a few depressive episodes, but they were transient and resolved on their own in a few weeks (usually).

If schizophrenics can really be helped with a med that doesn't have all the down-side, that would be a big advance in my opinion. That would start me agreeing that it can be treated, in some cases at least.
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#7
Quote:Does it work well for your depression? I've heard that depression can often be hard to treat. I've had a few depressive episodes, but they were transient and resolved on their own in a few weeks (usually).

About a third of those diagnosed with depressive disorder don't respond to meds. Nobody knows why. I was one of the lucky ones for whom they do work. I take an antidepressant as well as Geodon and feel great. Haven't been depressed in years.
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