Most People are Flat Wrong about Schizophrenia

Do we really know the whole story about schizophrenia? Yes, we see the occasional news story where someone afflicted with the disease goes off the deep end and commits a heinous crime and that is the impression that most of us have. But we see people from virtually every other demographic go crazy and commit those acts too, don’t we? So maybe our impressions about schizophrenia are not entirely justified.

Facts About Schizophrenia

There are around 51 million individuals from all over the planet who suffer from schizophrenia, and yet it is estimated that less than half of all people do not even understand the disease. There is a non-profit from the United Kingdom called Rethink Mental Illness who took a survey of 1500 people and discovered that there are numerous misconceptions regarding schizophrenia.  The problem is that this is a sad reality that makes life even tougher for people who are suffering from the conditions of the disease. The sad thing is that most friends and family who truly care are not even aware of the injustices that there afflicted loved one has to undertake on a daily basis. 

For instance, it is common misconception that those individuals with schizophrenia have a split personality and 50% of all people believed this. The survey also observed that 26% believe wrongly that the disease makes people violent and the survey reveal that 23% of all people incorrectly believe that people afflicted with schizophrenia also require professionals to monitor them constantly. The fact is that most people that live daily with these conditions have different ways to cope, but they sadly usually don’t seek help from loved ones or even professional help. 

For example we have Cecilia McGough, who is a student from Penn State. She gave a very emotional talk on Tedx that was entitled “I Am Not A Monster,” where she shares personal experience in dealing with this illness. She discusses the way she has had to confront prejudices even from her own mother, who did not think she should have sought professional help for fear of it stigmatizing the whole family.  

A person who lives with schizophrenia is indeed a very personal experience and it can take various forms. People who have been diagnosed with this awful illness can suffer from hallucinations and even delusions that vary in intensity. And then there are times when symptoms are mild, such as experiencing disorganized thinking, or simply a lack of motivation, and even differences in emotions and body language.

Unfortunately, the causes of this disease are virtually unknown. Yet it thought that it may involve a blend of environmental and genetic factors, such as possibly stresses which occur during pregnancy or perhaps sometime during their childhood. Also, it could be that using recreational drugs such as marijuana could be a contributing factor as well.  

Schizophrenia may also affect other aspects of someone’s life that go beyond the symptoms. An example of this is that those who have schizophrenia often die anywhere from 15 to 20 years sooner than the general population on average. And sadly, it seems that only around 8% of those inflicted with the disease that wants to work have found employment. And as might be expected, there is also a high suicide rate among people who have schizophrenia. It seems that one out of every ten people with the disease commit suicide. And about 4 out of every 10 at least attempt to commit suicide.