Schizophrenia has played a major role in a number of television shows, movies and novels. Authors seem to love to use this mental illness as a plot point, and in the past, very little was known about the facts and figures that defined schizophrenia. As a result, authors could make the disease seem like almost anything, and they could make their characters do almost anything. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a number of very persistent myths about schizophrenia, and those misconceptions could make life harder for people who have this mental illness.
Of all of the misconceptions available, the belief that people who have this disorder are violent seems the most prevalent. People believe that those who have schizophrenia can suddenly “snap,” and when they do, they might harm their families or random strangers in episodes of rage that are impossible to control.
This might make for a hair-raising movie, but the truth is a little less dangerous. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, most people who are getting help for schizophrenia are simply not a danger to others. Their behaviors might be unnerving or unusual, but they’re not typically considered a danger to others, as long as they’re getting the care they need.
Similarly, many people believe that those who have schizophrenia will never be able to:
- Raise children
- Live independently
- Have meaningful relationships
While it’s true that schizophrenia is chronic and it can never be cured, most people who have the disease simply can learn to keep their impulses under control. They might always need to take medications and work with a therapist, and they may have episodes in which they lose ground, but they can certainly live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Some people believe that schizophrenia develops in response to child abuse or some form of poor parenting, as people who have the disorder sometimes seem to be intensely hostile to their family members. However, according to research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers suggest that genes could play a role in the development of the disorder, as might environmental factors like poverty, infection during pregnancy or nutrition during pregnancy. It’s hard to say just what’s responsible for the disorder, but it’s clear that poor parenting isn’t to blame.
Getting the Schizophrenia Facts
Understanding just how schizophrenia works is vital for families impacted by this disease. Those who don’t have an in-depth understanding tend to think that the illness is progressive, devastating and impossible to control, and they often don’t take action as a result. Those who know a little more often feel empowered to take action, and they can really change their lives as a result.
That’s what we’d like to offer you at Black Bear Lodge. We can provide intensive therapies for schizophrenia, including medications and psychotherapies, and we can also assist with drug addictions that can make underlying mental illnesses so much worse. Our treatment facility is clean and serene, and we work hard to keep families involved in each and every step of the treatment process. Just call us, and we’ll explain how enrollment works.